Beatrice Emmott

A Telegram Girl working for the Royal Navy


Beatrice Emmott, “Bea” to her friends, is rather serious minded and dedicated to the war effort. While patriotic appeal may be a part of it, this is largely in her mind a way of dealing with her father and brother being at the front. She may be seen by others, mostly Cadet Randall Tanner, as standoffish, especially in his attempts to woo her. Beatrice judges Cadet Tanner as something of a cad, a not too wrong assessment, and has thus far rejected all of his advances in spite of his charming nature.


Beatrice Emmott was born on 1 November 1896 in the Silvertown area of London to John and Sarah Emmott. She was the youngest of three, the oldest being her brother Simon and the middle child being her sister Maud. John worked in a sugar refinery, while Sarah worked in a textile factory. The children began working as early as 10, often in various street jobs. Simon in particular took to selling newspapers, while Beatrice often cleaned windows.

When war was declared in 1914, John quit his job to join the Army as part of Kitchener’s volunteers. Simon followed soon after and Maud began working at a munitions plant. Beatrice became a telegram messenger, and was soon assigned many important telegrams too and from the Naval Intelligence Division’s “Room 40”. Though she does not truly know the nature of the messages she delivers, she knows they are vital to the war effort.

It was at this time that she met Cadet Randall Tanner. While she was initially interested in his charming nature and good looks, stories began to surface of his amorous attempts on others, and she attempted to distance herself from him.

Beatrice Emmott

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