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Lydia Sarah HainsMember of the Women’s Police Service
Information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Lydia Sarah Hains
Date and Place of Birth: 4th April 1876, Toller Whelme, Corscombe, Beaminster
Date and Place of Death: 26 August 1956, Bridport, Dorset
Childhood: She had 4 siblings.
Parents: Thomas & Elizabeth (nee Prower)
Parent’s occupations: Thomas worked as a garden and later he was a cemetery keeper.
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: N/K
Place of residence at Gretna: Women’s Police Barracks No2, Gretna
Job title at Gretna: Police Constable.
Marital status: Married Henry Saunders in 1928.
Children: None known.
Trivia / any other information:
Lydia was born on 4 April 1876 in the village of Toller Whelme in Dorset. The village was near Corscombe on the outskirts of Beaminster. Her father and mother, Thomas and Elizabeth Hains had four other children.
By 1891, the family had moved to Lyme Regis where Thomas was the cemetery keeper due to his previous occupation as gardener. Lydia was a dressmaker’s apprentice.
She was on the 1901 census she was employed by the Rogerson family as a ‘sewing maid’ at their home, Oakdene, Didsbury, Manchester.
By 1911, Lydia had returned to Lyme Regis as was a self employed dressmaker.
According to ‘The Pioneer Policewomen’ by Mary S Allen, Lydia joined the Women Police Service in 1916 serving at Gretna, living in Women’s Police Barracks No2.
The 1918 electoral roll for Dorset, indicates she had left Gretna and was living at 56 Broad Street in Lyme Regis with her mother.
By 1921, they had moved in with Lydia’s brother John and were in a property on Silver Street. She was still a dressmaker whilst John was a garage proprietor in Lyme.
In 1928, Lydia married Harry Saunders and they continued to live the Lyme area.
The 1939 registration shows Lydia and Harry were in the nearby village of Uplyme, just over the border in Devon where Harry had a position as ‘relief postman’.
Harry passed away in 1951, whilst Lydia died on 26 August 1956 in Port Bredy Hospital, Bridport. The hospital was the original Bridport workhouse that had become a hospital mostly for elderly patients. Now the building has been converted for use as flats.
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