A Wave of Gratitude for the Forgotten Women of the Great War in Wandsworth

Women from around the British Isles are to be commemorated in a nationwide Wave of Gratitude, starting in August and concluding on Armistice Day, 11 November.

Do you know of a local woman whose contribution to the First World War deserves to be remembered?

ABC Selfstore is looking for women in Wandsworth whose stories may have been lost to history. The most inspiring will be celebrated on an enormous banner hung from the company’s prominent 44,000 sq ft self storage facility on Garratt Lane, next to King George’s Park.

Part of The Royal British Legion’s ‘Thank You’ campaign to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, self storage managers from Belfast to Bournemouth, Cardiff to Chepstow, and Glasgow to Guildford, have joined together to highlight women’s involvement in the war in a wave of gratitude destined to sweep the nation. The campaign will last for 100 days, each day representing a year since the end of hostilities.

Said David Milton, director of ABC Selfstore: “Both of my grandfathers served in the trenches in the First World War and were lucky to survive. They each suffered as a result of their experiences with lungs damaged by mustard gas and a lost left arm for William my maternal grandfather. The impact on their wives and families was no less dramatic, though much less obvious to the naked eye. William often spoke of the support he received from his then fiancée, recalling how she took on a job to assist the war effort at home, and provided him with the mental support he needed to adjust back to civilian family life after the terrors of the war. He received the medals and attention (which he neither wanted nor liked). However, he always said he thought my grandmother and those like her made a huge contribution and yet never got the recognition. I am delighted that this initiative is helping to celebrate the forgotten women of the war and I know my grandfather would be as well.”

Said Emma Chesterton Kay, Board Member of the SSA UK: “It is no secret that women formed the backbone of the war effort during the 1914-18 Great War. From making ammunition to serving at The Front, their courage, determination and resilience kept together a nation torn apart by war. We hope that this initiative will acknowledge and celebrate the lives of these extraordinary women.”

Said Catherine Davies, Head of Remembrance at The Royal British Legion: “One of our key ambitions this year is to highlight the contribution of the whole First World War generation. Women played an utterly essential role in the war effort, seizing the opportunity to prove their worth and take another step towards getting the vote. Each and every one of them deserves our thanks.”

All nominations should be sent to WomenWeThank@ssauk.com  #WomenWeThank

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