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Women's stories of Great War sacrifice revealed

New technology is helping highlight the little-known contribution and sacrifice of women during the Great War.

More than 650 women who died during the war are commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) worldwide, with new information panels highlighting the stories of some of those women who gave their lives.

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The 100th information panel has been installed at Etaples Military Cemetery in France, revealing the stories of two female casualties of the First World War: Nursing Sister Dorothea Crewdson and YMCA volunteer Bertha 'Betty' Stevenson.

During the war, the area around the small fishing port of Etaples - known to many British soldiers as "Eat Apples" - became the largest British military base in the world, home to army training and reinforcement camps as well as hospitals.

Started in May 1915, Etaples Military Cemetery is now the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in France with almost 11,000 Commonwealth burials.

The cemetery's new visitor information panel reveals the stories of Sister Crewdson and Ms Stevenson.

Sister Crewdson, a Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse, was transferred to Etaples in 1915. In the summer of 1918 Etaples was attacked by German aircraft, leaving her injured. She refused treatment so she could continue to care for her patients, earning her the Military Medal, but died in 1919 after contracting peritonitis.

Claire Douglas, from the CWGC, said: "The Commonwealth War Graves Commission believes this initiative will help bring home to all of us the great sacrifice made by servicemen and women in two world wars. It is a powerful way to combine traditional forms of remembrance, with new technology, to ensure we never forget."

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