Disley WI Commemorates the Forgotten Women of WW1

When Disley Women’s Institute member, Sue Boothby, learned that not a single poppy in the “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” installation at the Tower of London in 2014 was in commemoration of a woman she set out to put things right.

Paul Cummins and Tom Piper’s display of 888,426 ceramic poppies was undeniable poignant and a fitting dedication to the fallen British and Colonial soldiers of the First World War, however the number provided to them by the War Graves Commission excluded any female casualties.

Disley WI wanted to remember and commemorate these forgotten women and so set out to try to find out how many women lost their lives in service.

This was not an easy task – the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) does maintain a database of casualties of the First World War however they acknowledged this could contain inaccuracies due to omissions in original information provided by the Military Authorities, or gaps as a result of computerisation and scanning of original texts. Their list also only included women who died whilst serving with, or attached to, a Commonwealth force.

This meant that women who died whilst working in a civilian capacity, such as ambulance drivers, munitions workers, spies, linguists etc, were not included. It was quickly realised the real number of female casualties will never be known.

Disley WI resolved to create a fitting memorial to commemorate these overlooked women. The CWGC were able to identify 818 individual women in the UK, and so members decided to craft a unique poppy for each named individual. An additional poppy was created for Edith Cavell, who made a significant contribution to saving the lives of soldiers from both sides but was not included on the CWGC list as she was in occupied Belgium in WW1. Finally, a special black poppy was made to commemorate all the civilian casualties that were not recorded.

All 820 poppies will be on display at Disley’s Fountain Square on Sunday 11th November, with Disley’s annual Armistice Day Service taking place at the adjacent War Memorial at 11am.

Disley WI hope this will be a fitting commemoration to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the women of WW1.

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September 2018

The September meeting was also the 8th anniversary of the first Disley WI meeting – we had a sublime cake made by Sarah S – many thanks!

The speaker was David Hanson who talked about his professional life and how he came to write the book ‘Children of the Mill: True Stories From Quarry Bank’

Also, in September:

  • The Lunch Club went to The Clink at Styal Prison
  • The Thursday Book Club read Love and Mr Lewisham by H.G Wells 
  • Members went to the History Wardrobe presentation “We Love Laura” at Bollington Art Centre

 

Summer Fair 2018

Our second annual summer party was given a tropical makeover this year!

35 members and 5 prospective members joined in the fun and games of our Hawaiian Luau.
We made our own leis, gave each other golden temporary tattoos and tested our general knowledge with two quizzes.
Those more wanting a physical challenge played Coconut Bowling, Feed The Shark and Limbo dancing!
Members chose a Desert Island Book and enjoyed delicious refreshments whilst listening to tropical tunes.
Everyone had a brilliant time and can’t wait to do it all again next year!!

Disley Show 2018

The sun shone on Disley WI on Saturday for their jaunt at the Disley & Lyme Horticultural Show.

The WI and TG Challenge Trophy was hotly contested, with 6 teams all competing to stage the best display themed on “A Day at the Seaside”. The standard of all entries was very high but the talented ladies of Disley WI pulled it out of the bag and won FIRST PRIZE for the third year in a row!!
Congrats to all involved – a superb effort all round. 
We also hosted a WI Information Stand at the show, to promote all local WIs, raise awareness and dispel some of those ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ myths. This was a resounding success, leading to large interest from prospective members, some of whom have already visited us!
Thank you to everyone who helped on the day and who loaned us kit – the pebble painting was hugely popular and everyone who came said what a great idea it was.
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July 2018

A hot and sunny July included many WI activities ….

At the monthly meeting Terri Owen demonstrated the ancient art of Tai Chi

There was a Pasty Bake Off and poem choosing for Disley Show – our fantastic cook and baker, Maggie S, won the pasty bake off, and also proved herself to be a poet by winning the poem competition

The craft club made rag brooches

Several of our members were involved in this year’s Disley Great Get Together 

The book clubs read ‘Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ by Maggie O’Farrell and ‘Victorious Century’ by David Cannadine – a sparkling history of 19th-century Britain

There were various outings:

Agatha Christie’s Love From A Stranger at the Lowry

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein – at the buxton international festival.

Foodie Friday in Stockport Old Town =- a hugely popular street food event taking place between 6pm and 9pm at Stockport Market Place on the last Friday of every month.

Drinking Horns at the Ready – A pub tour in Manchester Beer Week uncovering the weird and whacky drinking past and rituals of Manchester’s historical secret drinking clubs. 

Lunch at The Clink at Styal Prison

County Walk – ‘Bridgewater Canal and Norton Priory’