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welshdoc

Lady worker/ workers

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welshdoc

Just looking into the background of Constance Westiminster (Dutchess) and found 2 MICs1 for QAINSR the other for Lady workers

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...mp;mediaarray=*

In total there were 12 Lady workers and 2 Lady worker. Any idea what they were ? was is a post QMAAC? Also for the trivialists was this the smallest unit in terms of medals awarded (at least in terms of those in MICs).Gareth

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Sue Light

Gareth

I don't think these women formed a 'unit' - rather they were a group of miscellaneous odds and ends. The words 'Lady worker' need to be taken literally - they were definitely 'ladies' [different from those 'ladies' claiming the title on another forum thread :unsure: ]

Some started off as 'nurses'. Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland, and the Duchess of Westminster went to France and opened private hospitals, put on uniform, and liked to be called 'Sister', although totally untrained. When, fairly early in the war, their hospitals were taken over by the British Red Cross Society, they were quite firmly told that any nursing, or interference with medical or nursing matters would not be tolerated. They spent their time on general management, and running the hospitals' BRCS stores.

Lady Michelham supplied and financed an entire Ambulance Train, and in return was entitled to travel on the train whenever she chose - again, she was forbidden to do any nursing, but managed all the BRCS Stores while she was on board.

Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox spent almost the entire war in France, working tirelessly, doing philanthropic works, and planning, financing and running various clubs, convalescent homes and hostels for nurses.

Ella Clipperton was the Directress of the BRCS Stores in the Rouen area.

And so on... I would think that there were more of these ladies than actually appear in the MICs as 'Lady Worker.' They weren't employed by anyone, but worked within the umbrella of both the Joint War Committee and the Military - and they had to toe certain lines if they wanted to continue their work. They certainly form an interesting group for research for anyone who finds some appeal in the aristocracy.

Sue

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welshdoc

Thank you Sue, that explains many things. Of particular interest to me was the MICs to the Dutchess of Westiminster 1) as a Lady Worker but it was a second to Constance Edwind (edwina) Westminster a Staff Nurse with QAINSR that intrigued me. Does this suggest she self awarded the title Staff Nurse, or did she receive official recognition, enough certainly to be awarded a war medal? Alternatively could this be someone different person? Interesting to note she divorced the Duke in 1919 for his bad behaviour, must have been quite a scandle at the time. Gareth

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Sue Light

Gareth

I honestly think that that entry is a mistake. I'm quite sure there's more chance of pigs flying than the Duchess of Westminster being a QAIMNS Staff Nurse! She was married to Hugh Grosvenor in 1901 [Constance Edwina Cornwallis-West], and she didn't have a daughter of the right age or name . He certainly put it about a bit, as she was the first of his four wives - scandal seems to have followed him around!

I come across a lot of women's MICs where the online index shows the incorrect unit, and then when you try to download the card you get an error message - the fiche give the right details. There seems to be a lot of muddle between QAIMNS/QAIMNSR and QMAAC in particular.

Sue

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welshdoc

Thanks Sue the postcard of her Ive seen certainly did not look like a regulation nurses' one so your comments about "Lady Worker" in her own hospital would make more scence.

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welshdoc

I have been searching the dreaded LG (7 June 1918) and found Constance was awarded a CBE as Organiser of number 1 Red Cross hospital France. Was this a private hospital or an official red cross one?

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Sue Light
I have been searching the dreaded LG (7 June 1918) and found Constance was awarded a CBE as Organiser of number 1 Red Cross hospital France. Was this a private hospital or an official red cross one?

When the Duchess went out to France on 27 September 1914, and after 3 weeks in Paris she established her hospital at the Casino, Le Touquet, and it was set up as an independent unit, but like many other similar establishments it became very costly to keep it running for a prolonged period, and after running into financial difficulties in 1915 it was taken over by the BRCS and became No.1 British Red Cross Hospital (Duchess of Westminster's). One of the things that made her unit suitable to be taken under the umbrella of the BRCS, was the fact that she had taken great care in choosing her nursing staff [unlike the first attempts of the Duchess of Sutherland], and most of her initial staff were fully trained women from St. Bartholomew's Hospital. From that point she managed the general running of the unit, the linen room, sewing room, Red Cross stores, and organized things like letter writing for the patients, being helped in this by Lady Alice Grosvenor. However, she did no nursing.

I'm not sure that the fact that she was mentioned in despatches says anything in particular about her, other than she was the patron and figurehead of a well run officers' hospital. As one of England's leading ladies, who spent a great deal of her time and money on the war effort, it was inevitable that she would be rewarded for her work. In going through the war diaries of the nursing services, I'm simply staggered by the power wielded by the aristocracy, not only the very special treatment given to them if sick or wounded, but the immense kowtow-ing that went on to ladies of distinction at home and abroad - it seems that their every word was at least acknowledged and listened to, though perhaps not always acted upon.

I'm not knocking the Duchess - presumably she could have stayed at home and done nothing quite happily if she'd wished, but rewards to upper class women, in one form or another were massive, and many of them gave nowhere near the work and effort of the ordinary nurse or VAD slogging away, day in, day out, for years. It's a really good example of how vastly different society was in those days.

And here's a photo I found of her taken during the war, in rather a 'milkmaid' sort of uniform - it comes from a collection at the IWM.

