One of the items featured in the Museum of Richmond First World War exhibition, as well as in our schools learning resources, is the MBE awarded to Dorothy Hardy. It was loaned by Dorothy’s daughter, Jean.
Dorothy was one of nine children of the successful artist Thomas Bush Hardy. During the First World War she volunteered as a nurse. In 1920, she was awarded an MBE for her work, a new award devised by George V to recognise the role of civilians during the war.
Frustratingly, that is all we know about Dorothy and her war experiences. What did she do to win the award? How did she feel about it? We have no idea. We have a copy of the letter notifying Dorothy of the award but it makes no mention of the reason she was awarded it.
Dorothy (the nurse on the left) is shown in this picture, along with several unknown colleagues. When and where the photo was taken, we do not know.
If you have any more information about Dorothy, or any of the people in this picture, do get in touch. We would be grateful for any information.
(And if you have any old photographs lying around, go write a description on the back of them right now – help out future historians!)