Sunday, 2 November 2014

Female Poets, Artists, Writers who served during The First World War

As many of you will know, I began this commemorative exhibition project in May 2012 for an exhibition to be held at the Wilfred Owen Story museum, in Argyle Street, Birkenhead, Wirral in November of that year.   Now, more than two year on, the project has grown and the exhibition (with slight variations to the original panels as I keep finding more information) is still on show.

For those of you who are unable to visit exhibitions I started this weblog and have also put some of the information into print (and e-book form).

Some of the exhibition panels are on currently on display in the UK at the Wilfred Owen Story, Birkenhead, Wirral;  Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Salford, Manchester; Fleetwood Library, Fleetwood, Lancashire.  There will also be panels on display at the "Lancashire at War 1914 - 1918" Exhibition at Lytham Heritage Centre, Lytham, Lancashire from 5th November 2014.

I am currently collecting information about poets, writers and artists who served in some way during the First World War.  As always I'd be most grateful for your help in finding others. Here are those I have found so far:


Edith Bagnold (Great-grandmother to Samantha Cameron)
Maud Anna Bell - Serbian Fund
Beatrix Brice Miller - went to France as a Lady Helper with her mother who was a trained nurse
Vera Brittain - VAD nurse in the UK and Malta
May Wedderburn Cannan - VAD - Rouen, France 1915 and Paris in 1918
Agatha Christie - VAD in Devon
Jessica Stewart Dismorr (1885 - 1939) - Artist who nursed in France in WW1
Eva Dobell
Lady Helena Emily Gleichen (1873 - 1947) - Artist. Radiographer during WW1
Isobel Grindley
Cicely Hamilton - Royaumont - administrator; actress, poet, writer
Violet Jessop
Winifred M. Letts - served with the Almeric Paget team of physiotherapists
Nina Mardel
Naomi Mitchison - Scottish
Carola Oman
Jessie Pope - was a volunteer at St. Dunstan's home for the Blind during WW1
Olivia Robertson
May Sinclair (Travelled to France with Dr. H. Monro in August 1914, May had to return to England after six weeks due to shell shock)
Freya Stark 
Millicent Sutherland - funded a hospital - her work was painted by the French artist Victor Tardieu**
Joan Thompson
Evelyn Underhill (I am not sure if she nursed but she did work for the SSAFA - Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force Association)
Alberta Vickridge
M. Winifred Wedgwood


Mary Borden set up and funded a medical team and went to France 1915 - 1918
Amelia Earhart - trained as a VAD assistant in Canada 1917 - 1918
Mary H.J. Henderson lived in England and went with Elsa Inglis to Russia and Serbia to nurse
Elizabeth Nourse (1859 - 1938) ARTIST - worked in France helping refugees WW1
Marie Van Vorst
Edith Wharton
Ella Wheeler Wilcox - went to France in 1918 to read poetry and lecture to the troops

Grace Ellery Channing went as a War Correspondent


Emily 'Beryl' Henson (1887 - 1969) - poet
Mary Inger - poet
Iso (Isobel) Rae (1860 - 1940) Artist - joined the VAD in London WW1 - Etaples Base Camp
Alice Ross-King (1887 - 1968) - poet
Christine Erica Strom (1892 - 1984) - poet
Jessie Traill (1891 - 1967) - Artist - joined the VAD in London WW1 worked in hospitals in England and France


Stephanie HOLLENSTEIN - Artist who nursed, became a soldier, then a war artist in WW1


Henriette HARDENBERG - poet and nurse


Elizabeta POLONSKAYA - poet and doctor


Emine SEMIYE ONASY (1864 – 1944) – writer/nurse

With thanks to all those who have helped me - Martin Zieren, Phil Dawes, Penelope Monkhouse, Stanley Kaye - and to all the people who have contacted me since I began this project.

Remembering my Grandfather, Lewis Jackson, an Old Contemptible with the Royal Field Artillery who survived the conflic,t and my Great Uncle, James Yule, who was killed at Arras on Easter Monday, 9th April 1917 - the same day as the poets R.E. Vernede and Edward Thomas were killed.

Photo:  Exhibition Panels at Fleetwood Library - showing Ella Wheeler-Wilcox 

**  Victor Tardieu's paintings are on display at the Florence Nightingale Museum in London