Sunday, 28 August 2011

When that time comes

Website owners often worry about what will happen when they're no longer able to maintain their site for whatever reason. Even if the finances hang in there, it's a fact of life that death will intervene at some point in the future. Books endure, of course, and people constantly ask me why I haven't written a book. I like the web and the freedom it gives to write, add, change and take away. I've used it to give access to transcriptions of many documents that wouldn't be available to many people otherwise, and that gives me pleasure - too many things are hidden away, invisible to the general public unless they have the time and money to access them. The British Library have addressed this problem, and set up the UK Web Archive, whereby they save snapshots of websites of interest every six months or so, and preserve them for the future, safe from the time when a live site will exist no more. So it comes as some comfort to know that Scarletfinders will be around long after I depart. Sometime in the far distant future send me a postcard to let me know if you like it.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Some new names from Edith Appleton's Diary

A bit of nosing around in service files at The National Archives yesterday has resulted in some more surnames in the diary being confirmed. There is varying information associated with each one, but hopefully enough to give a good idea of their identity:

CHARLESWORTH, Annie; strong family connections with Wombwell, Yorkshire, and her address given towards the end of the war was The Hall, Wombwell, Yorkshire. Nursing sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

CONSTABLE, Nora; born in Ireland circa 1875, and her family were living in Charlbury, Oxfordshire during the Great War. Nursing sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

COULTER Susanna; born in Ireland; trained as a nurse at Manchester Royal Infirmary 1908-1911; home address throughout the war was Westland House, Londonderry, Ireland. Nursing sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

DENTON, Annie Blackley; born 26 November 1868 in Birkenhead, Liverpool, and died in 1957 in Worthing, West Sussex; Matron, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve, and had previous service during the Boer War

GREGSON, Mabel Mary; born 24 April 1874 in Bradford, and during the Great War home address and that of her mother was in the Finchley area of North London. Nursing sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

HUTCHINSON Ethel; born circa 1875 in Nottingham, daughter of John and Mary Hutchinson. Sisters Gertrude and Annie and brothers John, Ben and Thomas. Permanent address for most of war 300 Bluebell Hill Road, Nottingham. Nursing sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. Awarded the Military Medal in 1916 while working at No.33 Casualty Clearing Station, Bethune.

LATHAM Kathleen Mary; born in Richmond-upon-Thames in early 1880, the daughter of Thomas Latham, a barrister, and his wife Mary Harriet, née Doveton. Mary Latham died within three months of her daughter's birth, her death was registered in the June quarter of the same year. Kathleen had one elder brother, Fenton Henry Latham, born in 1877. She trained as a nurse at St. Bartholomew's Hospital between 1906 and 1909. Nursing Sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. Her home address during the Great War was 'Stillingflete, Folkestone, Kent.'

MAIR Jean Dixon; born 25 February 1887, daughter of W. Mair, joiner and cartwright. Family home at Rose Cottage, Whauphill, Wigtownshire, Scotland. Trained as a nurse in Manchester 1909-1912. Staff Nurse, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Known to have married after her demobilisation in 1919, though married name unknown

RAPER, Olive Louise; born circa 1887 in Great Wakering, Essex; Nursing Sister, Territorial Force Nursing Service

RITCHIE-THOMSON, Mary Lamont; born 21 August 1870 in Tobermory, Isle of Mull. Nursing sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

TILNEY, Constance; born circa 1887. During the Great War her mother was living in Ashburnham Road, Bedford, and post-war Miss Tilney had connections in South Africa

TULLY, Elizabeth; Born in Scotland, and family connections during the Great War with Morebattle, Kelso

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Edith Appleton's Diary - help required

I've been asked to post this information to try and find present day relatives of some of those named in Edith Appleton's diary. The most likely way that people will come across these names is while pursuing family history research on the web, so the more places it appears, the more chance there will be of family members being found (I hope).

