Richmond WW1 Diary 29 August 1916

Image of poppy

The funeral of Mrs Christmas

An article in the Richmond & Twickenham Times recorded the funeral of Mrs Christmas of 2 St John’s Cottages, Kew.

Alice Christmas had been working out of the Acton Garage for the London General Omnibus Company when she was killed in an omnibus accident in Fulham. Her funeral was attended by 32 bus drivers and “no fewer than sixty ‘conductorettes'”.

More than two million women volunteered to fill essential roles left vacant by men who had joined the armed forces. Their vital work kept the economy going but they were paid less than their male counterparts, yet the work could be dangerous, particularly for those working in the munitions factories.

Alice had married Alfred Christmas in 1912 and the couple had a young daughter, Rhoda. Alfred was serving with the East Surrey Regiment in India when his wife died.

The article also mentions Arthur Christmas, also in India. While tantalising, no conclusive evidence has been found to link these two to the Christmas brothers from the Kew Methodist memorial.

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