With thanks to Historian Debbie Cameron for finding this wonderful poem written after WW1 by Ethel, and to Philip Michael Tomaselli for additional information about Ethel.
Ethel was born Ethel Raine on 3rd June 1888. It seems her father may have been Raine, Walter, J.P., M.P. Chairman of J. Raine & Son Ltd., Coal Exporters and Shipbrokers, Sunderland and Newcastle-on-Tyne, but I haven't been able to find that out for certain. If anyone can help please get in touch.
During the First World War, Ethel was as “a member of the British Security Service between 1915 and 1920, working in the Military Permit Office, which issued permits for civilians to visit the Military Zone in Northern France (also Egypt and other places under army control). This included a fast track system to allow relatives of soldiers in hospital in France who were dying to visit with the minimum of paperwork (which they had to complete on their way back...).
In 1920, Ethel married Daniel Wilfred Stonehouse (1883 – 1958), who had served in the Royal Garrison Artillery in WW1. The couple had one son – Maximillian – born in July 1927 and lived in Cottingham, Haltemprice in 1939.
Ethel died in 1974.
Here is the poem written by Ethel Stonehouse:
"Ave Atque Vale" (Tr. From Latin Hail and Farewell)
When we have gone our different ways
And idle memory sometimes strays
To dim remember’d wartime days
When women toe’d the line,
We may from out some dusty nook
Produce this little Office book
And open it to take a look
For sake of auld lang syne.
We’ll think of when we had the ’flu,
The days we had to ‘muddle through’,
And all the work we used to do
To snare the wily Hun,
Of times when strafs were in the air
And worried secretaries would tear
Great handfuls of their flowing hair
And swear at everyone.
We’ll think with something like regret
Of all the jolly friends we met;
The jokes that we remember yet
Will once again revive.
Here’s to the book that’s just begun!
May it recall to every one
The jokes and laughter and the fun
We had in M. I. 5.
Sources: Find my Past, Free BMD and
Debbie Cameron’s original source:
Here are links to Debbie Cameron’s Facebook Group Remembering British Women in WW1 – The Home Front and Overseas and her Weblog