Mabel’s War

The Military Museum and the Grosvenor Museum in Chester have been working in partnership to commemorate World War I through a selection of 100 year old note books belonging to Mabel, a Cheshire nurse who collected stories, poems, letters and drawings from the soldiers she cared for in the First World War.

Mabel and George Leach

Believed to be a photo of Mabel and George Leach

The notebooks will inspire and engage four local groups in varied, creative ways.  Between January 2014 and March 2014 Mabel’s notebooks will be the basis of four very different sessions.

Mabel lived and worked in Frodsham and the museums are working with Manley Primary School children to discover more about her and her notebooks and use these as inspiration to put together their own notebooks between January and March 2014.

Starting in January and running every Saturday for 10 weeks, Mabel’s notebooks will also be used to inspire primary school children to develop a drama performance.  These sessions will be run by Steph Brocken from Minerva Arts at the Military Museum. Steph will use the different types of entries, from the notebook, that the children are most interested in to develop a piece of drama which will be filmed and also performed to family and friends at the end of the 10 weeks.

Mabel was a volunteer nurse during the First World War and would have worked with many different soldiers offering them care and working in wards set up in local buildings.  Nursing students from Chester University will work with Juliet Staines, an artist, in March and compare and contrast their own nursing experience with Mabel’s. This will be enhanced with work from Chester University’s Historical Society and museum, with the added bonus of having two 1960s nurses involved in the project.

Drawing of nurse and soldier

A drawing discovered in one of Mabel’s note books showing a first World War soldier

West Cheshire College’s adult literacy group will work with Edwin Stockdale, a local poet in February to respond via creative writing.  The groups will learn all about Mabel and her life and get a chance to look in depth at her differing responses from the soldiers.
All the creative responses will then go on display at the Military Museum in March 2014 and all involved invited to view this work.


Keep checking back for more information on each of the individual sessions and their progress!
For more information about this project, please contact Lorna Kernahan ( or 01244 972120).


Mabel’s War – drama project

Mabel’s War, a partnership project with the Cheshire Military Museum, Grosvenor Museum and Minerva Arts starts Saturday 18 January, 10am – 12noon.

On Saturday 18 January the free 10 week drama project, that will create a brand new piece of drama, holds its first session.  The project will take its inspiration from the 100 year old note books of Mabel, a Cheshire nurse who collected stories, poems, letters and drawings from the soldiers she cared for in the First World War.

The free weekly workshops, which will take place at the Cheshire Military Museum in Chester, are run by Artistic Director Steph Brocken from Minerva Arts and are designed for children aged 7—11 year olds. Children wishing to take part in the drama project will need to book by Friday 10 January.

For more information or to book onto the drama project please contact Caroline Mannion. Email: Telephone: 01244 327617

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