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Rachel Ganley (1889-1959)

Sunderland shipyard worker claimed compensation for unfair dismissal

On 22 August, 1916 the Sunderland Echo reported that Nora Deary and another employee, Rachel Ganley, had claimed compensation against their dismissal from their place of work, an unnamed shipyard in Pallion, Sunderland. They also challenged the suggestion that they had been “carrying on” with men while working and pointed out that they were married women whose husbands were serving as soldiers in the war. (See “Supporting Materials” below):

These details about these two women are likely to be accurate, to the best of our knowledge, but any further information about them would always be welcome:

Rachel Ganley was born in 1889 in Sunderland, her maiden name was Kelly. Her father, John, was a general labourer who was born in Hull, and his wife, also called Rachel, was born in Barnsley. They also had three sons, Matthew, John and Thomas.

By 1911, Rachel was 22 years old and working as a general servant. She still lived with her parents at 14 Nicholson Street, Sunderland.
She married John Thomas Ganley in 1913. John was an iron foundry worker, like his father, Bartholomew Ganley. John was born in 1891 so was two years younger than his wife.

During the war John served in the Durham Light Infantry as a Private, unit number 12741. He served in the 10th and 11th battalions and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. John survived the war and eventually died in 1948, aged 58. Rachel survived him, dying in 1959, aged 70.

Civil Parish: Sunderland

Armed force/civilian: Civilian

Gender: Female

Contributed by Mel Brown, Durham