Tag Archives: Gwendoline Mary Edwards

Gwendoline Edwards heads happily home from France WW1

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On Devoran Lane, not far from St Johns Church & Vicarage, pictured here c. 1905/6  is the Driffold Hotel listed on BBC Domesday reloaded

9th July 1917 – a young woman from Devoran finishes her service as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War and heads home to her village with a happy heart.

She must have seen some terrible sights during her nine months service overseas, seeing some of the human wreckage of the trenches. The Doctor’s daughter must have been relieved to see her home safely again.

On Devoran Lane, not far from St. John and St Petroc’s Church and Vicarage, is the Driffold, once a hotel, now known as Edwards Road.  The Driffold in Late Victorian times and into the Edwardian / First World War period was home to Doctor Philip Hugh Edwards family. It is still known as Edwards House, opposite the modern 1980s houses of Edwards Road.

An enquiry lodged with the BRCS archives for any further information on Gwendoline Mary Edwards elicited that VAD Cornwall 34 (34 might be her number or an area number) Gwendoline Edwards served as a 21 year old from 13 October 1916 as Rank G.S. (General Service?) Chauffeuse until 9 July 1917 (a week before her wedding). Particulars of duties: Motor Ambulance Driving in France.

VAD Cornwall 34 might be her number or an area number.

Gwendoline Layton Blunt (nee Edwards) British Red Cross Society record cards (Courtesy: BRCS archive )

Gwendoline Layton Blunt (nee Edwards) British Red Cross Society record cards (Courtesy: BRCS archive )

The reason for her happy return before the end of the war?

A week later 100 years ago on the 16th July 1917 Gwendoline was married and became Mrs Gwendoline Layton Blunt.

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Although we have failed to find a photo of the wedding or of Gwendoline so far, we have found  a duplicate of the certificate.

We will publish more about the wedding including press cuttings found by my fellow researcher Bob Richards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gwendoline Edwards drives off to war 13 October 1916

100 years ago this week on 13 October 1916, as the Somme battle raged on through its long 141 days,  Devoran doctor’s daughter Gwendoline Mary Edwards drove off to war in France with the British Red Cross. She  had been part of nursing with the VAD Voluntary Aid Detachment Cornwall district 34.

Her engagement for service overseas began on 13th October 1916 as a G.S. (General Service?) Chauffeuse, her duties being Motor Ambulance Driving in France.

GLB BRCS record

Gwendoline Layton Blunt (nee Edwards) British Red Cross Society record cards (Courtesy: BRCS archive )

What terrible things and what human wreckage this spirited young lady must have seen in France.

There is more about Gwendoline at https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/life-in-wartime-devoran-in-world-war-1/ and elsewhere in the Blog.

She left the Red Cross to marry an army officer Denzil Layton Blunt at Devoran Church in July 1917, and is likely to be the GLB responsible for producing the Devoran Roll of Honour (recently restored) which hangs in the Village Hall. She emigrated to Africa with Denzil and her children  and died there in Kenya in the late 1960s

We look forward to tracking down more about her including maybe one day  a photograph.

Postec by Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project.