*****

A television company is trying to trace the descendents of anyone nursed by, or who knew or worked alongside, Sister Edith Appleton, a nurse working in various locations in France throughout the First World War. An index detailing names is below. If you recognise anybody, please get in touch and your details will be forwarded for a potential television project. Although referred to only by surname in the diary, it has been possible to fully identify most of those named below, and more names will be added soon

NURSES

ATKINSON, Miss, also known as ‘Atky,’ a VAD from New Zealand, b. 1860

BALDR(E)Y, Ellen, born in Norfolk, and at the outbreak of war living at 49 Blackwater Road, Eastbourne, Sussex. Served during the Boer War with the Army Nursing Service Reserve. During the Great War an Acting Matron, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

BLAKELY, Maud(e) Mary; a doctor’s daughter, born on 6 March 1874 in Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Trained as a nurse at Chelsea Infirmary, London, between 1895 and 1898. Served with Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service Reserve during the Boer War before joining Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service as a Staff Nurse in February 1903. Promoted Sister in February 1904 and during the Great War was Acting Principal Matron in France and Flanders. Maud Blakely was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, in January 1916, a Bar to the award in January 1919 and the OBE in May 1927. Her sister, Jane Lavens Blakely also served in QAIMNS during the Great War

CLEMENTS, Mary; born 27 January 1875 in Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone, the daughter of a Presbyterian Minister (believed to be William Clements). She trained as a nurse at The London Hospital, Whitechapel, between 1898 and 1901, and was appointed to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in January 1905 as a Staff Nurse, being promoted to Sister in December 1906. During the Great War Mary Clements served as an Acting Matron, and was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, in January 1917. She reached the rank of Matron in 1927, and retired from the service in January 1930

CONGLETON, Jessie Hume; born 12 November 1872 in Newport, Fife; educated at Dundee High School, and trained as a nurse at Dundee Royal Infirmary between 1896 and 1899. Jessie Congleton was appointed as a Staff Nurse in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in September 1906, and promoted to the rank of Nursing Sister in April 1914. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, in June 1915, and was also mentioned in Army Orders in early 1916 ‘for conspicuous bravery during a fire at No.14 Stationary Hospital.’ She retired from QAIMNS in March 1924, and died on 20 April 1932.

DENNE, Ethel Mary; born 3 December 1872 in Hounslow, Middlesex, the daughter of William Robert and Emily Denne. At the time of her birth her father was a bank clerk in Hounslow, but was later employed as a poultry farmer. She was educated at Notting Hill High School, and trained as a nurse at St. Marylebone Infirmary, London, between 1897 and 1900. Ethel Denne was appointed to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in February 1903, and promoted Sister in August 1904. During the Great War she served as an Acting Matron, and was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, in January 1917, and a Bar to the award in April 1919. She retired from the service in December 1927 and died in Hastings in 1956 at the age of 83 years

GASCOIGNE, Elsie Vera Orby, born circa 1880 in Wiltshire, died 1956

HAMILTON-WATTS, Madeline Hamilton, Sister, Territorial Force Nursing Service, born circa 1882 in Plaistow, Essex, and died in Aldershot in 1974

HANSARD, Ethel Maud, nursing sister, trained St. Bartholomew’s Hospital between 1906 and 1909

HARTIGAN, Helena; born 8 April 1878 in Crean, Co. Limerick, the daughter of James Hartigan, gentleman farmer, and Maria Ryan Hartigan. Trained as a nurse at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, between 1901 and 1904 before joining Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in May 1905. Held the position of Acting Principal Matron in France and Flanders during the Great War, and was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class in June 1915, and a Bar to the award in January 1919. Retired from the service in June 1928, and died in 1931, aged 53 years. Her brother was Lt. General James Andrew Hartigan, Royal Army Medical Corps

HINDLE, Hilda

KABERRY, Mabel Lydia; born 15 May 1877 in Pontefract, Yorkshire, the daughter of Isaac Kaberry, a solicitor, and his wife Mary. Trained as a nurse at Bristol General Hospital between 1899 and 1902 where she was awarded the gold medal as top student of her year. She was appointed to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service as a Staff Nurse in June 1905, and promoted Sister in November 1910. She held the position of Acting Matron during most of her Great War service, and was awarded the Royal Red Cross, Second Class, in January 1918. Her elder sister, Ethel Kate Kaberry, also trained as a nurse and served with QAIMNS, resigning on the grounds of ill-health in 1913.

