Wynford Rose Baroness Tollemache, wife of Bentley Lyonel John Baron Tollemache and who lived at Peckforton Castle, was a woman who was well known in local communities during the Great War (1914-1918); most notably in Peckforton and Beeston on the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge.
Peckforton Castle, a prominent landmark on the Ridge, was transformed into an Auxiliary Hospital during the war years.
Wynford Tollemache was appointed as 'Commandant'.
Local men and women undertook a variety of jobs, not least as VADs (Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurses).
In fact, Wynford Tollemache wrote an individual comment on each VAD Record Card, creating a unique social history of the period.
- Of Sarah Morris (Matron) she wrote .... Nurse Morris has worked well in every way and is the greatest help to me. Her influence is an excellent one and I think most highly of her.
- Of Mary Macdonald (Cook) from Inverness, she wrote ... Has worked hard and well and has been the greatest help and made the difficulties of catering easy and has pledged herself notably for the welfare of the men.
- Of Mdlle Jeanne Brunel (VAD) from Var, France, she wrote ... Has worked & been the greatest help in every way from the opening of the Hospital. Is most willing & efficient.
- Of Cecil Mackenzie Hewer F.R.C.S. O.B.E. (Medical Officer), she wrote ... A most brilliant Surgeon and entirely devoted — his own practice being very nearly ruined by his devotion to the soldiers. Too much cannot be said for the work he did.
Wynford Tollemache died (aged 47) following an operation and she is buried in Bunbury Churchyard on the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge. Her husband, Bentley Lyonel John Baron Tollemache, subsequently remarried.
Image section, Frederick Cayley Robinson painting, by kind permission of Wellcome Library, London