There will be a new name on the MVP awards for the Widnes Wild women’s team’s home games this season and, rather than being one of the players, it will be the name of a World War One Heroine!
The Wild’s Poet In Residence Lucy London is sponsoring the match awards and is using the opportunity to spread the word about Sarah MacNaughtan – who was quite well known prior to the First World War but is all but forgotten today.
Lucy explains the story behind this:
“Since 2012, I’ve been researching the role of women in the First World War for a series of commemorative exhibitions. Having commemorated the First World War all my life it was not until I began researching for this project that I began to discover what women accomplished before they were allowed to vote. Women served in many of the theatres of the conflict and many of them died or were killed. Yet there are many of those women whose names do not appear on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties and, I have just found out that some of them may not even have graves, let alone a mention on a war memorial.
Sarah MacNaughtan is particularly interesting yet not many people have heard of her these days. She was 50 when war broke out; she was a successful writer with several books to her name and was a wealthy woman. Sarah was no stranger to war zones, having been in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil during the 1893 – 1894 bombardment. She also helped tending the wounded in South Africa during the Boer Wars and in The Balkans during The Balkan Wars.
In September 1914, Sarah travelled to Antwerp in Belgium with Mabel St. Clair Stobart’s ambulance unit to tend wounded French and Belgian soldiers. When Antwerp was evacuated, Sarah ordered a special mobile kitchen from Harrods in London and had it sent over so she could set up a soup kitchen in northern France. Sarah noticed the plight of wounded French and Belgian soldiers who were often left for days without attention in stations waiting for treatment because the most seriously wounded were tended to first.
After a speaking tour of England, Scotland and Wales, Sarah went to help out in Russia and Persia (now called Iran) in September 1915. During that time she continued to write books and have them published. Sarah returned to England exhausted and ill and died on 24th July 1916.
In sponsoring these Most Valued Player Awards, I wanted to make sure that Sarah’s name was remembered.”
You can read more about Sarah MacNaughtan and other fascinating women on Lucy’s Inspirational Women website at:
– and follow Lucy’s “Poet In Residence” Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lucy-poet-in-residence.
The Widnes Wild women’s team play in the EIHA Women’s Premier League and, after playing four games away, have their first home game of the season this Sunday 9th December at Planet Ice Widnes when they take on the Whitley Bay Squaws – 5.30pm face off.
The Wild women’s remaining fixtures for the 2018/19 season are as follows:
Sun Dec 9th – Home V Whitley Squaws
Sun Jan 6th – Away @ Bracknell Firebees
Sun Jan 20th – Home V Nottingham Vipers
Sun Feb 10th – Home V Chelmsford Cobras
Sun Mar 10th – Home V MK Falcons
Sun April 7th – Home V Bracknell Firebees
Sun April 21st – Away @ Chelmsford Cobras
Sun April 28th – Home V Kingston Diamonds
Sun May 19th – Home V Sheffield Shadows
Sun May 26th – Away @ Whitley Squaws