Feature

Hush WAAC Roll of Honour

Last Updated: 26 Sep 2017
The story of the women who worked as codebreakers with the British army in France during 1917 and 1918.

It has long been known that the British army employed members of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps as codebreakers in France during the First World War - but beyond the fact that they were known as HushWAACs, a reference to the secrecy of their work, details of their service have been sketchy.    

Dr Jim Beach of the University of Northampton has pieced together the handful of sources that are available. This gives us a better understanding of the work of these pioneering women and allows us to publish a full list of their names in acknowledgement of their service.


Name: K Bale
Age in 1918: Not known
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: October 1917

Name: Mary Lilian Caborne
Age in 1918: 53
Arrived I(e)C: September 1917
Departed: December 1917
Notes: Née Boord, promoted Deputy then Unit Administrator

Name: Olivia Margaret Chevallier
Age in 1918: 22
Arrived I(e)C: December 1917
Departed: November 1918
Notes: Cheltenham Ladies College; War Office, 1915-1917

Name: Dorothy Lilian Deighton
Age in 1918: 29
Arrived I(e)C: March 1918
Departed: August 1918
Notes: Promoted Deputy Administrator

Name: Florence Mabel Hannam
Age in 1918: Not known
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: November 1918
Notes: Mentioned in Despatches; MI1(b) then GC&CS, 1918-1920

Name: Dorothy Grace Jackson
Age in 1918: Not known
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: November 1918

Name: Katherine Elizabeth Masters
Age in 1918: 53
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: January 1918
Notes: Née Ord

Name: Gladys Mary Munby
Age in 1918: 30
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: November 1918
Notes: Pianist educated in Germany; YMCA work before 1917

Name: Violet Munby
Age in 1918: 33
Arrived I(e)C: March 1918
Departed: November 1918

Name: Catherine Hayes Osborne
Age in 1918: 54
Arrived I(e)C: September 1917
Departed: November 1918

Name: Mabel Dymond Peel
Age in 1918: 38
Arrived I(e)C: September 1917
Departed: November 1918
Notes: University of Manchester; languages teacher

Name: Aline Flora Robertson
Age in 1918: 37
Arrived I(e)C: September 1917
Departed: November 1918
Notes: Cheltenham Ladies College

Name: Dora Ross
Age in 1918: Not known
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: October 1917

Name: Nora Margaret Skelton
Age in 1918: 49
Arrived I(e)C: October 1917
Departed: June 1918
Notes: Née Sutton

Name: Elsie Margaret Thring
Age in 1918: 25
Arrived I(e)C: September 1917
Departed: July 1918

Name: Mary Charlotte Tiltman
Age in 1918: 28
Arrived I(e)C: March 1918
Departed: October 1918

Name: Gwendoline Edith Gwyllyam Watkins
Age in 1918: 23
Arrived I(e)C: September 1917
Departed: November 1918
Notes: Mentioned in Despatches; MI1(b), 1918-1919

 

The BEF signals intelligence organisation was also authorised to employ seven WAACs without officer status, presumably in clerical or other support roles.  Sadly, it has not been possible to trace these women.


All images ©IWM
ART 3520 - Nissen Huts, St Omer