CVA’s Work during World War 1

Its 90 days till the centenary event at the town hall and everything is all ‘hands on deck’ preparing for the event. Research, planning and organising are all under way for the big event and we as students are finding it very interesting.

This week we have been down to the archives and the heritage centre finding out more about the past 100 years in Chester and have found it fascinating.Women Tram Conductoress ch4937

One particular image that we discovered was from 1914 and the start of WW1 and it a photograph of a tram conductress named Hilda Conway, this image captured our attention as it highlighted the change in society when the men left for war. The many jobs and roles women, who previously hadn’t worked, had to pick up in order to keep society running whilst the men where away.

This goes into the work the Chester Voluntary Action was established to fulfill with the aim of assisting the war effort. It was on the 7th August 1914 that the Prince of Wales called for a National Relief Fund and Chester responded with the creation of the Chester Council of Social Welfare, (CCoSW), the executive committee had been established on 12th August and the name adopted on the 28th September.

Throughout the war CCoSW took on the role of a care provider across the county in a number of roles such as Relief of Distress and Local War Pensions. They also opened a Children’s Day Nursery to provide facilities for mothers working in the munitions industry.

Cheshire Volunteer Regiment c04320

At the end of the war CCoSW carried on providing and took on a role in looking after Discharged Prisoners.

Many men had volunteered to join the military during the war and we have found some pictures that have been made available through Chester Archives of the local men of Chester going to war. Meanwhile during the war the city of Chester lost 771 of its citizens due to the war, meanwhile the rest of the country suffered around 1 million dead and a further 1.6 million injured due to the war.

Keep watching this space for more blog updates on the 100 day countdown.

From Leanne and Connor.

Men enlisting for WW1 c00711