Rabbi Major Reuben Livingstone conducts the stone-setting ceremony at Edith Munro's grave at the United Synagogue’s Plashet Cemetery, London (Photo courtesy of The United Synagogue)

Centenary tribute to WW1 volunteer nurse Edith Munro

Posted on centenarynews.com on 17 March 2016
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Tribute has been paid to a First World War nurse, with a special ceremony at a Jewish cemetery in London in the centenary year of her death.

Relatives of Edith Hilda Munro laid wreaths during the stone-setting ceremony at the United Synagogue's Plashet Cemetery in East Ham on March 8th 2016 - International Women's Day.

Nurse Munro was among the tens of thousands of British volunteers who carried out nursing and welfare duties during the Great War.

Researcher Stan Kaye brought her story to public attention and traced family members while studying those who served in the Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs).

He said: "I believe that this is the first time a ceremony such as this has taken place in a Jewish cemetery in the UK and perhaps, indeed in Europe. Not many VAD nurses were honoured in this way, and not very many were Jewish; this is quite unique."

Edith Munro died, aged 23, from acute broncho-pneumonia while nursing at a seamen's hospital in the docklands of east London in December 1916.

CWGC headstone

She was originally buried privately, but Stan Kaye found that her service had been recognised almost a century later, with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone in 2014.

Representatives of veterans' groups, as well as nursing and Jewish organisations joined Edith Munro's descendants and civic dignitaries for the 2016 stone-setting ceremony. It was led by Rabbi Major Reuben Livingstone, Senior Jewish Chaplain to Britain's armed forces.

Helen Style, from United Synagogue Womensaid: "When Mr Kaye got in touch with us we all felt that International Women’s Day would be the perfect day to honour the memory of Nurse Munro. We are delighted that her family were able to be present and that representatives from so many organisations came to this ceremony."

More than 90,000 people served with the Voluntary Aid Detachments, formed by the British Red Cross and the Order of St John to carry out nursing and welfare duties in WW1.

Among the best known were Agatha Christie, creator of the Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple murder mysteries; Vera Brittain, author of Testament of Youth and peace campaigner; and EM Forster, the novelist, essayist and critic.

Also in Centenary News:

VAD records online from British Red Cross

Source: The United Synagogue/Stan Kaye

Images courtesy of The United Synagogue

Posted by CN Editorial Team