Lily Maybury’s Cap Badge read her story below
Courage calls to courage everywhere! This call to arms appears on the new Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square, London. On Sunday the statue will witness the arrival of 40,000 people taking part in Processions to mark some women getting the vote in 1918. This mass gathering will include women who have participated in the museum’s recent project to create a banner which will represent the borough.
The inclusion of the word courage sparked thoughts of women from the borough who have shown strength and resilience in their lives improving the world for those around them. Over the next few weeks we will take the opportunity to celebrate some of these women.
We will begin with the Story of Lily Maybury
World War 2 left its mark on the borough. Air raids of incendiary devices and high explosives were to take their toll on the borough as they did across the many towns and cities caught in the conflict. Lives were lost and extraordinary acts of bravery took place.
In addition to those who served in the armed forces overseas everyday men and women were to assist the war effort here on their doorsteps. Lily Maybury was one of those volunteers. Lily was a trained nurse and when the war began she became part of the Civil Defence in Nuneaton. She was stationed at a first aid point in Higham Lane.
During the night of 16th May 1941, came the worst air raid to hit Nuneaton. Early during the raid the gas, electricity and telephones were put out of order. The Air Raid of that night caused extensive damage to the town. 110 people were killed and 170 people were injured during the raid.
Lily worked alone by candlelight, tending wounds and the severely injured. She wasn’t able to save two of the wounded. She recorded treating 19 people but the actual total was higher. She was so focussed on her work that she had to be told that the air raid had ended. Even then she cleaned up her post before she went off duty.
For this action, she was presented with the MBE by King George VI in 1942 on his visit to Nuneaton.