May Westwell poppies
1st October 2018
We have been making poppies at school for a special service for May Westwell. Here are some photos and information.
May Westwell was the only daughter of the late Mr W. W. Westwell and of Mrs Westwell, 103, Lovely-lane Warrington. Before she joined the forces, she was a teacher at Evelyn Street Primary school and was part of the congregation of St Barnabas Church, Lovely Lane Warrington. She joined the Queen Mary's Auxiliary Corps to support the War effort in April 1918. After spending some time in Belfast in an administrative post, she was transferred to the headquarters of the Irish Command in Dublin. She died tragically aged 30 on 10th October 1918 when the HMS Lenister, the ship she was travelling on was torpedoed in the Irish Sea. Miss Westwell had decided to use her short leave to travel back to Warrington to surprise her family and friends. They were all totally unaware of her being a passenger until they received the tragic news. The courage, bravery and valour of Miss Westwell during this terrifying event was noted by a surviving passenger. "There was a Canadian Major who was amongst the rescued, and the first remark he made was that of all the things that impressed him most at the time, was the behaviour of the Q.M.A.A.C. on board. Their courage was magnificent. Your daughter was the one referred to as she was the only woman officer travelling and there were few women in uniform on the boat. “An extract from a contemporary October, 1918, edition of the “Warrington Examiner”