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Nora Cecilia Deary (1882-1966)

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 Material” 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:

Nora Cecilia Deary was born in 1882. Her maiden name was Darling and in the 1901 census she is recorded as living with her mother, Ellen, a widow who was born in Limerick, Ireland. She also had an older sister, Ada. Both girls were working, Nora as a dressmaker and Ada as a hardware shop assistant.

In 1911 she was 29 years old and living in Liddell Terrace, Sunderland, with her husband, Hugh, whom she had married three years earlier. They had a two-year-old son, George Stanley. Hugh was a bootmaker and repairer but his stepfather and his brother worked in the local shipyards. Nora was clearly working in one of those yards during the war, one of many women who replaced the men serving in the armed forces. Nora’s husband, Hugh, served in the Northumberland Fusiliers during the war, his unit number was 26331. He survived the war and died in 1940 at the age of 61. Nora survived him and lived until 1966. She was 84 years old when she died.

Civil Parish: Sunderland

Armed force/civilian: Civilian

Gender: Female

Contributed by Mel Brown, Durham