Lady Florence Mary Cecil
Lady Florence Cecil’s petition to the Prince of Wales appealing for cruciform headstones, 1919. © CWGC.
Lady Florence Cecil
Sara Smith enlisted the help of prominent aristocratic women to further the Association’s cause, including Lady Florence Cecil, wife of the Bishop of Exeter. The couple lost three sons in the war, so Cecil had a personal investment in the work of the Association when she became its Vice-President.
Cecil went on to launch her own petition in 1919, appealing to the Prince of Wales to allow permanent headstones in the shape of a cross. It garnered 8,000 signatures, and alongside many are poignant details of the dead. Mrs. Nicholson simply states, “An only son”. Mrs. W. de Courcy Stretton records
“Four dear sons (out of five) have given their lives for their King and Country”