Pomies was born in France. She studied dentistry at university
but was also involved in sporting activities and became the best
javelin thrower in France.
Carmen also played football and in 1920 the Federation des
Societies Feminine Sportives de France decided to send a team to
tour England. Madame Milliat, who had founded the federation,
was a great advocate of women playing football: "In my opinion,
football is not wrong for women. Most of these girls are
beautiful Grecian dancers. I do not think it is unwomanly to
play football as they do not play like men, they play fast, but
not vigorous football."
The French team played four matches against the famous Dick Kerr
Ladies on behalf of the National Association of Discharged and
Disabled Soldiers and Sailors. A crowd of 25,000 people turned
up to the home ground of Preston North End to see the first
unofficial international between England and France. England won
the game 2-0 with Florrie Redford and Jennie Harris scoring the
The two teams travelled to Stockport by charabanc. This time
England won 5-2. The third game was played at Hyde Road,
Manchester. Over 12,000 spectators saw France obtain a 1-1 draw.
Madame Milliat reported that the first three games had raised
£2,766 for the ex-servicemens fund.
The final game took place at Stamford Bridge, the home of
Chelsea Football Club. A crowd of 10,000 saw the French Ladies
win 2-1. However, the English Ladies had the excuse of playing
most of the game with only ten players as Jennie Harris suffered
a bad injury soon after the game started. This game caused a
stir in the media when the two captains, Alice Kell and Madeline
Bracquemond, kissed each other at the end of the match.
On 28th October, 1920. Alfred Frankland took the Dick Kerr
Ladies on a tour France. Once again Carmen Pomies played for the
French team. On Sunday 31st October, 22,000 people watched the
two sides draw 1-1 in Paris.
The next game was played in Roubaix. England won 2-0 in front of
16,000 spectators, a record attendance for the ground. Florrie
Redford scored both the goals. England won the next game at
Havre, 6-0. The final game was in Rouen. The English team won
2-0 in front of a crowd of 14,000.
The French team arrived for another tour of England in May,
1921. Carmen Pomies played extremely well and Alfred Frankland
persuaded her to remain in England and play for Dick Kerr
Ladies. Frankland arranged for her to work in the offices of
Whittingham Hospital and Lunatic Asylum in Preston. Her first
game was against Coventry Ladies on 6th August, 1921.
In 1922 Frankland decided to take his team on a tour of Canada
and the United States. The team included Carmen Pomies, Jennie
Harris, Daisy Clayton, Alice Kell, Florrie Redford, Florrie
Haslam, Alice Woods, Jessie Walmsley, Lily Parr, Molly Walker,
Lily Lee, Alice Mills, Annie Crozier, May Graham, Lily Stanley
and R. J. Garrier. Their regular goalkeeper, Peggy Mason, was
unable to go due to the recent death of her mother.
When the Dick Kerr Ladies arrived in Quebec on 22nd December,
1922, they discovered that the Dominion Football Association had
banned them from playing against Canadian teams. They were
accepted in the United States, and even though they were
sometimes forced to play against men, they lost only 3 out of 9
games. They visited Boston, Baltimore, St. Louis, Washington,
Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia during their tour of America.
Florrie Redford was the leading scorer on the tour but Lily Parr
was considered the star player and American newspapers reported
that she was the "most brilliant female player in the world".
One member of the team, Alice Mills, met her future husband at
one of the games, and would later return to marry him and become
an American citizen.
In Philadelphia four members of the team, Jennie Harris, Florrie
Haslam, Lily Parr, and Molly Walker, met the American Women's
Olympic team in a relay race of about a quarter of a mile. Even
though their fastest runner, Alice Woods, was unavailable
through illness, the Preston ladies still won the race.
Dick Kerr Ladies continued to play charity games in England but
denied access by the Football Association to the large venues,
the money raised was disappointing when compared to the years
immediately following the First World War. In 1923 the French
Ladies came over for their annual tour of England. They played
against Dick Kerr Ladies at Cardiff Arms Park. Part of the
proceeds were for the Rheims Cathedral Fund in France.
Carmen Pomies eventually returned to France where she continued
to play football. This stopped after the invasion of France in
1940. She wrote to a friend that "the Germans had stopped us
During the Second World War Pomies was a member of the French
Forces of the Interior (FFI) and was one of the heroines of the
French Resistance. In a letter to Alfred Frankland she explained
that "I did it with all my heart and strength. I went on the
barricades and fought my part."
Pomies worked in an office where a German officer signed
passports. She was able to serve the Conseil National de la
Resistance (CNR) and help people escape France by obtaining
passports for those who were wanted by the Gestapo.
At the end of the war Pomies returned to Preston where she lived
with former team mate, Florrie Redford.
We are indebted to the research carried out by Barbara Jacobs (The
Dick, Kerr's Ladies) and Gail Newsham (In a League of their Own)
for the information in this article.