More than 80 percent of the c.60,000 First War Army Service records for women who served between 1917-1921 were completely lost when their archive was later damaged in a German bombing raid on London in the 1940s. The number of surviving records for Irish-born women who served with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later Queen Mary’s Army Corps) consequently only totals just over 500 names – mostly those of lower ranking young women and, sadly, the memory of the contribution they had made in the First World War continues to be in danger of being completely sidelined and forgotten – not only by the historical record and knowledge of the general public – but even by their own descendents to-day. It is a topic that local history and / or family history societies can help to redress.
Drawn from every level of society and from every creed and background, these ladies had come forward from all 32 counties of Ireland to offer skills at every level of ability in addition to high-tech expertise in key areas such as the telecommunication networks in France (telegraph and telephone) which linked frontline battlefields to Army Bases.
Listed here are the women from Tipperary who served with the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps as researched and provided by author and historian Barbara Walsh.
Members of Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps wear steel helmets while in trenches constructed for shelter in the event of an aerial attack at Rouen, France, on 18 June 1918.
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|Name||Birthplace and Address||DOB & address in 1917 if different||Religion||Civilian Profession||Military Profession||Applied||Service dates||Where served and post war||Army No||Category||Notes|
|FLEMING, Margaret||Whitechurch, Carrick-on-Suir||1/08/1880 (Note age)||RC||Waitress||May 1917 Joined in Manchester||Sept 1917 to Sept 1919||Postings are missing , but listed in file for Jessica Wilbank re. departures ex. Ballykinlar||16402||B|
|DELANEY, Annie||Dublin Road, Nenagh||15/07/1895 5, Murray’s Cottages Inchicore, Dublin||RC||Waitress / promoted to Clerk||Oct 1917||Feb 1918 to Oct 1919||Bostall Heath, Dublin and Cork||32818||A||Sought Free Passage to Vancouver Canada in Nov.1919|
|DOUGHERTY, Alice||Co. Tipperary||20/10/1899 Castle Caulfield, Co. Tyrone /also Newton Hall, Chester||C of E||Father a gardener||Housemaid||Jan 1918 Joined in Manchester||Mar 1918 to Apr/May 1919||Chadderton, and Bostall Heath||35538||B|
|KELLY, Margaret||Ballingarry, Thurles||7/09/1898||RC||Domestic Servant Father a Porter||Waitress||Feb 1918 Joined in Bristol||April 1918 to May 1919||Remount Depot at Shirehampton in Bristol||36613||B||Fined for AWOL|
|RYAN, Kathleen Mary||Towns Parke, Cahir||30/05/1898||RC||Some missing records Father a Labourer||Cook||April 1918 Joined in Manchester||June 1918 to (Oct? 1919)||Chadderton, Bostall Heath, Larkhill, Woolwich||39299||B|
|MALCOMSON, Susan||Co. Tipperary||15/04/1888 (Note age) 4, London Rd., Bexhill on Sea||C of E||Waitress||March 1917?||May 1918 to Aug 1918||Abbeville||39480||B||Discharged for misconduct|
|BYRNE, Celia Mary||Clonmel. Central Hotel, 46/47 Gladstone Street, Clonmel||29/09/ 1898 Highbury, London (work)||RC||Temp Clerk in Ministry of Munitions Father a deceased Chemist/pharmacist||Forewoman Clerk||Apr 1918 In London||May 1918 to Jan 1920||Havre, Camiers and Wimereaux||39500||A||Received official equivalent of a ‘Mentioned in despatches’. Seems to be attached to American Expeditionary Force in France|
|KENNEDY, Frances||Rathcabbin||10/06/1897 Sydney Avenue, Blackrock, Co.Dublin (workplace) and Lelagh Cottage, Graige, Birr, King’s County (Offaly)||RC||Housemaid and cook Father a police pensioner||Waitress||Jan 1918||June 1918 to ?||No record of postings May not have served||42092||B||Record missing|
|KENNEDY, Mabel Catherine||New Street, Carrick||8/04/1896||RC||Clerk, French speaker Father a Clerk of Petty Sessions||General Clerk||Sept 1918||Nov 1918 to Jan 1919||Probably Dublin (postings missing)||52803||A|
|McBETH, Florence||Main Street, Templemore||11/11/1899||C of E||Shorthand/ typist||Oct 1917||Sept 1918 to Feb / or June 1919||Bombing School Templemore (Letters re. discharge date and dole entitlements)||52883||A|
Work was categorised into separate sections:
A = office clerks; B = catering / cleaning; E = Telephone & Postal Services /Lines of Communication; C = Drivers; D = Unskilled; F = Miscellaneous; G =Technical. The higher ranking officers (the Officials /Administrators) are marked in the chart as: Off/l.
