Women’s stories from the First World War

The stories of nurses, munitions workers and mothers of soldiers are less well known than tales from the trenches, but they all played a vital role in the First World War and no commemoration is complete without them. Many of our special places have First World War connections.

Lady Jane Grey in her VAD nurses uniform at Stamford Military Hospital (Dunham Massey), Cheshire
Lady Jane Grey cared for injured soldiers at Stamford Military Hospital National Trust Images / Robert Thrift

An interview with Lady Jane 

Lady Jane of Dunham Massey, Cheshire, nursed wounded soldiers when her home became Stamford Hospital during the war.

1865 portrait of Ellen Terry, age 17, by Julia Margaret Cameron at Smallhythe Place, Kent
Ellen Terry's stage career spanned 64 years National Trust Images / John Hammond

The lucky letter case 

Actress Ellen Terry crossed paths with a First World War soldier. A memento of the story is still at Smallhythe, Kent.

Photograph of Eva White in her munitions uniform about 1917
Eva White in her uniform for Barnbow Munitions Factory George Hepworth

Forgotten heroines of Barnbow 

Eva White faced danger every day of her working life during the First World War. Read the story of this forgotten heroine.

Sir Henry and Lady Alda Hoare with their son, Henry on 4th October 1912 at Stourhead, Wiltshire
Sir Henry and Lady Alda Hoare with their son, Henry, who later died in battle National Trust Images

Sons who are soldiers 

Lady Alda Hoare of Stourhead, Wiltshire, felt a deep connection to recovering soldiers during the war and visited them at hospital regularly.

The East Front of Melford Hall, Suffolk
Stephanie was the only daughter of The Rev. Sir William and Lady Hyde Parker of Melford Hall, Suffolk National Trust Images / Rupert Truman

Secret scrapbook of a Red Cross nurse 

Stephanie Hyde Parker of Melford Hall was a débutante turned Red Cross nurse who recorded her experiences.