TWO THREADS; ONE COUNTRY- HOW TO TELL THE STORY
OF THE CUMANN NA MBAN AND THE U.V.F NURSES WHEN LITTLE
ORIGINAL MATERIAL S...
 ‘Overshadowed by ‘mainstream’ constitutional
debates….Irishwomen in the early 20th century
have until recently….been ‘wr...
IRELAND AND ENGLAND BETWEEN 1910
- 1920
The 3rd Home Rule Crisis World War One 1914 -
1918
The ‘Suffrage’ Movement
THE ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE NURSING &
MEDICAL CORPS 1912 -1918.
Pictures © Quincey Dougan
Clifton Street Orange Hall Hospit...
THE U.V.F NURSESFormed in 1912 as an auxiliary to the Ulster
Volunteer Force. Their main role was to support
the U.V.F sh...
MILLBOROUGH ROBERTS LEWIS
& LISA MC CONNELL
Photos © lennonwylie.co.uk
& McConnell family.
Milborough Roberts Lewis
(known...
Picture showing Lisa McConnell’s wearing
her Nursing medal (circled in red) c 1912.
Picture kindly provided by the McConne...
MONICA DE WICHFELD
Monia de Wichfeld in Danish
court dress © Alt Om Histoire
Danske magazine
(L) ) Monica and Jørgen de Wi...
U.V.F NURSES ARTEFACTS
1. © Imperial War Museums,
London.
2. Lisa McConnell’s medal ©
Grand Orange Lodge of
Ireland archiv...
1.
3.
2.
 1. U.V.F Nurses armband, South Down
Division © Quincey Dougan.
 2. Tyrone U.V.F. Nurses in France, 1915. ©
Gre...
THE CUMANN NA MBAN 1912 - 1922
Lena Whelan © Michael
Purcell
Cumann na mBan lapel badge Kitty McLaughlin ©
irishvolunteers...
THE CUMANN NA MBAN
Formed in Dublin on 2nd April 1914 after a meeting
led by Kathleen Lane-O’Kelly. They were formed as
a...
CUMANN NA MBAN ARTEFACTS
1. 2. 3.
1. Cumann na mBan uniform ©
roddmyccorley.com.
2. Unknown Cumann na mBan
member © McGuin...
1. 2.
Programme of a ‘Grand Irish Concert’ in 1917 held
for the ‘Irish National Aid & Volunteer Dependent’s
Fund.
Handwrit...
CUMANN NA MBAN
MILITARY DRILL
A very rare photograph of
Cumann na mBan members at a
military drill.
This photo was taken...
DR. BRIGID LYONS-THORNTON
Dr. Brigid Lyons-Thornton, WT Cosgrave in Nice,
France in 1925 Photo © McGuinness Archive
Photo ...
DR. BRIGID LYONS-THORNTON
 Born into a Republican family from Roscommon in 1896. Her
father was unable to provide her wit...
KITTY MC LAUGHIN &
MARY SPRING-RICE
Photos ©
irishvolunteers.org,
irishistory.blogspot.co.uk
and reformation.org
 Kitty M...
TRAVELLING EXHIBITION
‘Kinder Transport’ travelling exhibition © The
Weiner Library, London.
 A ‘travelling’ exhibition c...
‘FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT’ : THE
BIRMINGHAM SUFFRAGETTES
Pictures ©
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fe
minismus & ‘Birmingham
Suff...
‘Fashions from the Home Front,’ study day in conjunction
with ‘Fashions from the Home Front’ exhibition @
Lotherton Hall, ...
‘Remembering the Future’ lecture series by the
Community Relations Council, 2012/13. Logo
© Community Relations Council NI...
‘LETTERS OF 1916’
PROJECT
Pictures © ‘Letters of 1916’ -
http://dh.tcd.ie/letters1916/
 Letters of 1916 aims to create a ...
‘WOMEN OF IRELAND 1912 – 1922 APP.’
UVF Nurse © 1914 -
1918.invisionzone.com
Cumann na mBan member
© irishhistorypodcast.i...
