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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Monthly Female Deaths (Military, Nursing & Mercantile Marine)


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As part of my own private research, I have been scouring the CWGC for female deaths. I'm trying to ascertain how many of the WW1 dead were male/female siblings (see other postings on this forum!)  It has been made difficult because CWGC don't record the sex of a casualty, so I searched for the various "regiments" & services that I knew where mostly or wholly female.


As a result I have come across a total of 899 names, with the "top three" being Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (188 deaths), Voluntary Aid Detachment (160 deaths) and Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (143 deaths). There is a total of twenty six categories and I have included all Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and South African females that I found. The main omission is female Munition Workers who seem to be completely absent - only the category "Australian Munition Worker" and they are all male. There are no "civilians" listed either.


I have drawn up the attached graphic of monthly female deaths, which I have prepared for a presentation which I hope you will find of interest. The chart contains a few facts about the first, last, youngest and oldest deaths. 


It illustrates what I suspected that the greatest number of monthly deaths was in November 1918 (four on Armistice Day itself). Moreover, 320 deaths occurred AFTER 11th November 1918 (36%). CWGC doesn't routinely record the cause of death but we can assume that many of these deaths, both before and after the Armistice, were due to influenza. The mini-spike in May 1915 was due to 18 women, mostly stewardesses, lost on the Lusitania. They are classed as war casualties.


I feel sure I am not the first person to address this question and I would welcome being pointed in the direction of any other work that I have missed. 


If you wish to download and use the graphic, go ahead, but i would appreciate an acknowledgement.



CWGC Female Deaths (2).PNG

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4 hours ago, koseman said:

There are no "civilians" listed either.

Just to say, CWGC did not register civilian deaths until the Second World War.

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