Women

Women

So far, we know of four Fife women who died while on active service in World War One, and one Glaswegian with strong ties to Fife who also gave her life.

Beatrice Victoria CAMPBELL, Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC), was the sixth daughter of John Campbell, a Fishmonger, and Annie Morgan Campbell. Her siblings were Margaret, Jeannie, Jessie, Annie, Robert, Mary and Archibald. The family lived at Eden View, Cupar.  For 18 months before enlisting at Gretna, Beatrice worked in the "Devil's Porridge" Munitions Factory in Gretna, helping to produce cordite for shells. When she joined the QMAAC, she was sent to France and had been at the Front only a few months when she was killed by an aerial torpedo on 30 May 1918. She was 20. Her headstone in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension in France reads "In remembrance of dear Beatrice, beloved of all who knew her". She is buried with eight other members of the QMAAC who were killed that same day. Beatrice is remembered on the Cupar War Memorial.

Elizabeth Sligh JOHNSTON was a telephonist with the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Born in Anstruther on 26 December 1890, she was the second daughter of Thomas William Johnston, a Sailmaker, and Margaret Gordon McQueen Johnston, of Viewforth, Pittenweem, Fife. Her siblings were Mary, Margaret, Thomas, Jessie, Christina and Winifred.Elizabeth was 27 when she died on Christmas Day 1918. She is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France.

Nursing Sister Louisa JORDAN was serving with the Scottish Women's Hospital in Serbia when she died of typhus on 6 March 1915, aged 36. Sister Jordan was born at Maryhill, Glasgow - the only daughter of Henry Jordan, a White Lead and Paint Mixer, and Helen Jordan, of 30 Kelvinside Avenue, Glasgow. Her siblings were David and Thomas. In 1901, she was employed as a Mantle maker. She had served as the District Nurse at Buckhaven, Fife before the war. She is buried in Chela Kula Military Cemetery. She is remembered on the Buckhaven War Memorial.

Winifred Mary Grace SMITH-SLIGO was a working as a mechanic and driver in the Army Service Corp when she contracted pneumonia and died on 6 November 1918 at Farnham in Surrey. She was just 18. She is buried in the Aldershot Military Cemetery in Hampshire. Winifred was the youngest daughter of Archibald Dominic Smith-Sligo, an Advocate, and Eliza Katherine Mary Smith-Sligo, of Inzievar Mansion, Oakley, Fife. Her siblings were Archibald George Roderick Joseph, Ronald William, Mary Lucy and Margaret Mary Christine. She had previously been a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse and had volunteered with the Women's Legion. This organisation was launched in 1915 by the Marchioness of Londonderry. This was the largest entirely voluntary women's organisation during the war and, although it was not formally under Government or military control, its members adopted a military-style organisation and uniform when they undertook their duties. Apparently the success of the Women's Legion encouraged the Government in its determination to organise female labour to replace men in the workforce.

Assistant Nurse Catherine Pratt MILLER, was born at Largo on 12 October 1889, the only daughter of James William Miller, a Country Postman, and Isabella Miller of North Feus, Upper Largo. Her sibling was John. In 1911, she was employed as a Post Office Assistant. She was working at the 1st Western General Hospital as part of the Territorial Force Nursing Service when she died on 24 December 1918, aged 30, and is buried in Dunfermline Cemetery.

QMAAC, Rouen, June 1918. Imperial War Museum Collection.