LATHAM, Kathleen Mary; born in Richmond-upon-Thames in early 1880, the daughter of Thomas Latham, a barrister, and his wife Mary Harriet, née Doveton. Mary Latham died within three months of her daughter's birth, her death registered in the June quarter of the same year. Kathleen had one elder brother, Fenton Henry Latham, born in 1877. She trained as a nurse at St. Bartholomew's Hospital between 1906 and 1909. During the Great War was a nursing sister with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. Her home address during the Great War was 'Stillingflete, Folkestone, Kent

McCARTHY, Miss/later Dame Emma Maud, Matron-in-Chief, France and Flanders

MAXEY, Kate; born in Spennymoor, County Durham in 1877, the daughter of Walter John and Jane Maxey (née Watford). She trained as a nurse at Leeds General Infirmary between 1900 and 1903. She enrolled in the Territorial Force Nursing Service in January 1912 while working in Leeds, and was attached to No.2 Northern General Hospital (Territorial Force) as a Staff Nurse. On the outbreak of war she was mobilised and went to France on 9 October 1914, initially to No.8 General Hospital, Rouen, being promoted to Sister in September 1917. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, and the Military Medal for her actions at No.58 Casualty Clearing Station on the night of 21 March 1918, the citation reading:
For gallantry and conspicuous devotion to duty displayed during a recent hostile bombing raid on a CCS. Although severely wounded herself, she went to the aid of another Sister, who was fatally wounded, and did all she could for her. Later, although suffering severe pain, she showed an example of pluck and endurance which was inspiring to all


RENTZSCH, Ethel Maude; born on 5 April 1970 in Hackney, London the daughter of Benjamin and Marie (Edith) Rentzsch. Educated at Notting Hill High School, and trained as a nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, between 1896 and 1899. Ethel Rentzsch was appointed as a Staff Nurse to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in May 1905 and promoted Sister in 1909. She had a brother, Sigismund Rentzsch, which suggests the family were descended from the well known 19th century watchmaker of the same name. Ethel Rentzsch retired from QAIMNS in August 1924 and died in Brighton in 1941.

SCHREINER, Believed to be either Ursula Hester Schreiner or Frances Lydall Schreiner, both South African VADs.

SMITH, Gertrude Mary Wilton (also WILTON-SMITH); born 14 April 1872 in Folkingham, Lincolnshire, the daughter of William Wilton Smith, a clergyman, and his wife Louisa. Trained as a nurse at Bedford County Hospital between 1897 and 1900, and appointed to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service as a Staff Nurse in July 1904. Promoted Sister in June 1906, and during the Great War served as an Acting Matron from June 1915. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class in June 1915 and a Bar to the award in January 1919. Gertrude Wilton Smith retired from the service on 21 October 1926

SMITH, Jeanie Macpherson Barclay (also BARCLAY-SMITH); born in Scotland 22 February 1874, the daughter of John Smith, a pharmacist, and his wife Margaret. Trained as a nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary between 1901 and 1904 and joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service as a Staff Nurse in September 1907. She resigned from the service in July 1911, but returned on the outbreak of the Great War to serve once more. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, on 23 June 1915. Jeanie Barclay Smith died of endocarditis on 28 April 1916, and is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.

STEEN, Lavinia Eliza Caroline; born in St. Petersburg, Russia, 20 January 1869, the daughter of a stockbroker. She trained as a nurse at Bristol General Hospital between 1891 and 1894, and was appointed to the Army Nursing Service in March 1897, transferring to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in February 1903. She served in South Africa during the Boer war and was promoted to Matron in May 1910, the rank she held during the Great War. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross, First Class, in June 1916, and a Bar to the award in March 1919. After being invalided home from France in March 1916 (diary 9/3/16) she was granted sick leave, and later returned to work as the Matron of Reading War Hospital, Berkshire. She retired from the service on the grounds of ill-health in December 1922

