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BUTCHER, Muriel Evelyn (1894-1970) – Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Muriel Evelyn Butcher (1894-1970) was born in Amberley, Stroud, Gloucestershire, the third of four children of Emanuel Butcher, a market gardener, by his first wife, Ruth Elizabeth (née Fooks), who died in 1897.  The family lived in Amberly in 1911, when Emanuel and his second wife, Louisa Annie (née May), had ten children at home.

Muriel enlisted in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps which was formed in 1917 as a result of a report of January 1917 which recommended that the army employ women in France and at home to free up more men who were doing non combative work, for frontline duties.  On 9th April 1918, the WAAC became the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC).  Records reveal that Muriel served in France from 27th March 1918 to 1st June 1918 and was entitled to the Victory Medal and British War Medal.  Her medal record card shows that her official grade was 'Worker' and her service number was 33763.

Muriel’s parents had moved to Wickhamford in early 1918 when the younger children enrolled at Badsey Council School in April.  Muriel and her brother, William Butcher, were mentioned in the July 1918 Badsey Parish Magazine, both being at home in Wickhamford on sick leave:  “Mr Butcher’s daughter, Miss M Butcher, of the QMAAC, has also been home suffering from shell-shock.  She was in the hospital at Étaples on which the Germans delivered their murderous aerial attack.”  Nine women had been killed in the attack.

Muriel married Walter Giddings in Marlborough in 1927.

Muriel Butcher
Muriel Butcher in later life – with grateful thanks to her niece, Sue Daniels, for providing a copy of this photo.