CONTACT ME
TWITTER: @NylonsAndAll
E-MAIL:
rachelsayers87@hotmail.co.uk
WEBSITE:
themuseumstandard.co.uk
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'How to tell the story of the Ulster Volunteer Nurses and the Cumann na mBan when such little original artefacts survive in the period 1910 to 1924.'

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'How to tell the story of the Ulster Volunteer Nurses and the Cumann na mBan when such little original artefacts survive in the period 1910 to 1924.'

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  • Slide 15 is NOT Cumann na mBan, it is UVF women drilling and was published in the Daily Record Glasgow
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'How to tell the story of the Ulster Volunteer Nurses and the Cumann na mBan when such little original artefacts survive in the period 1910 to 1924.'

  1. 1. TWO THREADS; ONE COUNTRY- HOW TO TELL THE STORY OF THE CUMANN NA MBAN AND THE U.V.F NURSES WHEN LITTLE ORIGINAL MATERIAL SURVIVES IN THE PERIOD 1912 – 1922. Rachel Sayers, Irish Museums Association Conference, Waterford, R.O.I, 21st Feb 2014.
  2. 2.  ‘Overshadowed by ‘mainstream’ constitutional debates….Irishwomen in the early 20th century have until recently….been ‘written out’ of our history…..’*  ‘Women’s history is fragmented….a shadow history of human beings whose existence has been shaped by the efforts and demands of others’* *HILL, MYRTLE DR, ‘RE-VISIONING THE PAST: FEMALE PERSPECTIVES 1910 -22, BELFAST, APRIL 2012. *JANEAWAY, ELIZABETH, ‘WOMEN: THEIR CHANGING ROLES, REFLECTIONS ON THE HISTORY OF WOMEN’, LONDON, 1993, P. 113
  3. 3. IRELAND AND ENGLAND BETWEEN 1910 - 1920 The 3rd Home Rule Crisis World War One 1914 - 1918 The ‘Suffrage’ Movement
  4. 4. THE ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE NURSING & MEDICAL CORPS 1912 -1918. Pictures © Quincey Dougan Clifton Street Orange Hall Hospital, Belfast c 1914 Sir Edward Carson inspecting Nurses c 1913/14
  5. 5. THE U.V.F NURSESFormed in 1912 as an auxiliary to the Ulster Volunteer Force. Their main role was to support the U.V.F should Civil War occur in Ireland. Though their main role was in Nursing, some nurses trained in military drills. This included using a rifle and participating in both the Larne & Donaghadee gun running's. Some ladies even smuggled rifles from England under their skirts! Many U.V.F Nurses went onto serve with the Red Cross in France in WW1 (1914-1918). They were in charge of a hospital near Lyons, France. This hospital was funded by the Ulster Unionist Women’s Council. Pictures © Quincey Dougan U.V.F Nurses rifle practice, Donegal. U.V.F Nurses & Doctors in Gilford, Co. Down.
  6. 6. MILLBOROUGH ROBERTS LEWIS & LISA MC CONNELL Photos © lennonwylie.co.uk & McConnell family. Milborough Roberts Lewis (known as Milly) who went on to serve in the, ‘Ulster Volunteer Medical and Nursing Corps,’ in the Great War. Nurse Milly Lewis lived in the Upper Newtownards road area of Belfast. Milly married the soldier she nursed in WW1. Unfortunately, Milly died very young in 1927 of Tuberculosis. Millborough Roberts Lewis Lisa McConnell was a U.V.F Nurse from Holywood, Co. Down. Lisa’s sister-in-law was also a nurse. Her father and husband were both in the U.V.F. A real family affair! It is unclear if Lisa went on to serve in WW1. However, she was awarded a medal for her nursing. This suggests she was a diligent and hard working nurse.Lisa McConnell
  7. 7. Picture showing Lisa McConnell’s wearing her Nursing medal (circled in red) c 1912. Picture kindly provided by the McConnell family. Lisa McConnell’s actual medal worn in the photograph taken (to the left) in Offices of R.J. McConnell & Co, Estate Agents c 1912.
