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Surviving World War I widows?

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how about sutviving World War I widows?

I think Levi Eshkol widow is still alive. (L. Eshkol -40th Battalion R.F.)

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At least two in New Zealand, although one married long after WW1.

"Private Robert Subritzky Reg No: 16/1494 was born on the 13 August 1894, at Awanui in Northland. He was the son of Captain Arthur Subritzky and his wife Tiini (nee: Paratene).

He enlisted into the New Zealand Army on 15 December 1915 at Trentham Camp, having previously served as a Territorial in the 15th (North Auckland) Infantry Regiment.

Upon completion of his recruit training he was posted to E Company, 11th Reinforcements, but shortly afterwards he transferred to the 4th Maori Contingent. He sailed from Wellington for the Middle East aboard the "Mokoia" on the 3rd May 1916. He disembarked at Suez on 22nd June. On 27th June at Tel El Kebin he contracted Malaria and was admitted to No 17 General Hospital in Alexandria. On being discharged from hospital he embarked aboard the "Invernia" at Alexandria and sailed for England on the 26th July 1916. He disembarked at Southampton on 7th August and marched into Sling Camp.

He "Left for France" on the 28th August 1916 and marched into Etaples the next day.

On the 11th September 1916, he was posted to the New Zealand Maori Pioneer Battalion and joined the unit "in the field". (On the 17th December whilst under fire he lost his mess tin, was charged for this offence and was fined one shilling).

On 18th February 1917 while in the trenches he reported sick, suffering from chilblains and trenchfoot, and was treated at No 1 (NZ) Field Ambulance and returned to his unit. His condition worsened and on 28 February 1917 he was admitted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station and from there withdrawn to the rear to convalesce at Boulogne.

He rejoined the Battalion on the 3rd of June 1917, and on the 17th June whilst he was in the forward trenches and under heavy fire a high-explosive shell burst behind him and he was severely wounded in the back, and had a lung punctured. Fragments of metal were to remain in his body for the rest of his life.

He was treated at No 3 (NZ) Field Ambulance that day and then transferred to No 14 General Hospital based at Wimirenia. On the 13th July 1917, he embarked on the Hospital Ship "Saint Patrick" for England and was admitted to No 2 (NZ) General Hospital based at Walton where he received further treatment.

On the 30th July 1917, he was examined by the Medical Board and was found to be unfit for active service and was placed on the New Zealand roll.

He embarked on the "Maheno" at Avonmouth on the 8th August 1917, for the return home, arriving in New Zealand on the 16th September 1917.

He was discharged from the New Zealand Army on the 30th November 1917, being "no longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds received in action." (Ref: The Subritzky Legend, Heritage Press, 1990).

Believe it or not, Bob was for many years single, and the taxi driver at Awanui. He often was required to escort the young school teacher Jeanie Davidson to various local functions. At the time he was in his mid-50's...anyway, they fell in love, got married and had two sons.

Jeanie is still alive at the time of writing and just this year celebrated her 80th Birthday. Jeanie Subritzky as one of the 2 remaining widows of "Te Hokowhitu a Tu" was an official guest at the interment in Wellington of the "Unknown Warrior." "(2005)

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This is a really interesting thought.

Given that

(1) Women live longer than men.

(2) Husbands tend to be older than wives (and in some cases are considerably older)

there must be quite a few Great War widows still left, although not many who were actually married during the Great War.

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Interesting indeed, not something we hear much about - not just widows - there must be many women still alive who played a very active part in the war overseas or at home as very young munitions workers for example.

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This is a really interesting thought.

Given that

(1) Women live longer than men.

(2) Husbands tend to be older than wives (and in some cases are considerably older)

there must be quite a few Great War widows still left, although not many who were actually married during the Great War.

The last widows of American Civil War solidiers only died in 2003 & 2004.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2677095.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3765811.stm

Kate

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I know a lady whose husband served during WW1, albeit that he was considerably older than she was.

I spoke with her recently and she informed me that they spent their honeymoon (1938) in Germany.

Mark

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This is an interesting subject and timely given that it is November.

I don't wish to divert attention away from the original question, but one thing that has struck me is the amount of women who re-married, apparently fairly quickly after the death of their husband's. There will be many reasons for this of course, and no different perhaps than any other period in history. It did cross my mind however that in part, it may have been due to economic neccessity.

Excusing my aside, thanks for raising the subject. The "forgotten army" perhaps?

Terry Reeves

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Re: Women remarrying

My impressions on this subject is that at that time a woman, especially a woman with little income, had to remarry to have some way to support herself. Women did not make much money in factory and other jobs, and generally only sewing and other such work was readily available to a woman of the working class. Middle class women were not expected to work and remarriage might be the only way to continue their previous lifestyle.

There was also the fact that a woman was really expected by society to be in a married state, and that choosing "spinsterhood" was questioned. If a woman was in her twenties or so when her husband died, she was very likely to remarry, while only a much older woman, with an assured income, might be able to survive as a widow.

Back to the original topic. I believe the last American Civil War widow died not long ago. I believe she was a 20 year old when she married the veteran in his 90s.

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To stay with the subject of WW1 widows-What kind of a pension

did they recieve and how can this information be found and where?

gordon

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If a Great War veteran did as the two American Civil War veterans in the reports did (ie married a very young woman at 80) this could mean that it could be as late as 2070 went the last Great War widow dies!

Ie a Great War veteran born in (say) 1900 marries at (say) 80 (in 1980) a woman aged (say) 20 who lives to be 110 herself.

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To stay with the subject of WW1 widows-What kind of a pension

did they recieve and how can this information be found and where?

gordon

My Great Gran was a Great War widow who never remarried and lived to be 108. She received a war widow's pension. It did not exactly render her wealthy (indeed I would have said that she was very poor, particularly when bringing up 4 children on the pension), but my understanding is that it was marginally more generous than an "ordinary" widow's pension.

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