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* Women's Royal Naval Service - Profile  
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Women's Royal Naval Service

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Evelyn Mary Mackintosh

Evelyn Mary Mackintosh began her service with the Women's Royal Naval Service in February 1918 and ended when she died in December of the same year.

Evelyn was born 22nd October 1895 to Duncan H. and Louisa M. Mackintosh in Tientsin, North China where her father worked for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. She was described as “a very healthy jolly looking girl of the Officer type” who was "very keen to go to the East" by Edith A May, Divisional Director for Scotland, W.R.N.S.

Detail from Evelyn Mackintosh's WRNS medical certificate
Detail from Evelyn Mackintosh's WRNS medical certificate.View Evelyn Mackintosh's medical certificate. Opens in a new window - 46k
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At the time she was appointed to the WRNS she was living in Inverness and her first appointment was as "Assistant Principal for non-administrative duties" at the Naval Transport Office at Inverness. Her salary was £150 a year and in addition she received a £20 uniform grant and a hat badge, which she collected from Madam Elsmere, 146 Brompton Road, London.

Detail from Evelyn Mackintosh's performance report dated June 30th 1918
Detail from Evelyn Mackintosh's performance report dated June 30th 1918.View performance report on Evelyn Mackintosh dated June 30th 1918. Opens in a new window - 74k
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In November 1918 she volunteered for service at Bizerta, a strategically important seaport in Tunisia, as a decoder and was highly recommended by her commanding officer, Captain H.J. Rowley. She was turned down as she "had no decoding training". This inspite of a report written by Edith A May describing the nature of her work in Captain Rowley's office as being "decoding and confidential transport work".

Detail from letter of reference for Evelyn Mackintosh from Captain H.J. Rowley
Detail from letter of reference for Evelyn Mackintosh from Captain H.J Rowley.  View letter of reference for Evelyn Mackintosh from Captain H.J Rowley - Opens in a new window (74k)
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She went to London to visit her mother on leave on November 30th 1918 and she came down with influenza. This developed into pneumonia and on 18th December she died, aged 23, at 82 Campden Hill Court, Kensington, her mother’s London home.

Detail from Evelyn Mackintosh's death certificate
Detail from Death Cerificate of Evelyn Mackintosh.
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The cause of death is listed on her death certificate as "Influenza 10 days. Double pneumonia 5 days with cardiac failure". She is buried at Daviot Parish Churchyard, Invernesshire, Scotland in the family burial plot.

Evelyn Mackintosh's service records, held at The National Archives (catalogue reference: ADM 318/169National Archives'  Catalogue), are a fairly typical example of what you might find in the service records of any member of the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War I.

They include:

  • Form of application & enrolment for admission as an officer
  • Certificate of moral character
  • Certificate of medical examination
  • Certificate of enrolment
  • Appointment as officer in Women’s Royal Naval Service
  • Letters of reference
  • Medical certificate
  • Report of her death to Director WRNS
  • A letter from Mackintosh’s mother to Director WRNS
  • Letters concerning her application for employment as a decoder at Bizerta
  • Letter appointing her Assistant Principal for non-administrative duties at the Naval Transport Office at Inverness.

Details of Evelyn Mackintosh's commemoration from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Name: Evelyn Mary Mackintosh
Rank: Assistant Principal
Service:
Regiment: WRNS
Date of Death: 18-12-1918 (age 23)
Nationality: Scottish
Additional Information: Daughter of Duncan H. and Louisa M. Mackintosh, of Drumalin, Invernesshire
Cemetery: Daviot Parish Churchyard, Invernesshire
Grave or reference panel no: South of Church

This information can be viewed at http://www.cwgc.org/cwgcinternet/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=327555

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