Irish author and historian Barbara Walsh has written a wonderful account of their experiences. Irish Servicewomen in the Great War: From Western Front to Roaring Twenties (Pen & Sword Books, Yorkshire and Philadelphia, 2020). When the call went out in 1917 for volunteers willing to serve both at home and on the Western Front in a newly founded Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, young women from every province of Ireland responded just as eagerly as those from homes in Scotland, England and Wales.
|newid||Surname||Forename||Rank||Serial No||Regiment or Service||Residence||Date of Death||Died||Location||Unit||Age||Born||Enlisted||Next of Kin||Cemetery||Grave or Memorial||Notes||Newspapers Books etc|
|2||Abbott||Alfred A||Company Sergeant Major||8076||Royal Scots Fusiliers||Bruff, County Limerick||18/01/1915||Died of wounds||Limerick||2nd Battalion||Aldershot, Hampshire||Templemore, County Tipperary||Brother of W.H.Abbott (Bandmaster), of 25, Roseneath Place, Edinburgh.||Lillers Communal Cemetery, France.||II.A. 2.|
|3||Abbott||Charles Thomas||Company Quartermaster Sergeant||5808||Royal Irish Regiment||Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary||24/05/1915||Killed in action||Tipperary, Waterford||2nd Battalion||Secunderabad, East India||Birr||Son of the late H. G. Abbott; husband of Margaret Helen Abbott, of 9, The Terrace, Tramore, Co. Waterford. See F. R. Gorbey, his brother-in-law, also killed in action.||Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.||Panel 33||De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour; Abbott, Charles Thomas, Company Quartermaster Sergeant, No 5080(sic), B Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment. Son of Graves Abbott, Sergeant, 1st Battalion, Royal Scottish Fusiliers. Born in Secunderabad, India, 13th September, 1881. Enlisted 15th April-1896. Served in the South African War (Medal with clasps), in India and with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders. Killed in action 24 May-1915. He married at Karachi, 9th December-1908, Margaret Helen, daughter of John William Gorbey of Carrick-on-Suir and had a son and two daughters; Henry Graves, born Agra, 17th November-1910. Agnes May, born Agra, 2nd October-1909; and Ellen Rewa, born on the troopship ‘RIWA’ in the Bay of Biscay, 26th December-1911. Sergeant Abbott’s brother-in-law, Corporal Frank R Gorbey, D. C. M. , was killed in action 23 April-1915.|
|4||Abbott||Duncan William Sidney Elphinstone||Captain||York and Lancaster Regiment||26/09/1915||Killed in action||Cork||10th Battalion||36||Oakwood, Rochestown, County Cork||Loos Memorial, France.||105 and 106||De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 2.-1; Abbott, Duncan William Sydney Elphinstone, Captain, 10th (Service) battalion, The York and Lancaster Regiment, 3rd son of the late Major Duncan Dunbar Abbott, of Rockenham, County Cork. Born at Oakwood, Rochestown, County Cork, 23 July, 1879. Educated at Rosscarbery College, County Cork. Gazetted Lieutenant, 5th (Militia) Battalion, The Royal Munster Fusiliers in 1897, and served in the South African War of 1900-02 (Medal). Shortly after the outbreak of war in 1914 he was gazetted temporary Captain 17th October, 1914; went to France with his regiment 10th September, 1915, and was killed in action 26 following while leading his company at the Battle of Loos. Buried at Loos. His Commanding Officer wrote;”He died leading his men bravely and wonderfully, and all the men and his brother officers feel his loss very keenly.” The Adjutant; “I last saw my dear chum in a trench where he had been carried…We have indeed lost a brave leader.” The men of his company, wrote that they felt that with him at their head they could anything, and would have followed him anywhere. He married at St Mary’s Church, Finchly, London, N., 6 February, 1915, Florence (Church End, Finchley), only daughter of the late Henry Cooper. Irish Independent; Captain Duncan W Abbott was the third son of the late Major Duncan D Abbott, Passage West, County Cork. He was attached to the York and Lancaster Regiment. Irish Independent; Captain D W S E Abbott, York and Lancaster regiment, killed in France on Sept 26, was the third son of the late Major Abbott, of Rockenham, County Cork. Cork Examiner. 07/10/1915. 1725. Abbott-Killed in action in France, leading his men, on Sunday, September 26th, 1915, Captain Duncan William Sydney Elphinstone, York and Lancaster Regiment (10th Service Battalion) third son of the late Major Duncan Dunbar Abbott, and Mrs Dunbar Abbott, of Rockenham, Passage West, County Cork.|
