Use Google to find out more about WWI in general.
This page was last updated: April 4, 2011
SERVING KING & COUNTRY II
Leverstock Green Women Who served their country in the Great War of 1914~1918
IF YOU CAN ADD TO THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE,
PARTICULALY WITH PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE WOMEN CONCERNED, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
LEVERSTOCK GREEN WOMEN AT WORK DURING WORLD WAR ONE
It wasn’t just the men who “Served King & Country” during the First World War. Women in uniform were a novelty in 1914 and yet 80,000 women served in the forces as non-combatants. Women took on all kinds of roles and joined organisations such as the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) to provide medical assistance [There were men VAD’s as well!]; the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), WPS = Women’s Police Service (WPS- mostly in London, later becoming the Women’s Auaxillary Service ); the WRNS formed in 1916; and the Women’s Auxillary Army Corps from 1917, and the many thousands who worked in the munitions factories know as Munitionettes, and eventually the Womens Royal Air Force in 1918 (WRAF)
In addition there was the Women’s Land Army, and the vast range of war work undertaken by the women, including working in offices, doing engineering and acting as bus conductors and similar tasks. Some also sat on tribunals etc.
We have extremely little information to tell us whether or not the women of Leverstock Green joined any of these organisations, but we do know the women mentioned below took part, and that amongst other things, there was a "Ladies' War Committee". (See Gazette details below.), and it was no doubt the ladies of this committee who knitted the socks and organised flag days etc. It also seems likley it was the Ladies of this committee who were to form the WI in 1918 ( see bottom of page.)
IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION CONCERNING THE WORK THE WOMEN OF OUR VILLAGE DID DURING THE WAR, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
THE LADIES' WAR COMMITTEE had organised a house-to-house collection in Leverstock Green and had handed over £18 to the Herts Red Cross Fund. The district included Adeyfield and Cupid Green......the amount did not include the collection in the church or chapel. Additional details concerning fund-raising were given. [Gazette 30th October 1915]
WAR SERVICE FOR WOMEN ON THE LAND
A public meeting was held in the schools Leverstock Green on February 23rd to explain the scheme of the Herts County Council for organising women’s labour on the land, which is that there shall be a canvas of all women between the ages of 17 and 60, in every rural parish in the county, and a register formed of all those willing to give some help if needed, even if only one morning or afternoon a week. Each village will have its own register of helpers for the neighbouring farmers to refer to if they wish.. Mrs Durrant, who took the chair expressed great sympathy with the scheme and hoped there would be a good response on behalf of the women. Mrs Hart made a most interesting speech...............Mrs Secretan read a paper in which she said let no one think they wanted the rearing of children neglected...........................In recognition of the patriotic spirit of those women who undertook work on the land the Board of Agriculture propose to grant a certificate, emblazoned with the Royal Arms in colours to such women workers. A cheap and sensible uniform will also be on view in each district shortly and can be bought complete or in part...............and armlet will probably be issued to genuine women workers. [Gazette 4th March 1916]
WOMEN KNOWN TO BE INVOLVED
IN THE LAND ARMY
Miss G Biswell
Miss J Biswell
Olive & Sybil Seabrook
(the Land Army certificate shown was presented to Olive Seabrook.)
Sybil & Olive Seabrook as
as bridesmaids in 1915
BRENDA & MAISIE BESSANT
The Bessant sisters were known to be in the Red Cross during both world wars, and I also beleive them to have been involved in Land Army Work during the 1914-1918 conflict. Their home was Tile Kiln House. Brenda was a tallented scultptress and made the four mahogany angels for Holy Trinity Church in memory of Rev Arthur Durrant in 1942.
Brenda Bessant at Ramsgate 1917
WOMEN ON THE LAND There are about 16 women willing to work on the land when required by the farmers for weeding etc.
ALLOTMENTS The need for more allotments having been brought to the notice of the Parish Council 5 acres of field most conveniently situated in the centre of the village was promptly secured by the council. The allotments were all taken up at once and several of the holders are women. A ton of seed potatoes was ordered by smallholders and cottagers from the County Council. Leverstock Green expects to be self-supporting in vegetables and have a surplus to sell.
WAR SAVINGS A war savings association was started here in war savings week and is proving a great success. Collectors call regularly once a week and the result is average taking of about £4. Considering that many of the young people of the village subscribe to the association at the mills this is very good for such a small place. The committee are also trying to do what they can in the food economy campaign, leaflets are being left at every house, and it is hoped a speaker may be procured for a public meeting shortly.
18th May 1917 A successful meeting was held at the schools Leverstock Green on May 18th in respect to War time Food Conservation Programme The vicar, Arthur Durant was chairman and a large number attended. A full report on what was said at the meeting appeared in the Gazette for 26th May. [Gazette 26 May 1917.]
LEVERSTOCK GREEN FLAG DAY COLLECTION
The results of the Flag Day collection for comforts for the Hertfordshire Reg. amounted to £5 8s including the sale of some fruit and old clothes. The amount would have been more had not collectors from other districts overrun the village. [Gazette September 1st 1917]
WOMEN LAND WORKERS
In the big recruiting March of the LAND ARMY GIRLS in London last Sat three girls from this village took part. Two of them Miss G Biswell & Miss J Biswell were chosen to carry one of the six big banners in the procession. Miss G Biswell is the proud possessor of four stripes, each one denoting six months work on the land, and her young sister has two. The procession was heartily cheered all along the route and many recruits were enrolled. Besides these Land /army girls, Leverstock Green has about 20 casual workers who did real good service on the farms last year, and fully intend to do the same this season. Several of these casual workers have also earned stripes.
For two weeks the Gazette carried news of mission services at HT being well attended. [Gazette 27th April 1918]
Mrs Secretan, wife of Herbert Secretan of The Dells, Tile Kiln Lane, was involved organising the Land Army. She was also chosen to sit as a kind of judge/magistrate on Tribunals to decide whether or not young, and the not so young men of the area should be excempt fom conscription.
The Ladies' War Committee no doubt gave rise to the first Leverstock Green women's Institute.
This photo show either Mrs Grimwood or Miss Mortimer working in their market garden.
BELOW: An extract from the W I scrapbook compiled in 1987 by Dorothy Giles.
Leverstock Green men who served thier country in the Great War of 1914-1918.