PLANT Lilian

Known information

We know very little about Lilian Plant who served in the Women's Royal Air Force. We don't even know how she died although it was possibly in the great 'flu epidemic of 1918. She was born in Ryhall around 1893, the only child of John and Elizabeth Plant. Elizabeth was in her mid-40s when Lilian was born. Lilian was still living at home in 1911, where she was registered on the census as helping her mother who would have been in her early 60s at that time. They lived in a seven room house and had a boarder, John Plowman, who was a railway clerk. Lilian enrolled on 25 January 1918, presumably into the Women's Auxilliary Army Corps, before becoming a Member in the newly-formed Women's Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. A Member of the WRAF was the equivalent of an Aircraft Mechanic/Private in the RAF and Members were recruited in large numbers as aircraft mechanics to free up the men. Members who were divided into two categories: Immobiles who were usually aged between 18 and 20, lived at home and reported each day to their unit, and Mobiles who were over 20 and could be posted anywhere in the UK or overseas. Lilian's name is listed as "LILLIAN" on the CWGC site, but her family headstone in Ryhall churchyard and in the local census has her name as "LILIAN." Although buried in the churchyard, Lilian does not feature on the village war memorial inside.

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Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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