Derry’s WWI Women Voluntary War Workers

Voluntary War WorkerOn International Women’s Day 2014, a year which also marks the centenary of the outbreak of WWI, it is timely to highlight one  particular set of stained glass windows in Derry’s Guildhall. When you enter the main Assembly Hall on the first floor, facing you is a dazzling wall of stained glass, the gift of the Londonderry Women Voluntary War Workers. Dominated by female figures, it contrasts with the war memorial in Derry’s Diamond, with its grim statues of the sailor getting ready for action and the soldier in action with bayonet and rifle.

Lady Anderson, Mayoress of Derry, 1915-1919, played a  key role in the commissioning of these Guildhall windows, as a WWI memorial. They were unveiled by the Duchess of Abercorn on 27th May 1925.  Derry’s Women Voluntary War Workers wanted to have “a permanent record of their devotion, loyalty, and association with the men of the Navy and Army, and at the same time it would be a bond of sympathy, love and attachment between them and the mothers, sisters and sweethearts who gave their nearest and dearest in the cause of freedom and civilisation.” Worth a closer look when you next visit Derry’s Guildhall.

Women Voluntary War Workers Window