World War I

Frances Stephanie Cora Ashlin

Frances Ashlin was a VAD nurse who worked alongside Clarice Molloy and Molly Evans at No 2 General Hospital, Le Havre and First Western Hospital Birkenhead. Like Clarice Molloy she was Catholic and Irish, but was born in Cork and did her first nursing service in Cork. She was born on 3 Jun 1880. Her uncle was the well known Irish architect, George Coppinger Ashlin, close associate and follower of Augustus Pugin. Continue reading →
Last updated on 10 November 2022 by JJ Morgan

Aileen Mary Moriarty

Aileen Moriarty was a nurse, who served alongside Molly Evans and Clarice Molloy at the Queen Alexandra Hospital at Dunkirk, 1917-1918. Her father Arthur Stephen Moriarty, an Indian Civil servant, had died in 1900 when she was five. The Moriartys were Oxford educated, half Irish, born in France and Catholic. Aileen’s uncle, Louis Martin Moriarty (1855-1930) was French master at Harrow School and seemingly the only teacher who Winston Churchill got on with! Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 March 2021 by JJ Morgan

Mary Elizabeth Lloyd (née Edginton)

Mary Edginton was the youngest daughter of Robert William Edginton, an Edgbaston Doctor and Elizabeth Baker Showell, his wife. She was born on 10 Jul 1890 and married Ernest Robert Vivian Lloyd in 1918.  She was a first cousin to Noel Downing. Both their mothers were daughters of the brewer Walter Showell. Continue reading →
Last updated on 26 September 2023 by JJ Morgan

Allen Basil Bratton

Allen Basil Bratton was born in Shrewsbury in 1890 the son of Doctor James Allen Bratton. His father died when he was 3. Continue reading →
Last updated on 30 September 2019 by JJ Morgan

Molly uncovers the news of her brother’s death

Captain Charles Wilmot Evans of the 6th South Staffordshires was killed on 1 Jul 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At the time, his sister Molly Evans was working at the No 2 General hospital in Le Havre. Below are extracts from her diary that chronicle how she found out the news and how it affected those around her. It contrasts with the account of this very same episode narrated in Alan MacDonald’s Book, “Lack of Offensive Spirit” which is based on the records of her letters to the War Office. Continue reading →
Last updated on 25 January 2020 by JJ Morgan

Marriage proposal in Boulogne, 17 Mar 1918

Molly Evans had been working in the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk from Sep 1917 and had returned to England on 28 Feb 1918 for two weeks leave to her parents in Hagley, Worcestershire. According to her diary, the two weeks after her return to France, were the most memorable experiences of her life. Molly writes extensively about the bombardment and evacuation of the hospital on the night of 23 Mar 1918, but the whole week of her return to the hospital covered the full range and intensity of experiences of being in a war. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 August 2019 by JJ Morgan

The Hatton Family of Hagley House

The family of George Hatton moved into Hagley House in about 1912. Hagley House was a large Georgian building on the corner of the Birmingham and Stourbridge Roads. The previous occupant recorded in the 1911 census was Henrietta Moore, the grandmother of Hal Barlow. Henrietta’s husband Joseph Moore, a brick manufacturer, had died there in 1901. Continue reading →
Last updated on 17 January 2024 by JJ Morgan

Hospital Evacuation under Fire, Dunkirk, Mar 1918

The following is a narrative account from the diary of Molly Evans, a VAD nurse in the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk. She had returned from leave on 17 Mar and the three days from 20 to 23 March 1918 were the worst experienced so far. She wrote up a special piece in the diary to describe it, starting on the evening of 20 Mar 1918. Continue reading →
Last updated on 7 March 2019 by JJ Morgan

Rachel Eveline Wilson

Rachel Wilson was born on 19 Dec 1894 to a wealthy Quaker family in Kidderminster. After the outbreak of the First World War, she trained as a nurse and eventually joined the Queen Alexandra Hospital run by the Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU) in Dunkirk in 1917. She became a close friend of Molly Evans. Continue reading →
Last updated on 15 January 2021 by JJ Morgan

Elizabeth Hardy

Elizabeth Hardy was born on 5 Jun 1889, the only daughter of Rev Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC  Before 1914 she worked as a schoolmistress, having obtained a degree from London University. After war broke out, she trained with the Red Cross in London and later joined the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk on 7 Feb 1917. She became a life-long friend of Molly Evans. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 March 2021 by JJ Morgan

Future Officers, 4th Public Schools Battalion

The 4th Public Schools Battalion, 21st Royal Fusiliers, did not land in France until Nov 1915, approximately one year after they first gathered in Ashtead, Surrey as newly enlisted recruits. We have pieced together from the photos in Noel Downing‘s (PS/2581) collection, the names and identities of some of his comrades in arms.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 18 July 2020 by JJ Morgan