Sunday, 24 December 2017
here is a Christmas poem written by a nurse at the end of the war. Helen Nightingale features in the anthology "Great Ward Poetry" edited by Simon McNeill-Ritchie (who has a Facebook Page for Great Ward Poetry).
We had an exchange of e-mails in October 2014 about Helen's nationality and with Debbie's help I think we can now say that Helen was British. More soon. In the meantime, here is Helen's Christmas 1918 poem:
The mother bends above; her hands
Are clasped in praise and prayer;
Her tender face a-light with love
Looks down upon Him there.
To save the world from sin.
So still and peaceful lies the scene-
How crept the evil in?
What madness swept across the earth
And plunged the world in sin?
They learn to read the signs of God
And humbly drawing nigh
They worship here the Sign that flamed
From out the midnight sky.
Bend low. Stern searchers after truth,
But yet in faith they come:
Before the Mother and the Child
Their restless doubts are dumb.
The camels through the open door,
And small wild things draw near-
Where all is love and peace and joy,
What room is there for fear?
So sweet and peaceful is the scene-
Ah, whence crept evil in?-
Give peace, O God, to weary hearts
And cleanse our souls from sin !
Stretch forth Thine arms, all-loving God
And draw Thy children in !
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
"To the R.A.M.C."
Who are these who go where the bullets fly,
Where the shells come crashing down,
Where thicker, and thicker, the wounded lie,
In the ranks of the khaki brown?
All un-armed are they, neither sword nor gun
Do they bear for defence or hurt.
Then what do they where the ruthless Hun
Is doing his deadly work?
Though they bear no arms, they are fighting a foe
Whose touch ends our mortal breath;
Where their comrades are stricken and lying low
They are waging a war with Death.
Thus they count not their own lives to them dear,
So their comrades' lives be saved,
While they bind up their wounds, and with tender cheer,
Bear them back where the Red Cross waves.
Is not this a Christ-like work to do?
Can a "greater love" we see?
Then give we honour where honour is due -
To the men of the R.A.M.C.
From: "The Lengthening War: The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode", edited by Michael Goode and published by Pen & Sword, Barnsley, Yorkshire, 2017.
Monday, 6 November 2017
To find out more about the soldier, please see Victoria’s research and write up here: https://grangehill1922.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/edward-railton
Sunday, 5 November 2017
I began my research into poetry written by women during the First World War by reading Catherine W. Reilly's anthology "Scars upon my Heart". Then I discovered her "English Poetry of the First World War: A Bibliography" and this has been my constant companion ever since. I always check there first when I am researching a poet. I could not have made much progress without those two publications, so I felt I ought to add a tribute to Catherine W. Reilly's wonderful pioneering research into women's poetry of WW1.
Friday, 3 November 2017
and at The Queens Theatre, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT on 13/11/2017 at 2.30pm.
Tickets available from the box offices of the theatres.
Initial information shared from Remembering Women on the Home Front Facebook page, with further information provided by Katapult Productions.
Monday, 30 October 2017
The young men followed her, every one
Leaving their girl friends all alone !…
Heedless of the women who wept,
The men followed her every step.
Her seductive voice exhorting the men
To join her in battle again and again.
They follow war, surrendering to her fatal powers
Eager to pick her lips' toxic flowers!
Les jeunes hommes l'ont suivie
Et les jeunes filles n'ont plus d'amoureux !…
Et sans voir les larmes des femmes,
Les hommes ont couru sur ses pas.
Et sa voix haletante appelle
Les jeunes hommes au combat.
Ils veulent cueillir la fleur de ses lèvres
Dont le parfum donne la mort !
Saturday, 7 October 2017
"The Lengthening War: The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode" Edited by Michael Goode with a Foreword by Sir Chris Clark. Published by Pen & Sword (Barnsley, S. Yorkshire, UK, in 2016). https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/
I am hoping to find out more about Mabel soon.
Monday, 2 October 2017
Monday, 18 September 2017
Friday, 1 September 2017
I am reliably informed there will be some WW1 poems written by women munitions workers (see photo from the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives) and a chapter about local nurses. Definitely a must buy.
With thanks to Elise Ward who posted mention of the poems on Debbie Cameron's Facebook Page Remembering Women on the Home Front WW1.
