Heroines' Stories

Hundreds of heroine stories were pinned to display boards in Ripon Cathedral during VE70 Commemoration in May 2015. Visitors from all over the UK wrote personal tributes and gave thanks for the lives and heroism of their grandmothers, great-grandmothers, great-aunties, mothers. North Yorkshire schoolchildren also researched the stories of historical figures and wrote to them. A selection appears below.

If you have any photos relating to any of the people and places in the stories below, please upload them to the Gallery. You can also add your own story. It is particularly important to mention locations, as well as names, because this can open the door to valuable untold stories.

Barbara Jackson

Dear Barbara Jackson From Mya, great granddaughter I’m thanking you great grandma because you looked after children who got evacuated. Your job was vitally important since you had to make sure the children were fed and safe. I’m glad you’re still alive after the time you put sand over a bomb. When you took the […]

Girl Guides – All of Them

Girl Guides – All of Them To all the Girl Guides for their contribution to the war effort. They met every evacuee train and befriended children, taking them to their local Brownie and Guide units. Their leaders had gone to serve in the war but the Guides continued to meet and were led by their […]

Tunster Family

Thank you to the Tunster Family (German) From Elizabeth (Age 70) German/English/Jewish ancestry. You arrived at Southampton in the latter half of the 19th Century from Germany. You fought for Britain in BOTH world Wars yet you suffered prejudice. Now is the time for forgiveness. Thank you to Alfred Tunster and family.

Ester Hibbert

Dear Ester Hibbert From Aler, grand daughter Thank you for supporting the war effort. I’m not just saying a normal thanks. It really means a lot to me. Grandad (Dick Stocker) told me a lot about you. Apparently you were a very daring woman! You taught yourself to drive. You sound like a funny, humerous […]

Dear Ma

Dear Ma From Wilf Withman Thank you for being brave and courageous because that’s the reason I’m stood here today. The world should know your story. If they do, they’ll all be inspired to be like you. Young and brave. You have been through the worst, but you carried on. At three years old you […]

Nana, Grandma and Great Grandma

Dear Nana, Grandma and Great Grandma From Alison Powers, RYH Committee, Year 6 Teacher I was lucky enough to have known you although it is only in recent years that I have begun to understand and appreciate the varied and valuable contributions you made through two World Wars. Nana – the night shifts in the […]

Mary Fitton

Dear Mary Fitton From Kim, Great Granddaughter I am writing to you to thank you for all your hard work in WWll. I know that making plane parts was a really important job. It meant that planes could be fully built and flown. Also working in Europe’s largest single factory must have been hard as […]


This is a photograph of my great grandma. Thank you to those women who did important jobs in World War Two like my great-grandma.

Mary Elizabeth Craven

Dear Mary Elizabeth Craven From Faith As you are my great-great grandma I am very proud of you being part of my family because you supported the war effort loads when you were only 16 to 20 years old. Depending on the time of the year you always got up at daybreak with loads of […]

Lilian Bader

Dear Lilian Bader From Amelie Thank you for doing your bit in WWll and helping our country succeed. Thank you for being determined and not giving up on finding work even though you were rejected many times. You were one of the only black people in a sea of white people but you kept on […]