Faulder Family Genealogy Faulder Family Genealogy

17 August, 2010

Evelyn Faulder’s award of the Military Medal

Portrait of Evelyn Faulder MM, F.A.N.Y. by kind permission FANY (PRVC)

Portrait of Evelyn Faulder MM, F.A.N.Y. by kind permission FANY (PRVC)

Evelyn Faulder drove an Ambulance with the FANY during World War One.

  • Third daughter of Joseph Sewell Faulder & Emily Storyopen pdf window. My Great Aunt.
  • During the Great War she served (from April 1916) with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) in France and Flanders.  The FANY were originally set up with the rather romantic idea that horsewomen could ride out onto the battlefield and scoop up wounded soldiers and bring them back to safety.  In practice they drove heavy motor ambulances.
  • Her medal index card indicates that she achieved the rank of sergeant.
  • The London Gazette of 5 July 1918 open new window gives the following citation:

    His Majesty the KING has been pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal to the under mentioned Ladies -for distinguished services in the Field, as recorded: —
    Miss Sarah Bonnell, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry,
    Miss Evelyn Gordon-Brown, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry,
    Miss Aileen Maude Faulkner, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry,
    Miss Evelyn Faulder, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry,
    Miss Nellie Dewhurst, V.A.D., attd. First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.
    For gallantry and conspicuous devotion to duty, when an ammunition dump had been set on fire by enemy bombs and the only available ambulance for the removal of wounded had been destroyed. These ladies subsequently arrived with three ambulances, and, despite the danger arising from various explosions, succeeded in removing all the wounded. Their conduct throughout was splendid. War Office, 8th July, 1918.

  • (The date of the notice and date of publication are as stated – The date of publication is the date when the weekly Gazette was published; following this supplements, would be published under the same date as further notices were issued.)
Evelyn Faulder MM by an Ambulance

Evelyn Faulder MM by an Ambulance – by kind permission of FANY (PRVC)

  • Janet Lee in War Girls (p200)1 mentions that on 18th May 1918, ambulances from FANY Unit 8 (based at St Omer and attached to the British Second Army) were called out to an arms dump “along the Arques Road” (elsewhere spelt Arcques) which had been hit.
  • She says that on that night 16 Military Medals were earned by the Corps (out of a total of 18 awarded during the war). This is disputed by others (such as Sue Light) who claim that 18 Military Medals were awarded in total to the service; five of those during the months of October/November 1918, and 7 in a separate incident at St. Omer on 26 June 1918. (ref Great War Forumopen new window)
  • Janet Lee infers that these medals were awarded by General Sir Herbert Plumer at Second Army Headquarters. However, the British Journal of Nursing 24 May 1919 open new window records that three of them including Evelyn Faulder received their medals from the King at an investiture on 15th May in the Quadrangle of Buckingham Palace. This apparent contradiction may arise from receiving the medal ribbons in the field but the actual medals at a later investiture.
  • It is also believed that Evelyn was the first member of the family to hear of the death of Harold Faulder (q.v.), her brother, when a soldier “riding upfront” with her (possibly with other motives in mind) asked her her name.
  • Co-incidentally the “date” of the London Gazette notice of her MM (5 July 1918) was the day my father, son of the above Harold Faulder, was born.

1 Lee, J., 2005, War Girls, The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in the First World War, Manchester University Press, Manchester.


  1. Message for David Faulder: Most interested in this posting as my great-aunt was Win Elwes MM (18th May 1918) with Evelyn Faulder.

    Do you have any more information on what happened that night? There seems little to go on.

    The convoy was at St. Omer and the explosion was between Arcques and St. Omer. I know the first ambulance driver was killed (Win said so in a letter) “so they sent for the girls”. I was looking on the CWGC website for the burial of an ambulance driver 18/19 May 1918 but couldn’t pinpoint a driver (except for an Army Vet Driver).

    I noticed that 25 Chinese Labour Corps personnel were killed that day/night presumably in the explosion. (Buried at St. Omer – there were no burials at Arcques) What would they have been doing – working in the Ordnance Depot?

    Win Elwes was a VAD but the first Gazette wrongly stated her as a FANY but it was corrected later. Win’s investiture was at Buckingham Palace by the King himself in March 1919. I have the invitation card.

    Thought you would be interested, although I notice it is some time since you posted your information.
    (Mrs) Juliet Webster.

    Comment by Juliet Webster — 27 August, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

  2. Dear Juliet,

    Thanks for your fascinating comment. So much matches, yet bits don’t – which may be the key to finding out a bit more.

    Your correspondence makes it sound as if the incident is the same one – the chances of two such incidents within a few months must be small. Yet Win Elwes name had not previously appeared in my research. Probably not looking hard enough!

    The London Gazette Publication date: 26 July 1918 Supplement: 30820 (30 July 1918) Page: 9000 is presumably the first publication that puts Win in with the FANY:

    Miss Muriel Thompeon, F.A.N.Y.
    Miss Winifred Millicent Elwes, F.A.N.Y.
    Miss Elsie Agnes Courtis, F.A.N.Y.
    Miss Mary Richardson, F.A.N. Y.
    Miss Mollie O’Connell-Bianconi, F.A.N.Y.
    Miss Hilda May Dickinson, F.A.N.Y. .
    Miss Elizabeth Beveridge Callander, F.A.N.Y.
    For conspicuous devotion to duty during an hostile air raid. All these lady drivers were out with their cars during the raid, picking up and in every way assisting the wounded and injured. They showed great bravery and coolness, and were an example to all ranks.

    (The Edinburgh Gazette Publication date: 2 August 1918 Issue: 13298 Page: 2778 carries the same announcement – and affiliations. The British Journal of Nursing of August 10 1918 p96 also carries the same announcement.)

