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Photo of Lucy Sophia Mary Saunders

Lucy Sophia Mary Saunders

Police Officer at the Women’s Police Service
Birthplace Southend on Sea Place of Death Sussex Crawley Date of Birth: April 27, 1874 Date of Death: June 7, 1942


Information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.

Name: Lucy Sophia Mary Saunders
DoB: 27 April 1874
Place of birth: Southend on Sea, Essex
Parents: Thomas & Mary Emily Anne (nee Lee)
Parental Home: Kirby Broad, Walton le Soken (better known as Walton on the Naze), Essex
Siblings: Thomas George (1875-1944), Philip Nathaniel (1877-1944) Elizabeth Grace G (1878-1955), Charles William (1880-1950) Sophia Thomasine Ellen (1882-1958),
Deborah Sarah Lloyd (1883-1974), Henry Arthur (1886-1944), Walter James (1887-1956), Caroline Anna (1890-1956) John Ebenezer (1896-1970)
Spouse: Never married
Date of Wedding: Not applicable
Children: None found
Marital home(s) : Not applicable
Employment: 1891 Governess in school
1901 Census: Governess (Music) – Girl’s High School, 7 Bleke Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset
1911 Census: Music Mistress – Royal Asylum of St Anne’s Society, Redhill, Surrey
Date of death: 7 June 1942
Location: Hoggs Hill Nursing Home, Crawley, Sussex

Gretna details
Name: Lucy Sophia Mary Saunders
Badge No: 9
Date joining: Not known but possibly as early as 1916 due to badge number
Date leaving: Not known
Addresses: Not confirmed
Rank on start: Possibly Sergeant but served in that rank at Gretna
Promotion: Possible from PC to Sergeant
Career after: Proprietor of luncheon and tea shop in 1921, see below
1921 Census : Proprietor of luncheon and tea shop, 1 Church St, Uckfield, Sussex

Addresses after Gretna:
1921 – 1 Church St, Uckfield, Sussex
1939 – Lamorna, St Mary’s Bay, New Romney, Kent

Additional information

Lucy was born on 27 April 1874 in Southend on Sea, Essex to Thomas & Mary Saunders. Thomas at this time was a farmer but by the 1891 census the growing family had moved to Broom Vale Farm, a much bigger farm in Blakenham on the outskirts of Ipswich, Suffolk. Lucy, aged 16, was a governess at a local school. Only a few years later the family had moved to Torquay in Devon where Thomas & Mary had their eleventh child. A few months before the taking of the 1901 census, Mary Emily died. Thomas had turned to green grocery. Whilst most of the children remained at home, Lucy was in 1901 a Music Governess at the Girls High School Shaftsbury, Dorset. Ten years later she was a music teacher at the Royal Asylum of St Annes Society in Redhill, Surrey. The school was located to the north of the town, later to become ‘The Foundlings School’. It is not known exactly when she joined the WPS or travelled to Gretna, but signed the petition to Winston Churchill giving her number as 9. She was a Sergeant it appears for most if not all her service.  After serving at Gretna, she joined forces with Lillian Malpas also a sergeant at Gretna in a luncheon & tea shop in Uckfield, Sussex which was where two other WPS officers’ from Gretna has started a market garden. Her father died in 1928. Interestingly, none of the brothers were lost in the Great War. Lucy stayed with Lillian for many years. They were living in St Mary’s Bay near New Romney, Kent in 1939. Lucy passed away in a nursing home in Crawley, Sussex in June 1942. Her brother Henry Arthur died during WW2 serving with a rescue squad in Battersea, London and has a Commonwealth War Grave.

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