DCSIMG

Wartime boatwoman, Olga Kevelos has died

One of Second War's most famous "Idle Women" has died, aged 85.

Olga Kevelos, of Bulls Lane in Kings Sutton on the Northamptonshire border, was one of a group of extraordinary women who volunteered to work the nation's canals during the war.

The equivalent to the the more famous Land Girls, Olga worked tirelessly on the Inland Waterways between 1943 and 1945.

The group were nicknamed the "Idle Women" because of the IW initials they wore on their badges.

After the war Olga went on to become landlady of The Three Tuns pub, in Kings Sutton, which she ran with her brother Raymond.

She also appeared on Mastermind, in 1978, with Genghis Khan as her main subject and astronomy as her second choice.

Last October, Olga was an honoured guest at the unveiling of a plaque at the Canal Museum, at Stoke Bruerne, to commemorate the work of the wartime Inland Waterways Boatwomen.

Speaking of the honour last year, Olga said: "It was nice that they thought about us before it was too late, in order to remember the people and the efforts they made.

"Idleness was something there wasn't time for; we were very busy.

"The days were 18 hours long and you just had to keep moving.

It was a life-defining thing to do."

Olga died on October 28, 2009, after suffering a stroke.

Her funeral will be held today at Kings Sutton Parish Church, starting at noon.

 
 
 

Back to the top of the page