Rose Mary Savage, second of three daughters, was born into an English military family in India of the British Raj in 1893. Her childhood was spent between continents, east and west taking in Northern Ireland where her father had connections. After receiving her secondary education in Sussex England she returned to India at seventeen to spend a number of seasons attending balls, festive ceremonies and doing the rounds expected of any young debutante of her age and social class. A keen observer, she kept a diary entering comments and sketches of what she saw.
By the end of 1914, R.M., newly trained in First Aid, offered her services as a voluntary nurse to help out in the war effort. She worked with St John’s Ambulance Brigade in Belfast before being taken on as a V.A.D. nurse and sent to Rouen, France, where she would work with Number 12 General Hospital of the British Expeditionary Force until 30 January 1919. Her sketches of experience in that hospital camp were used in nurse-mate Olive Dent’s autobiographical work, A VAD in France. Rose Mary and her father, who was commander of 13th Royal Irish Rifles and fought at the Battle of the Somme, both received recognition for their exceptional contributions during WWI.
Rose Mary married a Lieut. William E. Maxwell of the 3/10 Beluch Regiment in 1924 and the couple had a son and a daughter. They fled India just before the fall of the British Raj 1947and found a permanent home in Bandon, Co. Cork where they lived out the rest of their lives. William died of a heart condition in 1951. R.M. remarried in 1960, a Richard Lee. She ran a farm and livery business along with her new husband and lived to the age of ninety. She died in February 1983 and is buried in Briny, Co. Cork.
Archival History ↴
This collection of documents, including letters, newspaper cuttings, a diary, and other ephemera, was donated to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association (RDFA) by Honor Lee, grand-daughter of Rose Mary Savage. It was donated to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association Archive via Tom Burke (chairman of RDFA), 1999.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association ↴
The collection contains correspondences relating to background of Rose Mary Savage’s father, Col. William Savage, in England and India, and Northern Ireland; also records from the British Red Cross and Order of St. John museums concerning Rose Mary Savage V.A.D.; newspaper cuttings of General Haig 1917 ‘Despatch Lists’, photographs and book extracts of pertinent military individuals connected with WW1 and Amritsar, India; poems; portrait photograph of R.M. Savage; group photographs of V.A.D.s and hospital orderlies; a diary of Col. William Savage (1863-1915) giving insight into life under the Raj; sketches of a V.A.D.s life in wartime France; posters and brochures. Also included is a short biography of Rose Mary Savage by Tom Burke (RDFA).
Appraisal Destruction ↴
The collection is arranged partly in chronological order.
Conditions of Access & Use
Available to view by public who apply for research card in Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin.
Conditions Governing Reproduction
The terms of the Copyright and Related Acts (2000) allows DCLA to provide photocopies of material for research purposes only.
Collection has been digitised & will be added to Dublin City Libraries and Archives Digital Repository
The Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association archive (IE DCLA/RDFA) is located at the Dublin City Archives
Descriptive Control Area
IGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description, Dublin Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009.
ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, 2nd ed., Ottowa, International Council on Archives, 2000.