Trip to The Somme

Two of our Wenches, Sue (head Wench) and Beverley are currently in France, on the Somme for a project that Beverly is doing. They have been having a great time whilst working hard.
Sue says “What a day we have done so much achieved all our targets, laughed at cows chatted up some policemen who were about 10 years old paid our respects many many times. We did all we needed to do and a little more. Ate good food saw monsoon like rain, sunshine so bright it was blinding, a double rainbow(unicorn fart) will’o the wisps. Hares, bats, pheasants and tous vache.”
Here are a few pictures they have taken on their journey.

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Sue and Beverly also laid a poppy cross on behalf of Sarah Phelps and the cast and crew of the fantastic WW1 drama Crimson Fields. The cross was laid at the grave of Nellie Spindler.

Here is a little video of Beverley laying the cross




Who are we? What do we do?

nurseWenches in Trenches are a group of like minded women who do a sponsored walk once a year in September somewhere on the Western Front. We aim to have as much fun as we can while raising awareness and funds for military causes. We have raised money in the past for military causes such as parcels for troops, funds to help children of injured troops, RBL Somme Branch and La Boisselle study group etc.
Any woman can walk with us as long as they get sponsored. We have women from all walks of life, nurses,ex army medics, teachers, sales girls, veterans wives etc. All you need is a sense of humour and some sponsorship.

We are a not for profit company who have been fundraising since 2006, raising much needed funds for charities and good causes. We are a group of women known collectively as Wenches in Trenches. This year we have decided to walk in memory of the Nurses and VADs of the Great War. Many of our women are nurses or ex nurses themselves and had female relatives who served on the Western Front. Our funds this year will go towards several memorial benches and plaques which are to be placed in memory of the brave women of 1914-18.

The event will take place the weekend of 12th-15th September 2014 starting at Talbot House, Poperinge and ending at the Menin Gate, Ypres, where we will lay a wreath in memory. All places are now taken but we have a reserve list open. If you have a relative who served 1914-18 as a nurse, VAD or ambulance driver and would like us to lay a wreath or poppy cross please email and make arrangements with us. On Saturday 13th Sept we will be laying a wreath at the grave of Nurse Nellie Spindler who is buried in Lijssenthoek military cemetery.

This event has 15 walkers who are all looking for sponsorship, the women are from Ypres, London, Cornwall, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Co Durham. If you want to sponsor a walker from your area please get in touch. Corporate sponsors welcome.

New beginningsDuring the 2012 walk the wenches made their HQ at the 3 Pigeons, a bar in Albert France. It only took 1 drink to unofficially rename the place “The 5 Ferrets”. We have some rowdy evenings in there but its all good fun. Among ourselves the Wenches are also known as the 1st Muff Brigade.

We have new girls joined us as well as some of the old stalwarts from before. This year Wenches are hosting a walk called Roses of No Mans Land in honour of all the nurses and VADS of WW1 no matter their country of origin! They all played a part in treating the wounded on all sides. We aim to buy 3 beautiful commemorative benches to be placed in Talbot house Poperinge, The Ariane gardens Ypres and Lochnagar Crater on the Somme. Each bench will have a brass plaque saying what its for. We hope that people will rest on our benches and think about the young women who went out and set up hospitals and saved the lives of many of our grandfathers and uncles.

We are full up for this walk but there is nothing to stop you making your own way to Ypres and joining us. You would understandably have to arrange your own transport and lodgings. We have plenty of supporters going over to cheer the girls on.
This year the walkers will be wearing WW1 nurse and VAD uniforms on the day of the actual walk.

We are staying out at Varlet Farm with Barbara and Dirk (just there for the apple cake Dirk and the fab brekkie) Varlet is right in the middle of the Passchendaele battlefields and is a wonderful setting for the girls to get in the right frame of mind.

On the day prior to the event we will be going out to Lijssenhoek cemetery to lay a wreath on nurse Nellie Spindlers grave. Nellie was 26 when she was killed by shrapnel while she slept in her tented accommodation.
Saturday night is spent relaxing ready for the early start on Sunday morning and the walk itself.
The walkers will set off from Talbot House Pops, after a good breakfast put on by Raf (manager), ending up at the Menin Gate ceremony on the evening of Sunday 14th Sept 2014. At the Menin Gate one woman will lay a wreath in memory of the medics of the conflict. We hope to have Miss Tracey McRory from Ireland to play a specially written piece on her violin under the gate that evening.
After the ceremony we shall be going to the wonderful Ariane Hotel for a meal kindly put on by Natasja Feliers for the girls and our driver (of course we must not forget him).

If you feel you would like to join us don’t hesitate to contact us. Donations towards transport and fuel would be very much appreciated.