From Hoole History and Heritage Society

GILLEN, Sheila

Gillen S

Regiment: Civilian

Rank: Nurse

Died: 29 November 1940

Aged: 25

Buried/ Memorial: Overleigh Chester

Address: 87 Hoole Road, Hoole

Chester Chronicle 07 January 1940


The funeral of Miss Sheila Gillen, whose death occurred as a result of enemy action in the North West last week, took place at St Werburgh’s Church, Chester, on Wednesday, when Requiem Mass was celebrated by Father Irish. Miss Gillen was a native of County Sligo, Ireland and her home was in Southport. The mourners were Miss Gillen (aunt) and Miss Gillen (sister). Other present included Dr Seymour and the matron of the hospital (representing the medical and nursing staff) and Mr Clarke, secretary (representing the chairman and committee). The arrangements were carried out by Messrs W H Hallmark and Son, Chester.

The enemy action referred to was an air raid which took place on the night of 28/29 November 1940. During the raid bombs were dropped on Barrowmore Hall. This had been operating as a tuberculosis hospital since the Great War.

The bombs caused extensive damage and injury – 19 killed and 30 injured.

Another part of the estate was involved in the assembly of aircraft parts.

For further information on the air raid see “What Did You Do In The War Deva?” edited by Emma Stuart.

Her father, Mr J Gillen, is listed by Commonwealth War Graves Commission as next-of-kin at 87 Hoole Road.

Sheila Gillen's family have been active in bringing her story forward locally and in Ireland. The link to an article in an Irish newspaper is (in which her picture is copyrighted).