Thursday, 31 August 2017
In 1919, she married Roumanian Prince Antoine Bibesco who was a diplomat. The couple lived in Paris and had a daughter, Priscilla, who was born in 1920. Elizabeth continued to write and also travelled extensively with her husband, who was Roumania’s Ambassador to Washington, USA in 1920 and to Madrid, Spain in 1927.
Sunday, 6 August 2017
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Monday, 12 June 2017
Catherine's poem "Red Cross Workroom; 1917" tells us about her contribution to the war effort:
Daily here my body sits, My fingers tearing bandage strips,
My drilled eyes watch the pattern fits,
My agile scissor cuts and snips,
But truant Brain leaps out at play
And flies to some pellucid day
And suddenly I seem to hear
A sea maid singing at my ear
And straight am with her on a strand
Of cockle shells and pearly sand.
Where rainbows crown the leaping surf
And green weed wraps the rocks with turf.
We wreathe her yellow hair with weed
And play with coriander seed
And coral beads and horns of pearl -
The while that here my body sits,
My fingers tearing bandage strips.
Sunday, 11 June 2017
Thursday, 8 June 2017
Monday, 22 May 2017
Eleanor's brother, the poet Robert Jocelyn Alexander, was killed on 10th October 1918 when he was travelling from ireland to Britain aboard the RMS "Leinster" when the ship was torpedoed and sunk.
Thursday, 30 March 2017
She became elusive after that. As her husband was a forestry student ( he too was the son of a wealthy local farmer) I thought they might have gone abroad and they did: to Kenya. Harold worked his way up the Colonial Civil Service ladder to become Conservator of Forests, Kenya by 1938. He was also appointed to the legislative council in 1933.
And Steve Millward has found a reference to one of their children - Charles Amphlett Gardner - being made a District Officer in Fort Hall, Kenya on 14th July 1959.
Saturday, 18 March 2017
“As Maud Anna Bell was working for the Serbian Relief Fund, I'm interested to know if Maud ever went to the Front through her work.
I also found the poem 'Crocuses at Nottingham' attributed to a Miss Jessie Bell in “The Times” from 1917, so was wondering what had happened there.”
During the course of my previous research about Maud Anna Bell, I noticed that Catherine W. Reilly mentions her In the WW1 poetry anthology “Scars upon my heart”, saying that Bell “campaigned actively for the Serbian Relief Fund". I have not been able to find any further information as to whether Bell actually travelled to Serbia.
Maud Anna Bell is also included by Catherine W. Reilly in her “English Poetry of the First World War A Bibliography (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1978), on page 52, as having poems included in two WW1 anthologies:
“A Treasury of War Poetry: British and American poems of the World War, 1914 – 1919” (Boston, Mass., Houghton Mifflin, 1919, edited by George Herbert Clarke
“A Treasury of War Poetry: British and American poems of the World War, 1914 – 1919” (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1919) – in both these the title of the poem is “From a Trench”.
Immediately above the entry for Maud Anna Bell is an entry for a Maud Bell who published a WW1 collection of poems entitled “London songs and others (poems)” (Bristol, Horseshoe Publishing Company, 1924. Could this be the same person?
Following up one lead regarding the Serbian Relief Fund, I began to look at The Church League for Women's Suffrage and came across this very well researched and written site which gives a great deal of information about some wonderfully inspirational women:
Details on the Church League for Women's Suffrage - http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wchurch.htm
Maud's poem appeared in “The Times” as by "M. B. H." according to Carrie Ellen Holman's anthology, the “Day of Battle: Poems of the Great War” (Toronto, 1918), but it could have been misread.
Has anyone any further information about Maud Anna Bell please?
Thursday, 16 March 2017
Sunday, 26 February 2017
Along with Kitty in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, you will find the graves of some of the other women who died while serving during the First World War: Mildred Clayton-Swan, Emily Helena Cole, Isabella Duncan, Margaret Evans, Jessie Hockey, Nita King, Alice Lancaster, Rubie Pickard (who at 67 is among the oldest of the volunteers during WW1), Barbara St. John, Anna Whitely, Christina Wilson and Myrtle Wilson. "We will remember them…"