Jersey Flag
The Channel Islands and the Great War
Guernsey Flag

Nellie Rault
Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Five Sisters Memorial Screen

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 Rault.

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, respectable girl.

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


Commonwealth War Graves Commission Certificate

Nellie Rault
Worker Nellie Florence Ruby Rault
Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Haynes Churchyard
Nellie Rault's grave at Haynes (St.Mary's), Bedfordshire

Liz Walton has researched Nellie's story. Any additional information welcome.

The story in full

Contact Liz

Grave Restoration


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 100 years.

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 work.
  • 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 fall.

Kevin Penfold
July 2019