Not only have commemorative events to mark major milestones in the First World War a century ago have been extremely dignified – there were concerns that they would be too jingoistic – but they have unearthed some unlikely heroes and heroines whose humbling self-sacrifice deserves to be recognised by today’s generation.
Take Wakefield’s Nellie Spindler, who qualified as a nurse in 1915 and enrolled with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Deployed to France ahead of the Third Battle of Ypres, she died on August 21, 1917, from shrapnel wounds suffered at the field hospital where she was treating injured soldiers.
Just 26 years of age, she died in the arms of the sister-in-charge just 20 minutes after being injured and is the only woman to have been buried with full military honours.
As such, it is fitting that a special service will be held on Monday to mark the death of a Yorkshirewoman who represented the best of human kindness.