Paying tribute to working women's history is something, as a female activist and Branch Officer dealing with Health & Safety; that Beverley Kenyon CWU Health and Safety Officer Bootle Financial Services takes seriously.
Here she reports on an event she was due to attend to unveil a plaque for Harriett Emma Mahood in Burscough Lancashire, but due to the Covid-19 virus the public event was cancelled. Lol Critchley, CWU member from her branch was on the organising committee for the event.
Beverley told Unionsafety: "The plaque was placed anyway and we are hoping to attend the postponed public event when we are able too."
She was known as having a robust character which led her here to help the welfare and health safety of the Boer women and children in British concentration camps.
In 18 months Camp death figures were 26,000 of which 24 were children. Incensed by this, she wrote to the London Daily New Express with her shock and horror on what was happening. In her letter to the paper, Harriett wrote:
The conditions these women and children lived in where horrifying due to overcrowding and the lack of hygiene measures. Some never had shelter and slept outside in all weathers. Poor diets, widespread disease like Diphtheria, and Typhoid fever with malnutrition alongside as well. No vegetables and milk for children.
childbirth, not a very nice picture. No medical staff and medicines around. They
were kept separate from the husbands taken away in oxcarts so mental health
issues were high if not recognised in those days.
Source: Images of Burscough video - YouTube link / The Anglo-Boer War: a chronology , Pretoria: Lapa.| Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). / Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa , Cape Town: NASOU, v. 3, p. 378-380.| Potgieter, D.J. et al. (eds)(1970). / Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa , Cape Town: NASOU, v. 5, p. 544-546.