  8. 8. MONICA DE WICHFELD Monia de Wichfeld in Danish court dress © Alt Om Histoire Danske magazine (L) ) Monica and Jørgen de Wichfeld (R) Varinka de Wichfeld-Muus.  Born Monica Massy-Beresford in 1894. Family were prominent landowners in Co. Fermanagh.  Participated in the U.V.F Larne gun running of 1914 as her father was a Co. Antrim commander.  Went on to serve as a Nurse in WW1 and married Jorgen de Wichfeld, a Danish aristocrat.  Was a member of the Danish resistance in WW2. Was caught by the Germans in 1943Sentenced to life imprisonment by the Germans and died of disease on Feb 27th 1945.  Inspired her daughter Varinka (pictured left) to join the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (F.A.N.Y) during WW2.
  9. 9. U.V.F NURSES ARTEFACTS 1. © Imperial War Museums, London. 2. Lisa McConnell’s medal © Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland archives. 3. © Great Belfast War Clippings. 1.. 2. 3.
  10. 10. 1. 3. 2.  1. U.V.F Nurses armband, South Down Division © Quincey Dougan.  2. Tyrone U.V.F. Nurses in France, 1915. © Great War Forum.  3. St. John's Ambulance, Detachment Portrush, Peace Day Procession the 26th July 1919 ©lennonwylie.co.uk
  11. 11. THE CUMANN NA MBAN 1912 - 1922 Lena Whelan © Michael Purcell Cumann na mBan lapel badge Kitty McLaughlin © irishvolunteers.org
  12. 12. THE CUMANN NA MBAN Formed in Dublin on 2nd April 1914 after a meeting led by Kathleen Lane-O’Kelly. They were formed as an attachment to the Irish Citizen Army. The ‘Inghinidhe na hÉireann’ (Daughters of Ireland) also merged with the Cumann na mBann in 1914. The primary aims of the organization was to , ‘advance the cause of Irish Liberty’ and to ‘organize Irishwomen in the furtherance of this cause.’ The Cumann na mBan are perhaps best known for their role in the Easter Rising of 1916. Most of the women worked as nurses, red cross workers, message couriers, gathered intelligence or found rations for the men whom were fighting. Eithne Coyle , Mae Burke and Linda Kearns © rootsweb.ancestry.com Cumann na mBan on parade c1914 – 1915.
  13. 13. CUMANN NA MBAN ARTEFACTS 1. 2. 3. 1. Cumann na mBan uniform © roddmyccorley.com. 2. Unknown Cumann na mBan member © McGuinness archive. 3. Cumann na mBan constitution © theeasterrising.eu
  14. 14. 1. 2. Programme of a ‘Grand Irish Concert’ in 1917 held for the ‘Irish National Aid & Volunteer Dependent’s Fund. Handwritten account on the activities of Cumann na mBan member Sorcha Mac Mahon. Wrote by her brother Brian Mac Mahon © Monaghan County Museum.
  15. 15. CUMANN NA MBAN MILITARY DRILL A very rare photograph of Cumann na mBan members at a military drill. This photo was taken at Brookfield, which is near Omagh, Co. Tyrone. One of only two photographs found of either the U.V.F. Nurses or Cumann na mBan members being drilled in military procedures or using military rifles. Photo © James Langton, irishvolunteers.org
  16. 16. DR. BRIGID LYONS-THORNTON Dr. Brigid Lyons-Thornton, WT Cosgrave in Nice, France in 1925 Photo © McGuinness Archive Photo © Mayo Historical & Archaeological Society (castlebar.ie)
  17. 17. DR. BRIGID LYONS-THORNTON  Born into a Republican family from Roscommon in 1896. Her father was unable to provide her with an education, so Brigid lived with her Uncle (Frank McGuinness) in Longford. He paid for her education until she went to Galway to study medicine in 1913.  Brigid was a member of the Cumann na mBan and participated in the Easter Rising of 1916. She used her medical skills to aid injured members of the Irish Citizen Army.  After Irish Independence in the early 1920’s, Brigid finished her studies and became the 1st female commissioned Officer in the Irish Army.  Brigid married Capt. Eddie Thornton of Toomore, Co. Mayo. Brigid then went on to dedicate her life to educating the poor on hygiene and disease. This was after she had contracted TB in 1925. Pictures © John Cowell in ‘A Noontide Blazing.’