Sue

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Sue Light

Gareth

While looking for something else, I've just found a four page account of the origins of the hospital, its move to France, original staff, and details of the running, with numbers of patients etc., up to the end of 1915. If you'd like a copy [4 images] let me have an email and I'll send it.

Sue

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welshdoc

post-8435-1169397087.jpg

Gareth

While looking for something else, I've just found a four page account of the origins of the hospital, its move to France, original staff, and details of the running, with numbers of patients etc., up to the end of 1915. If you'd like a copy [4 images] let me have an email and I'll send it.

Sue

Sue Ill PM my E mail address I'd love to have alook at the information . Heres a signed photo of her Ive got. Im sure your right about the treatment that the toffs got and rewards far in exess of the average person.

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Jim Strawbridge

Not my field but is not the armband showing the Serbian coat of arms?

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Sue Light

Jim

I don't have a clue, but I don't think there's any evidence that she was ever in Serbia, and Gareth's photo confirms the date as March 1916, when she was firmly in France. I'd looked at it, and felt that the centre of the badge is in the form of a wheatsheaf, which suggests that it's one version of the Grosvenor family crest.

But then what do I know... ?

Sue

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welshdoc
Jim

I don't have a clue, but I don't think there's any evidence that she was ever in Serbia, and Gareth's photo confirms the date as March 1916, when she was firmly in France. I'd looked at it, and felt that the centre of the badge is in the form of a wheatsheaf, which suggests that it's one version of the Grosvenor family crest.

But then what do I know... ?

Sue

Lots Im sure your right

gareth

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Jim Strawbridge
Jim

I don't have a clue, but I don't think there's any evidence that she was ever in Serbia, and Gareth's photo confirms the date as March 1916, when she was firmly in France. I'd looked at it, and felt that the centre of the badge is in the form of a wheatsheaf, which suggests that it's one version of the Grosvenor family crest.

But then what do I know... ?

Sue

Sue, it is a crowned eagle with a scroll or something in it's talons. I am going on coins of the period and this type of representation are seen on Italian, Serbian and a few other countries coins.

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Sue Light

She obviously had a secret life, uncovered only by the vigilance of members of the Forum! :)

Sue

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welshdoc

Dont know anything about heraldry etc but this appears to be the coat of arms of the Westminsters with the wheatsheaf

http://www.answers.com/topic/duke-of-westminster

As Sue says as she was in France in 1916 what in earth is the arm band she has on. If Italian or Serbian why ? Gareth

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SiegeGunner
If Italian or Serbian why ?

Fundraising in aid of British hospital units in Italy/Serbia?

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heleneg
On 21/01/2007 at 16:15, Sue Light said:

When the Duchess went out to France on 27 September 1914, and after 3 weeks in Paris she established her hospital at the Casino, Le Touquet, and it was set up as an independent unit, but like many other similar establishments it became very costly to keep it running for a prolonged period, and after running into financial difficulties in 1915 it was taken over by the BRCS and became No.1 British Red Cross Hospital (Duchess of Westminster's). One of the things that made her unit suitable to be taken under the umbrella of the BRCS, was the fact that she had taken great care in choosing her nursing staff [unlike the first attempts of the Duchess of Sutherland], and most of her initial staff were fully trained women from St. Bartholomew's Hospital. From that point she managed the general running of the unit, the linen room, sewing room, Red Cross stores, and organized things like letter writing for the patients, being helped in this by Lady Alice Grosvenor. However, she did no nursing.

I'm not sure that the fact that she was mentioned in despatches says anything in particular about her, other than she was the patron and figurehead of a well run officers' hospital. As one of England's leading ladies, who spent a great deal of her time and money on the war effort, it was inevitable that she would be rewarded for her work. In going through the war diaries of the nursing services, I'm simply staggered by the power wielded by the aristocracy, not only the very special treatment given to them if sick or wounded, but the immense kowtow-ing that went on to ladies of distinction at home and abroad - it seems that their every word was at least acknowledged and listened to, though perhaps not always acted upon.

I'm not knocking the Duchess - presumably she could have stayed at home and done nothing quite happily if she'd wished, but rewards to upper class women, in one form or another were massive, and many of them gave nowhere near the work and effort of the ordinary nurse or VAD slogging away, day in, day out, for years. It's a really good example of how vastly different society was in those days.

And here's a photo I found of her taken during the war, in rather a 'milkmaid' sort of uniform - it comes from a collection at the IWM.

Sue

 

On 21/01/2007 at 17:08, Sue Light said:

Gareth

While looking for something else, I've just found a four page account of the origins of the hospital, its move to France, original staff, and details of the running, with numbers of patients etc., up to the end of 1915. If you'd like a copy [4 images] let me have an email and I'll send it.

Sue

please, i'm looking for the list of staff in this hospital, where did you find it?

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heleneg
On 21/01/2007 at 17:33, welshdoc said:

post-8435-1169397087.jpg

Sue Ill PM my E mail address I'd love to have alook at the information . Heres a signed photo of her Ive got. Im sure your right about the treatment that the toffs got and rewards far in exess of the average person.

Hello, did you manage to get this information? i'm looking for the list of staff in that hospital. Many thanks to you

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Waddell
1 hour ago, heleneg said:

Hello, did you manage to get this information? i'm looking for the list of staff in that hospital. Many thanks to you

 

Helen,

 

Those posts are twelve years old and sadly Sue light is no longer with us.

 

Scott

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