Sunday, 12 November 2017

Remembering the Women of War


My Gran, as I remember her, holding me at my Christening.
War is awful. Fact. And today we remember the soldiers who fought in the many wars, and kept our country, our country,(in the most part) democratic, multicultural, accepting and beautiful.
But today I want to talk about two women in my family who did other things to support the war effort.
My Gran, before she was married was a nurse during WW1. I know she worked with the wounded soldiers, because of this, see below.

I found this hand written note when clearing out my Mum's house, it's just on a scrap of paper, but how lovely that the wounded soldiers  appreciated her enough to write it.
I can't imagine what my Gran saw during WW1, but I know she must of done a good job.
She was a strong practical woman who was always smiling and always had time for you, perfect for the job of nurse. I am incredibly proud of her. She never mentioned her work during the war when she was alive, and my Mum, didn't either so I don't know how it affected her. I wish I'd known, when she was alive, what she did during the war, so I could talk to her about it, but I was a child when she died.
I can't find an earlier picture than this, it is about 10 years after WW1
My fathers two single sisters were 'encouraged' to go to dances to raise the morale of the Canadian soldiers who where stationed near by during WW2. I have the tickets my Aunts kept. From what I have heard, these were very 'jolly' affairs and they both enjoyed it.

One of the sisters, Monica, fell in love with one of these soldiers.
After this, the information is hazy as people didn't talk about emotions then.
Something went wrong, maybe he was stationed somewhere else, maybe he was sent to the front, maybe he died. I don't know.

She became very upset, suicidal. She tried to throw herself in the river.

As a result, she was hospitalised, and treated with electric shock therapy. She may have had a lobotomy, I'm not sure.
Monica, before she was hospitalised


She was never quite right after that, she never married, and was not allowed to be left alone with my brother and I when we were small.

She lived with her mother until her mother died and then in sheltered accommodation, and died alone, a couple of years after that.

She was a victim of the war.


Monica, after she was hospitalised.
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