The VAD Auxiliary Hospital was opened in May 1915. The buildings used were the Towers , and the Church Hall or St Edmunds Hall also the School room. The school room is more or less as it was but now a private house . The Towers burned down on August Bank Holiday in 1968 , and all that is left now is the Billiard room and the stables .
The photograph below is courtesy of Mike Bullen and shows a group of the wounded with their nurses outside the back double doors of the school room . it might be possible to guess that the seated nurse maybe the Commandant or Matron. But without a date , its not possible to identify any of them , sadly .
see Charlie Chaplin on the far right !
and the interior of the school room .
Note that dark sleeved nurse on the right may well be the sister in charge , and note how very neat and orderly the beds and soldiers are .
Listed below are the nurses and other staff of the VAD Auxiliary Hospital at Downham . These are records from the VAD.Redcross.co.uk site , the official records of staff .
ARTHUR ABBOTT , Bridge St , engaged 5th May 1915 . joined HM Forces . Hairdresser . enlisted R.W.Surrey Regt 21 June 1916 aged 19. He was discharged “No longer physically fit for war . ” in June 1918 . He was suffering from neurasthenia , (shell shock) and had no sight in his right eye , from an accident aged 3 yrs . ” He complains of constant headaches and shortness of breath ; pulse 108 at rest ; marked impediment in his speech .” War Hospital Bradford .[ Master hairdresser in 1939 register , wife Ethel and son Lionel also a hairdresser and also a member of the VAD ,].
V A ALLEN , Farnborough, Hants. 10/16 to 3 /17. (The record is lacking any further information about V A Allen ) . [Possibly …. Vera Agnes Allen, US citizen ,, arrived Andania at Plymouth in May 1916 from New York . born 1894 ; on Medal rolls as Staff Nurse awarded the Victory and British War Medal May 1916 in France , with the French Red Cross , Harvard Unit . ]
MILDRED BARBER , Crow Hall Farm ; aged 20 from 1/11/18 – still serving 2/5/1919 . ( Fargo Military).[Born Walpole, living 1911 in Pentney with parents William , farmer and Florence Barber . Married 1924 Clarence B Twiss , dispenser , served with the RAMC during the war (see Twiss entry below) . Living London Road 1939 , ( Air Ministry Civilian Warden . )]
FINETTA VILLEBOIS BATHURST , Marham House, comm Downham 26/4/1918 – 24/10/1918. Sister . 3 stripes RRC , RRC 2nd Class , comm August 1914. [ aged 46 in 1911 and living at Marham House with her widowed mother Amy Bathurst nee Granville , and 2 sisters and 2 brothers .]
ALICE ROSE BENNETT, Ashville House, DM . ” Good pleasant capable ” comm April 1918 . terminated June 1919 . Also April 1917 – Nov 1917 VAD France , returned sick. rank at termination , clerk . . 24th July 1916 transf to Eastern Hospital and 28th General Hospital , France. July 1916 – Feb 1918. [ born 1891 dau of John Rose , corn merchant , and Alice of Ashville , Fairfield Road ; married Henry Gordon Parker, son of Favor Parker of Mildenhall 1925 . Awarded British War Medal and Victory Medal ].
HILDA MAY BENNETT ,, High St, DM , aged 24. engaged 1/1/1917 – 2/2/1918 ; Military Hospital Lakenham , Norwich. [ Born 1893 dau of Fred and Emma Bennett, ironmonger. living 1911 High St , DMkt . married 1918 Dennis Sneezum , agricultural ironmonger; he served with the RFA and was commissioned 2nd Lt ]
GLADYS HILDA BEVIS c/o Mrs Hedges , Norton , Suffolk , aged 22 , 18/4/1917 – VAD Hosp DM (kitchen 18/4/1917-23/5/1919) 22/11/1917 . 23/11/1917 40 Static ( and 52) Hosp France ,, trans 31/1/1919 2nd Gen Qtrs France . . 30 Aberdeen Road , Bristol, Pay at engagement £20 , pay at Nov 1917 ,£20 . Kitchen , ward and nursing duties. [ born 1895 dau of Charles and Elizabeth Bevis, supervisor Customs and Excise .]
EMILY BLOMFIELD , Upper Clapton . Aug 1916 – Sept 1917 VAD Aux DM , General hospital work . 87 Eaton Sq 1916-1917 .[ born 1858 Ipswich dau of Thomas , boat builder, and Elizabeth Alderton, married Herbert Blomfield , brewery cashier, 1896; living 1911 Upper Clapton.]
ETHEL BODDY , Little London , Northwold . Nov 1915 – 1 /2/1919 . Buckenham Hall, Mundford, Lynford Hall, Mundford . Sister later Matron . Ref Commandant Margaret Amherst, Norfolk 110 , VAD Aux Hosp DM .[ General Nursing Register from 1918 ; born 1885 dau of Edward ,, gasman, and Harrriet Boddy of Didlington, with grandmother Susan Rudderham widow b Foulden 1891; living 1911 Winchester as hospital nurse aged 26.. Died Christmas Day 1925.]