    The amendment of the affiliation from “FANY” to “VAD attd. FANY” is in The London Gazette Publication date: 29 November 1918 Supplement: 31043 (2 December 1918) Page: 14291.

    These are all new names to me and I am having increasing trouble reconciling details with those reported by Janet Lee and Sue Light.

    Both seem to agree that members of the FANY were awarded a total of 18 medals (which may include “attached VADs” like Win Elwes and Nellie Dewhurst (from the incident my great aunt Evelyn was involved in). The FANY’s website lists 16 Military Medal awards – and refers to Win Elwes.

    Military Medal (MM)
    08 July 1918 four awards
    Bonnell Sara
    Faulder Evelyn
    Faulkner Aileen M
    Gordon-Brown Evelyn
    30 July 1918 six awards
    Callender Elizabeth B
    Courtis Elsie A
    Dickenson Hilda M
    O’Connell Bianconi Mollie
    Richardson Mary
    Thompson Muriel A
    25 November 1918 six awards
    Cridlan Evelyn M
    Marshall Mary D
    Moseley Rachel G
    Peyton-Jones Gwendolyn G
    Russell Ellen (Dolly)
    Urquhart Christina M Calder
    See footnote
    3 Winfred Elwes was awarded the MM on 30 July 1918 but incorrectly gazetted as FANY. She was British Red Cross VAD serving with the joint FANY/VAD St Omer Convoy. Nelly Dewhurst, Sheila Dickson, Katherine Fabling and Josephine Pennell, VAD with the same Convoy, were also awarded the MM on the same date. The last three joined the FANY after WW1.

    The dates above appear to be the date of the War Office Announcement of the awards – not of the incident.

    Sue implies that 5 of the 18 were earned after the announcement of Evelyn’s and Win’s awards – which leaves 13. Trying to account for the 13 we have: from Evelyn’s announcement 4 (or 5 including attached VAD) and from Win’s 6 (or 7) – a total of 10 (or 12).

    Details of the investitures do not really help – both Evelyn’s and Win’s were in 1919. Win got hers as a sole MM award (British Journal of Nursing March 8 1919 p148) whilst Evelyn got hers on May 15th alongside Miss Sadiee Bonnell and Miss Aileen Faulkner – all from the same incident (British Journal of Nursing May 24 1919 p347)

    Does the letter from Win that you mention specifically link her incident to Evelyn Faulder’s? The FANY list implies they were in the same convoy. We have two citations about three weeks apart; this may mean two incidents, but it is also possible that the citations do refer to the same incident.

    There is a new document on the FANY website describing some of the Corps’ WW1 experiences. Page 29 refers to the events at Arcques on May 18th 1918 and the award of sixteen Military Medals and three Croix de Guerre to members of the combined FANY/VAD convoy.

    I have little extra detail – although I have been given some references to photographs and film (of Gen Plumer “awarding Military medals”) held by the Imperial War Museum.

    The current citation of the film on the IWM website is a bit contradictory – it refers to “Queen Alexandra’s First Aid Nursing Yeomanry” which I think concatenates two organisations – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. It is also now dated 1917 – which does not fit for awards of Military Medals to FANY members.

    The current IWM references are at http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?query=FANY&f%5B0%5D=contentDate%3AFirst%20World%20War

    Comment by David — 28 August, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

  3. The 16 Military Medals awarded for VADs and FANYs for their bravery on the night of 18/19 May 1918 were to the ladies already listed elsewhere. Although the Gazette listings were on different days, they all refer to that same night and all received their ribbons on the same day (8th July 1918) from General Plummer. They would then have received their medals probably later in 1919 and unlikely to be on the same dates to one another.

    The Daily Mirror clipping with the picture (posted by you on Great War Forum but not on your page here) of the FANYs and VADs was taken that same day (8 July 1918) posed in a dugout. (See R J. Tennent’s book Red Herrings). You will notice there are 18 people in the picture, taken just prior to the presentation of their ribbons. The two (slightly older, more senior) ladies in the picture are probably not recipients of the MM that day. It looks as though they are both decorated already. You will also notice that there are 5 VADs in the picture (they wore Navy Serge and Dark Ties and a navy cap with a peak) and 11 FANYs in Khaki with light coloured ties and those squashy bonnets on their heads. (That information at least “ties” up with the corrected lists of names available) The one standing at the front on the far right of the picture is Win Elwes. I believe that Josephine Tennent will be the one standing at the front in the middle whose gloves we cannot see – she is just to the left of the seated FANY. I say that because in Josephine Tennent’s copy of the picture reproduced in her book RED HERRINGS there is an arrow pointing at her. Josephine also points an arrow at Win Elwes – I know it is Win Elwes on the far right from our marked copy of the cutting here. You could have a bit of fun finding out which name fits the other 14 (one of which will be your great aunt but in khaki mind so you have a choice out of only 11) and who the 2 more senior FANYs are on the left at the front.

    Comment by Juliet Webster — 31 August, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

  4. I have started another post to try and identify the people in the picture!

    Trying to get back into researching this story:

    Your date for General Plumer awarding the ribbons makes more sense than the IWM citation – I think I need to check it with them.

    Comment by David — 1 September, 2014 @ 12:30 am

  5. […] great aunt who served; but again I was too young to speak to them about their experiences. The great aunt served with the FANY and (with four other women) was awarded the Military Medal for driving […]

    Pingback by On this day 100 years ago: Armistice « Faulder Family Genealogy — 16 December, 2018 @ 10:30 pm

  6. […] My Great Aunt, Evelyn Faulder (for some reason often known as “Joan”) was a member of the FANY and was one of those involved in the action at St Omer who was awarded the Military Medal. […]

    Pingback by On this day: 18 May 1918 « Faulder Family Genealogy — 18 May, 2020 @ 10:11 pm

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