Personal Stories | The Royal Mint

Read personal stories of war as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

 

Imperial War Museums (IWM)

A Young and Brave Volunteer
Bertha ‘Betty’ Stevenson was born in York at the end of the nineteenth century. Her family supported the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and through it volunteered to help their country at war. From 1916 she worked for the YMCA in France, first in the canteen huts and then in the more dangerous role of driver. 

Read Betty’s Story

Artist at the Front
David Bomberg was an emerging artist linked to the Vorticist group when he joined the army in 1915. He was sent to the front as a military engineer but towards the end of the war his artistic ability was called upon as he was commissioned to create a work to memorialise an extraordinary tunnelling project.

Read About David Bomberg

For King and Country
Eric Heaton enlisted aged 18 at the outbreak of war and was commissioned a second lieutenant the following year. On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and in his first combat action, he led the men of 9 Platoon in an attack.

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A Heroine of War
Flora Sandes, born in 1876, was the first, and only, British woman to officially serve in the First World War as a soldier. The daughter of a Yorkshire clergyman, she was fearless and valiant and rose through the ranks of the Serbian army to become a Sergeant Major by the end of the war. 

Find out About Flora Sandes

A Lady and a Nurse
Lady Lever was one of many well-off women who volunteered as a nurse during the First World War. When her husband, Sir Arthur Levy Lever, was called to serve as an officer in the Army she offered to nurse injured military personnel on home soil, where she remained. Despite being a long way from the front it was not without risk.

Read Lady Lever’s Story

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