TRUSLOVE, Annie Elizabeth, b. circa 1875 in Warwickshire

TUNLEY, Mabel Mary; born 10 July 1970 in Pontypridd, South Wales, the daughter of Charles William Tunley, a schoolteacher, and his wife Louisa (née Smith). She trained as a nurse at Leeds General Infirmary between 1896 and 1899, and soon after the completion of her training served with Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service Reserve in South Africa during the Boer War. She was appointed to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service as a Staff Nurse in March 1903, rising to become an Acting Principal Matron in France and Flanders during the Great War. Mabel Tunley received the Royal Red Cross, First Class in January 1916, and a Bar to the award in January 1919. In September 1916 she was awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire, the citation reading:
At Bethune, on the 7th August 1916, she did exceptionally good work in assisting getting all the patients, 260, down to the cellars, so that when the Clearing Station was eventually hit not one of the patients received a scratch. Her cheeriness and courage were instrumental in keeping everyone who came in contact with her up to the mark. She was slightly wounded and remained at duty.
She retired from the service in July 1925, and died in Hull in September 1932 from the complications of diabetes


WAITE, Margaret Bowman; just surname given, and believed to be this woman, but not able to confirm in the absence of a service file.

WELFORD, Millie, VAD


SOLDIERS/PATIENTS

BARBER, Albert Edward, M.M., L/Cpl 9189, Essex Regiment
BELL-IRVING, Captain Malcolm McBean
BERREL, John, Private 2827, Seaforth Highlanders
BLOGG, Edward Basil, Major, Royal Engineers
CHITTY, Henry Leonard, Serjeant 12/3583, Auckland Regiment
COOPER, T., Private 1633, Yorkshire Regiment
HENDRY, Mr., a wounded officer with family living in Paris
HAMMOND, Paul, Captain, East Lancashire Regiment
KERR, Charles, Private 8209, Manchester Regiment
LENNOX, James, Rifleman 1925, Royal Irish Rifles
LIMBRICK, George Thomas Alfred, Private 1265, Australian Infantry
MADDOX, Sam, a patient
MIDDLETON, F. G., Serjeant 639, Lancashire Fusiliers
PARTLIN, J. E., Serjeant 15967, Border Regiment
PIERCE, a New Zealand Sergeant-Major and patient
ROGERS, a patient from Sandwich
RUDMAN, a patient
SAWDON, George Herbert, Sapper 59612, Royal Engineers
THACKERAY, Edward Rennell, Colonel, Royal Field Artillery
VERNON LEE, Mr., patient, formerly musician and composer
WANSTALL, Ernest

A full list of all those mentioned in the diary, identified or otherwise, can be found on the following page:

Edith Appleton's Diary - complete list of those mentioned

If you are related to any of those named above, and wish to get in touch, please contact Dick Robinson through the visitor's book here:

Edith Appleton - Visitors' Book

Or by contacting me via the email link on my profile page in the right-hand menu.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Bit of Luck

I was very excited to wake up early on Sunday morning and find an email on my phone telling me that one of my book 'wants' had turned up, and asking if I wanted to buy it. The book in question was Kate Luard's 'Unknown Warriors' and definitely my most 'wanted.' I've got a wide range of old and new books relating to nursing during the Great War, but this one had previously eluded me - I've found a couple of copies before, only to be pipped at the post, and one or two that I couldn't afford. This time I was determined not to miss out, and my copy arrived this morning, complete with Kate Luard's hand-written dedication to her brother inside:

T. B. L. from K. E. L.
21.3.30

The cover is a little tatty, but the pages still so tight that I'm not sure it was ever read, or certainly not more than once. I think that's about to change!

Unknown Warriors - Extracts from the Letters of K. E. Luard, R.R.C.
Chatto and Windus, 1930

Monday, 8 August 2011

Military hospitals 1917

I've recently completed a database of all the hospitals that were caring for military personnel in the autumn of 1917, and thought it might be helpful to add some of this information to my Scarletfinders website. The database is quite detailed, so not easy to put all of that on the site - both author and readers would lose the will to live I think - but I've added the names of all 2,500 hospitals with at least the town they were situated in (or more correctly 'in which they were situated'!). Hopefully it will come in useful for someone. The new pages start here:

UK military hospitals 1917

I'm collecting quite a few photos of these hospitals now - some were in very grand buildings - and will add some here soon.