Wenches in Trenches are a group of women, from all walks of life, who raise money for military charities by doing a sponsored walk each year, around September time, on the western Front.
The Great War saw large number of women serving as nurses or with the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) and many of these died as a result of their service, either through disease or enemy action.
No memorial to these brave women had ever been erected, on the western Front until 1st July 2015 when an eight seat memorial bench was unveiled at the Crater. The bench was hand made by Friend of Lochnagar Vinny Felstead.
Each of the eight seat backs take the form of a Red Cross, and written across the top of the semi-elliptical bench are the words: IN MEMORY OF THE NURSES AND VADs OF ALL NATIONS WHO SERVED IN THE GREAT WAR. The words being repeated below in French.
After a wreath was laid in honour of the Nurses and VADs, the Chaplain of Friends of Lochnagar said a blessing and the founder of ‘The Wenches’, Sue Robinson, made a small speech thanking everyone who had helped the project. Richard Dunning then also made a small speech and presented a wooden plaque to Sue, beautifully carved by Tim Rogers, depicting a scene of nurses attending a wounded soldier.
In 2016 a granite stone was placed in front of the nurses bench ‘Dedicated to all the valiant women who served in the Great War’.