  18. 18. KITTY MC LAUGHIN & MARY SPRING-RICE Photos © irishvolunteers.org, irishistory.blogspot.co.uk and reformation.org  Kitty McLaughlin was born in Dublin. She was renowned for her good looks- which she used to charm British soldiers giving up their weapons!  During the Civil War (1919 – 1922) Kitty hid men on the run and relieved drunk British soldiers of ammunition.  Kitty died in Dublin in the 1970’s.  Mary Spring- Rice, (facing away from the viewer), was born into the ‘Protestant Ascendancy’ in Limerick. She became involved in the Gaelic League and was a member of the Glin branch of the Cumann na mBan.  Mary raised funds and was involved in the Howth Gun Running of 1914.  She died at the age of 41 in 1924.
  19. 19. TRAVELLING EXHIBITION ‘Kinder Transport’ travelling exhibition © The Weiner Library, London.  A ‘travelling’ exhibition can be used in museums, heritage sites, community spaces, schools etc. Or it could be used in community & education out reach programmes.  One could be made on the U.V.F Nurses, Cumann na mBan, Suffragettes etc. for the decade of centenaries.  Can be expensive to produce but can last a long time and are good value for money i.e. using the exhibition in different venues would re-cost the money originally spent.  Could illustrate items belonging in private collections that people don’t want to donate to museums.
  20. 20. ‘FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT’ : THE BIRMINGHAM SUFFRAGETTES Pictures © http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fe minismus & ‘Birmingham Suffragettes’ project.  Premise of project was to educate young females in Birmingham on Suffragette activity in the city. It’s aim was also to bring two diverse cultures together i.e. Islam & Christianity.  Girls from two schools collaborated and researched to make a film called ‘Fight for the Right.’  They learnt how the Suffragettes fought for the freedom the young girls have to day.  Many female students came away with a sense of how important to ‘vote’ is and an interest in politics.
  21. 21. ‘Fashions from the Home Front,’ study day in conjunction with ‘Fashions from the Home Front’ exhibition @ Lotherton Hall, Leeds. © Leeds City Council. ‘Subversive Stitch,’ conference, V&A Museum, 29-30 Nov 2013. © V&A Museum, London
  22. 22. ‘Remembering the Future’ lecture series by the Community Relations Council, 2012/13. Logo © Community Relations Council NI. ‘Fashion and Conflict: Not living in Khaki,’ The Costume Society call for papers for study day Oct 2014. © The Costume Society.
  23. 23. ‘LETTERS OF 1916’ PROJECT Pictures © ‘Letters of 1916’ - http://dh.tcd.ie/letters1916/  Letters of 1916 aims to create a digital repository of letters from the ‘Easter Rising’ era. Letters are not limited to the Easter Rising but can include letters from WW1, personal letters, postcards etc.  Anybody can ‘transcribe’ the letters online. There are letters from museum and private collections. Thus revealing new information on the turbulent year that was 1916.  This project could be used as a model for the ‘problem’ of telling the story of Irish women between 1912 – 1922.
  24. 24. ‘WOMEN OF IRELAND 1912 – 1922 APP.’ UVF Nurse © 1914 - 1918.invisionzone.com Cumann na mBan member © irishhistorypodcast.ie  The app’s aim is to show that women of all classes and political beliefs played an important role in Ireland between 1912 – 1922.  This app brings together stories of places and cities associated with women across the island of Ireland.  It includes information on women involved in the Suffrage Movement, Unionism and Nationalism etc.  The app is downloadable from: http://www.ul.ie/wic/  The app hopes to have 5 points of interest for all 32 counties in Ireland. The app is still in development and seeking funding.  The app is a joint venture between Professor Mary O’Dowd, Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Benadette Whelan, University of Limerick.  The app is downloadable for both iPhone & Android devices.
  25. 25. CONTACT ME TWITTER: @NylonsAndAll E-MAIL: rachelsayers87@hotmail.co.uk WEBSITE: themuseumstandard.co.uk

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