Women and the Home Front

Women new jobs, nursing, fund raising and keeping the family together

Women at home working for the War effort

As reported in the Market Rasen Mail in 1917. For some time, Market Rasen boasted of lady postmen, a lady sweep, a lady busman and a lady vanman. Two lady road sweepers Miss Castle and Mrs Parish started work last Thursday. Two men declined to continue working but the newspaper does not make it clear if it was because of the two women sweepers or the fact that there was a new foreman Mr Marshall.

The Market Rasen Mail during the war does not listed all the women who helped in the war effort.

Miss Camsell, Mrs Barton and Miss Barton -POWs parcels and sailors comfort Christmas parcels.

Miss Honneyman-parcels to Belgian soldiers.

Mrs Codd, Mrs Footitt-Red Cross sales.

Miss Cooper, Mrs Smith, Mrs Topliss, Miss Wright, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Padley, Mrs Croft- Egg collections

Fund raising/ Flag days

Mrs Bee, Mrs Glew, Mrs Honneyman, Mrs Monk, Mrs Payne, Mrs Robinson, Mrs Harns, Mrs Smith, Mrs Strickland, Mrs Timms, Miss Robinson, and Miss Timms.

Market Rasen Women were involved in the running of the town before war was declared as seen in the 1913 Kelly’s trade directory.

Women are listed in their own right as Professionals-Nurses and Teachers.

Shopkeepers and own business- general dealers and dressmakers. Innkeepers- Red Lion and White Hart Hotel have women landladies.

It does not include all the women who were helping in the family business or on the farm. As the men went to war they filled in and continued without any fanfare!

Several of the ladies were on Market Rasen Urban Council committees. There was a Ladies’ Visiting Committee.  Also, the Choral Society and MR Amateur Operatic Society had female pianists and committee members. Willoughby Tennis Club had 9 female Vice-Presidents and the Hockey Club had a female team in 1914.

Market Rasen Mail Roll of Honour 1918

Listed the women away on war duty.

Nurse P Dixon, Auxiliary Military Hospital Manchester

Sister Elfrida Honneyman, Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot

Nurse Winifred Page, 4th Northern Hospital, Lincoln

Sister A Taylor, Lincoln Military Hospital

Not listed was Nurse Nellie Canty, Mayo Hospital, India and Nurse Rawlinson

Mrs H Shaw was listed as being with the Women’s Legion with Machine Gun Corps.

The Women’s Legion. Launched in July 1915 by the Marchioness of Londonderry, the Women’s Legion became the largest entirely voluntary body. Although it was not formally under Government control or part of the army, in the spirit of the times its members adopted a military-style organisation and uniform. The WL volunteers became involved in many forms of work, including cooking and catering for the army in England. The success of the WL was a definite factor in influencing the Government to organise female labour in the latter half of the war. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/women-and-the-british-army-in-the-first-world-war/

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Nurse Constance (Nellie) Canty. She was born 12th December 1887, in India, father was in the Army. She moved to Lincolnshire with the family. The 1911 census, she is in Claxby with Grandmother and Aunts. January 1915-May 1917, she trained and worked at Guy’s hospital London. Sister Canty left for Mayo Hospital, Lahore, India. Nellie married Edward A Smedley in Lahore on 30th April 1921. They had one son John (born in 1923 and who emigrated to Canada), there are records of her travelling back to England several times. Nellie died in Stamford in 1967, she had been widowed in 1956. Edward was a newspaper manager and died in the Royal Sussex hospital, Brighton in 1956.

Sister Elfrida Honneyman, Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot. Elfrida was born in York in 1888. 1911 census, she is listed as a hospital Nurse at Poplar Hospital, London. Her father and stepmother are living with 2 of her sisters at the Elms, Market Rasen. Elfrida’s brothers Edgar and William had emigrated to Canada. She returns to Market Rasen in 1914. Her brother Edgar was killed in action in 1916. 1918, Sister Honneyman was working Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot. 1928, Elfrida married Rev EHJ Hutchins in Leeds. In 1931 they move to the Vicarage in Middle Rasen. Elfrida gives up nursing. 1939, living in Gainsborough Road, Middle Rasen. She died in 1990.

Nurse Winifred Page, 4th Northern Hospital, Lincoln. Winifred was born in Market Rasen in 1895. 1911 census, she is listed as a Nursemaid, living in George Street. 1917, her brother Frederick John Page is killed in action. 1918 May-December, she is working at the 4th Northern Hospital, Lincoln. She is sent to Stoke War Hospital, Newcastle, Staffs until March 1919. 1939, she is a private nurse in Kensington. 1958, Winifred died in George Street, Market Rasen.

Miss Elise M Camsell 1887-1945. 1911 census, Elise is an assistant confectioner. She lives at 30 Union Street with her parents. 1914-1919 she works with the POWs fund. 1919, 25th August she married George Hubbert in Market Rasen. 1939 census, George, Elise and their child are in Mill Lane. George is Master Saddler. 1945, 9th February, she died in Lincoln Hospital.

Mrs Alice Honneyman 1862-1925. Alice married John W Honneyman in 1905. 1991 census, Alice, John and their daughters lived at The Elms, Market Rasen. He died in 1913. Alice worked with the other ladies of the town in fund raising during the war. 1925, she died.

Mrs Edith Croft 1875-1945. 1911 census, Mrs Edith Croft is with her husband William and 4 children. She is assisting husband in the business, baker and grocer at 16 Oxford Street. Edith worked with other ladies with the Egg collections. 1939, with her husband William in Chapman Street. 1945, died in Lammas Leas Road.