|5||Abbott||Frederick James||Lance Corporal||8598||Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders||25/09/1914||Killed in action||King's County/Offaly, Queen's County/Laois||1st Battalion||Birr, Queen's County||Dublin||La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, France.||Name listed as Abbott (Commonwealth War Graves Commission.) Abbot (Soldiers Died In The Great War) . Formerly he was a Lance Corporal with the Royal Scots Fusiliers where his number was 8186|
|6||Abbott||John||Private||19603||Gloucestershire Regiment||Waterford||07/06/1917||Killed in action||Cork, Waterford||8th Service Battalion||Waterford, County Cork||St Paul's Churchyard, London||Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.||22 and 34|
|7||Abbott||John Arthur||Private||CH/11488||Royal Marine Light Infantry||25/01/1917||Death certificate- On the night of 25th, or morning of 26th January, on the high seas. Died from shock and exposure. Body found by S.U(?). O. Buncrana who caused the body to be buried. Death registered on 10/02/1917, by Registrar James McCormick.||Donegal||H.M.S. "Laurentic"||35||Barnwell, Cambridge||Son of Alexander and Jane E Abbott, 19, Fletcher Road, Acron Green, Chiswick, W. Born at Cambridge. Previously served 12 years in R.M.LI., rejoined in 1914.||Upper Fahan (St Mura’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Donegal.||D.O.B. 30/12/1881.|
|8||Abbott||Lionel Albert||Petty Officer Stoker||300401||Royal Navy||23/03/1917||Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action.||Clare, Galway||H.M.S. "Laforey."||33||Kilrush, County Galway||Son of the late Samuel and Jane Abbott, of 49, Stafford Road, Bow, London; husband of Julia Abbott, of 1 Bank Terrace, Branscombe, Beer, Devon, address later changed to 5 Bond Street, Yepvil, Somerset.||Chatham Naval Memorial, U.K.||23||D.O.B. 25/01/1883. Born in Kilrush, County Galway-pre war records when he was with the Rifle Brigade and the Navy. Born Clare-1911 Census in Yeovil, Somerset.|
|9||Abbott||Michael||Private||7595||Connaught Rangers||Lecarrow, County Roscommon||21/12/1914||Killed in action||Roscommon, Westmeath||A Company, 2nd Battalion||53||Athlone, County Westmeath||Athlone, County Westmeath||Son of the late Thomas and Margaret Abbott, of Toberdan, Lecarrow; husband of Mary Anne Abbott, of Galeybeg, Lecarrow, Roscommon.||Le Touret Memorial, France.||43||Freeman’s Journal, 18/05/1915. Killed in Action.-Official intelligence was received in Athlone yesterday of the death in action of Terence Quinn and John Lyons, Irishtown, Athlone, and J(sic) Abbott of Lecarrow. Deceased were soldiers in the Connaughts.|
|10||Abbott||Robert||Private||F 28147||Army Service Corps||7 Leslie's Building, Phibsboro, Dublin||09/04/1917||Died of rheumatism at North Dublin Union.||Dublin||35||Dublin City||Son of Alfred and Martha Abbott, 7 Leslie's Buildings, Dublin.||Glasnevin (or Prospect) Cemetery, Dublin.||St. Bridget's. DK. 319.||Served under the alias Costello. Pre-war occupation-Painter.|
|11||Abbott||Vivian Hartley Church||Private||646187||Canadian Infantry||Kildare-1901 Census, address on enlistment Mission City, B.C.||21/08/1917||Kildare, Tyrone||D Company, 29th Battalion||34||Tyrone||Vancouver, B.C.||Son of the Venerable the late Archdeacon of Clogher, Ireland, and his wife, the late Charlotte E. Church; husband of Eleanor Bell Abbott (nee Riddell), of 51, Myrtlefield Park, Belfast, Ireland (wifes address-Mission City on his enlistment document). Served in South Africa||Vimy Memorial||DOB 05/10/1881. Occupation-Surveyors Chainman. Update from Dennis Burke, 24/03/2022-Canada War Graves Registers-Previously reported wounded and missing, now for official purposes presumed to have died. Battalion engaged in severe fighting in Lens Sector, Approx. area of operations, N.13.B. and N.14.A. Sht. 36c. S.W.|
|Surname||Forename||Rank||Serial No||Regiment or Service||Residence||Date of Death||Died||Born||Enlisted||Cemetery|