Sunday 21 January 2018

Sunday WW1 Remembered...

Ordinary Lives of the First World War

It is possible to walk in any of our cemeteries  to discover a CWGC headstone from WW1. 

On a visit to Mellor, a small village in Lancashire, I discovered this Commonwealth War Grave in a quiet part of the graveyard of St Mary the Virgin church. The solitary headstone caught my eye and on further inspection I discovered that it was the grave of  a young nurse, something I have not seen before.

Mary Jennette Robins

Mary Jennette Robins, was an officer in the Royal Navy, in the Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNN ). When I searched online at the Imperial War Museum, Lives of the First World War website, I discovered that Mary was born in 1890 in Blackburn, Lancashire and that she sadly died of pneumonia on the 4th November 1918.

I discovered that Mary features on the Women of the Empire memorial in York Minster where the names of 1,400 women are commemorated and their names are inscribed on oak screens.

Mary Jennette Robins has no connection to me or my family and the only thing we have in common is that we were both nurses.

For every one of these quiet resting places, in graveyards up and down the country, there are so many stories to be told of ordinary lives lost and of families who forever mourned their loss.

It does no harm, if you come across any of these headstones, to stop and, in a moment of quiet reflection, acknowledge the sacrifices that were made over a hundred years ago. The least we can do is to remember what they did, and say thank you.

In this final year of my commemoration of the First World War, I am hoping to feature more stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.



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