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Appeal to find information on Sefton’s World War One heroines

Sefton’s Library Service are appealing for help to find information on nine local heroines of World War One.

As part of the Beyond The War Memorials Project, Sefton Libraries are creating a special tribute to the men and women who are honoured on war memorials across the borough.

Now the team behind the project are appealing to local historians, families and the wider community to find out more about the heroines who gave their lives for their country.

Andrew Farthing, Sefton Council’s Libraries Development Manager, said: “There are a number of women listed on Sefton’s civic war memorials but very little is known about them.

We want to highlight these brave ladies who gave their lives during World War One for the freedom from oppression that we enjoy today.

Throughout the Beyond The War Memorials project we’ve been compiling information and photos on our heroes and heroines but we need the public’s help in delving deeper into their background. Information and particularly photographs of these women have proved difficult to locate.

The information will go towards creating a massive online biography for most, if not all, the heroic Sefton residents who are listed on our Civic War Memorials.”

Anyone with any information about Sefton heroines of World War One is asked to email Lesley.davies@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 934 4920.

The nine women found listed so far on Sefton’s Civic War Memorials are:

Southport
Munitions worker Mary Jane Gartside-Tipping joined the Women’s Emergency Canteens Service in 1917 and served on the Western Front. Four months into her service she was shot in the head and killed by a deranged French soldier. She was posthumously awarded the Croix De Guerre and buried with full military honours. 

Sister Janet Lois Griffiths volunteered for active service at the outbreak of WW1 and served in Alexandria, Egypt. She narrowly avoided being killed when a medical lorry she was travelling in collided with a train. Sadly during the rescue operation to save her fellow nurses, Janet was killed.

Ainsdale
Delamere Road resident Stella Rose Boue-Blandy (1896-1919). At the outbreak of war, Stella joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service, serving in France, Egypt, and Palestine.

Seaforth & Waterloo
Stewardess Agnes B Hird of Woodland Road, Seaforth left behind two sons when, at the age of 40, she was presumed lost at sea with her ship, the SS Ava, having been sunk by Axis forces.

Waterloo resident Elizabeth Kennedy and Seaforth’s Florence Jones are also listed on the Waterloo memorial, however little is known about either heroine.

Bootle
Nurse May Wylie died at the age of 20 at a Military Hospital after serving faithfully with the Queen Mary Army Auxiliary Corps. She was given a military gun-carriage funeral at Anfield Cemetery.

Stewardesses Eleanor Dodwell and Christina Campbell-Rennie both served on the ill-fated RMS Lusitania which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915. Both their names are also inscribed on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.