Isabel Thomas (née Bollard)
First Name(s): Isabel
Unmarried Surname: Bollard
Married Surname: Thomas, 1924
Date of Birth: 14 February 1894, Liverpool, Lancashire
Date of death: 1969, Montreal, Canada
Isabel is listed as a tailoress in the 1911 UK Census while she was still living at home. We don’t know exactly what Isabel did immediately after the First World War, but she is known to have worked as a tailoress, the sole female tailor in a men’s tailoring shop in London. This is interesting historically. Did the terrible carnage and loss of young men in the war open up a spot for a female tailor in what had been a traditionally male profession? Had Isabel’s broadening experience as a Land Girl given her the confidence to apply for and land this job?
In 1924 she emigrated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and married Elliseus Thomas whom she had met in Liverpool. They moved to Asbestos, Quebec where her husband was a miner, but later returned to Montreal. She had many jobs, included waitressing and housekeeping for a hotel. She continued to use her tailoring and dressmaking skills by making clothes for her five daughters and for the Christmas pageants at her church.
Both of Isabel’s younger brothers (Richard John Francis Bollard and William Bollard) enlisted in the British Expeditionary Force, First World War. They both were wounded but survived and eventually emigrated to Canada, as well. Their older sister, Catherine, was an upholsterer, ran her own business, and never married. She remained in Liverpool until her death.
The photo of Isabel Bollard in her Land Girl uniform is shared courtesy of my cousins, her grandchildren: Jane Butts Brooks and Daphnee Butts Hatton. Daphnee still treasures and wears the locket seen in this photo.