Five Sisters Memorial Screen in York Minster
The 1901 Jersey census shows Nellie Florence Ruby Rault
as living at Gordon House, St Aubin's Road, Jersey. She
was born in 1898, and was the fourth daughter of Ann Elizabeth
In about 1917, she joined the WAAC, which
then became the QMAAC, and went to work at Haynes Park
RE Signals Depot in Bedfordshire. She lived in the camp
and did domestic work, and was described as being a cheerful,
However, she met an untimely end on 9th May 1919, when
she was murdered in woods near the camp. She is buried
in Haynes (St Mary's) churchyard, and is commemorated
on the CWGC website
War Graves Commission Certificate
Worker Nellie Florence Ruby Rault
Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps
Nellie Rault's grave at Haynes (St.Mary's), Bedfordshire
Liz Walton has researched Nellie's story. Any additional
story in full
The Study Group became aware of Nellie's grave and memorial
at Church End in 2006. The site was heavily overgrown,
the granite cross was leaning badly and the lettering
was almost illegible.
Although an official Commonwealth War Grave, for many,
many years her final resting place had been neglected
and allowed to become totally overgrown.
However, in recent years, I have, with the help of my
daughter, worked to restore Nellie's grave as best we
can. It's an ongoing project but one we will continue.
Regarding the restoration work I have carried out on Nellie's
grave, a suggestion was made about creating a crowdfunding
page to raise funds to have Nellie's cross and grave re-levelled.
To this end, I got in touch with the Neville Funerals,
(who some six years ago submitted a quote to the Commonwealth
Wargraves Commission to undertake this work). This quote
proved too expensive for the CWC, especially as Nellie's
memorial was originally privately funded, so the work
was never carried out.
On 14th May this year, I got in touch with Neville's
via email, for an up-to-date quotation, to see how much
money would need to be raised for the restoration work
to be done. I also attached to the email a series of photos
that I had taken of the grave, so that they might use
them for the quote, along with a copy of the story of
Nellie, written by Liz Walton.
On 31st May I received an email from the memorial masons,
asking me to phone them regarding the quote. I rang them
as requested, and was told that they were so taken with
Nellie's sad story, and that she is laid to rest so far
from her home and family in Jersey, that this being the
100 year anniversary of Nellie's sad and untimely passing
they offered to carry out the full restoration of Nellie's
grave and memorial at their own expense, as one of their
Community Projects. All they asked for in return, was
permission to use Liz Walton's story on their social media
page. I contacted Liz and she most kindly agreed and this
was passed on to the memorial masons. To say I was at
the same time shocked and excited by their fantastic and
very generous offer is an understatement!
Last Friday, 19th July, I received an email from the
memorial masons to inform me that the work was completed.
I went out that afternoon to see Nellie's restored grave
and to take some photos to post here. I can't begin to
tell you how happy I am that this has finally been done.
It's been a long, 13 year journey with a lot of work
involved along the way, obtaining the various permissions
needed for me to work on Nellie's grave personally and
reclaim her graves edging kerbs and granite chippings
from beneath the soil formed by many, many years of neglect.
You will see, from the photos, the long process from
being neglected and overgrown in the corner of a country
graveyard, to the beautifully restored memorial that stands
today, as good as it was when it was first erected 100
years ago, and hopefully will now stand proud for another
The bare soil around the grave has been sown with grass
seed by myself, and all that remains to be done is to
replace Nellie's 'Angel' wings, which I removed for safekeeping
whilst the work was carried out.
I would like to thank the following people for helping
me to achieve this feat:
- Neville Funerals for generously undertaking this work
at their own expense. Restoration
of the grave of Nellie Rault
- Liz Walton, from the Channel Islands Great War Study
Group, for kindly permitting the use of her written
- My daughter Dawn, for helping me with the backbreaking
work of restoring Nellie's grave as far as we could.
- Last but by no means least, my wonderful wife Sue,
for standing by me and giving me lots of support and
encouragement especially at times when I thought that
full restoration of Nellie's grave would never happen,
and her cross, leaning at such an angle would finally