The First World War and the Mothers’ Union

This blog post continues our series commemorating the centenary of the Great War. The archive of the Mothers’ Union (MU) includes this roll of honour (ref: MU/MSH/7/1-3) which lists members’ relatives killed in 1914-18. It is signed by George V.


The MU headquarters at Mary Sumner House in Westminster, which opened in 1925, houses a chapel, designed by the architect Paul Waterhouse. This was considered the centre of the building as the MU’s spiritual home, and was built as a memorial to the husbands, sons and brothers of MU members who had died in the Great War and were often buried overseas, meaning no grave could be visited by the bereaved. Cordelia Moyse’s account in A history of the Mothers’ Union (2009) describes how gifts from members “made the chapel a primary site of memory, mourning and meaning” (page 106).

The archive also includes material relating to those who died in World War Two (ref: MU/MSH/7/4-6). The MU records are available for research at the Church of England Record Centre.

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