HELEN MARGARET BOWMAN , Market Place, DM aged 18 , from March 1918- June 1919 , clerk. [ dau of Wm Henry , harness maker, and Lizzie Bowman , High Street , DMkt living in 1911 DMkt with family . Married 1919 in Victoria , Australia, Hunter Gordon Stanley King .]
MRS Lizzie May BOWMAN , Market Sq, DM , Sept 1914-Apr 1919 VAD Aux Hosp DM ,. “Getting teas ; supplying extra help Night duty 6 – 8 hours a week when required,.” [ wife of William Bowman, saddler, of High St , Downham , b 1864 Lincs ; 4 children . mother of the above Helen Margaret ].
ROBERT BOWMAN , Ryston Hall Stables , DM . 5/5/1915 .VAD Aux Hosp DMkt . [ son of Mary Bowman of Hilgay . b 1874 , ag lab . ; 1911 groom and coachman living at Hall Yard, Ryston .] .
ERNEST BOWN ,, Station Road, DM . Oct 1917 – 12/1918 VAD Aux DM . [ son of Joseph , carpenter,, and Alice , of Woollos ,Monmouth. Joined the Metropolitan Police in 1910 . married Minnie Martha Bearman ,, St Pancras, Camden , 1913 . Retired as CID in 1927 to the Dukes Head ,, Stoke Ferry .]
Miss NELLIE HEPZIBAH RACHEL BRITTON . South Runcton , March 1918-March 1919 . Cooking . [born 1895 . dau of Alfred , teamster on farm, and Emily Britton ; married 1920 Sidney Gray , lived 1939 Matlock . son Sidney RAF killed 1941 . Died 1972 ]
KATIE BURDON BROWN , Sparkhill , B`ham ., July 1917 – Sept 1918. Massage sister. Nov 1917 – Sept 1918 , £1.1s, weekly . Sister Brown left to be married and is now Mrs Doherty . VAD Hosp Commandant Margaret Amherst .Awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal .[ born Essex , 1893, dau of Thomas, road surveyor, and Margaret Wake Burdon Brown ; living 1901 Watton , living 1911 , Ashill, school teacher . 1917 registered as masseuse . married Michael Doherty , West Bromwich , 1918, son born E Bradenham 1918 ]
WILLIAM BROWN ,Market Hill, DMkt . May 1915 – 12/1918 . Orderly Transport and escort , DM VAD Aux hosp . [ there are four at least good candidates for William Brown living in Downham in the 1911 census . He might be a 70 yr old widower living in Stow but born Northwold , with his dau Ann Day and her family. His continuous service from the opening of the hospital to the end of the war, would seem to indicate an older man so not of conscription age . ]
QUEENIE BUCKENHAM , Osborne House , Stoke Ferry , May – Dec 1918 . Nursing and Ward work . [ born Muriel Annie . b 1900 dau of William Buckenham , coal merchant , and Annie nee Thwaites . By 1926 living in Chelsea poss working in the Chelsea Hosp for women . 1934 working at the Memorial hospital Edenbridge ; Qualified 1919-1924 at Addenbrookes . in 1934 left for Burma and married a Dr Lindsey . Returned to the UK in 1935 . listed on Midwives roll 1928 . Returned to Burma and died of black water fever 1937 . ]
WILLIAM T CANHAM , The Howdale , DM , May 1915 – May 1917 , orderly , DM VAD Aux hosp. [ William Thomas Canham; son of William Canham , army pensioner, and Elizabeth his wife ; born 1885 Downham . Living 1901 Bexwell Road ; living 1939 Howdale with Violet his wife .solicitors clerk and special constable . ]
EMMA CARRUTHERS , 3 Cromwell Cresc , SW5 . Home was Edmonton Alta , Canada . July 1916 – June 1917 , sister, DM VAD Aux hosp ” Her husband was killed 19th Nov 1916″ worked ( Mrs Amherst) at 87 Eaton Square ; appt to the Anglo American hospital in Wimereaux . [ born Emma Lendrum , Canada, 1886, dau of Robert Watt and Ella Louise Lendrum , married 1912 Oswald Colin Carruthers , b 1886 Northampton , enlisted Canada 1915, 47th Canadian Infantry Division , arrived France Aug 1916 , KIA Nov 1916. Comm Vimy Ridge]
CATHERINE AUGUSTA CARSON , Blofield , Norwich. Oct 1914 – Aug 1918 . Hardingham Hall , VAD Aux DM , and Prince Edward , Hunstanton . [ born 1859 ; living 1911 with bachelor brother Rev Joseph Carson at Lt Plumstead . dau of Gustavus , a hospital chaplain in Everton , Lancs, and Martha his wife . ]
JAMES CARTER , Lynn Road, DM , May 1915 – joined the Forces 1916. [ poss George James Carter , b Foulden 1896 son of James,, bootmaker, and Caroline Carter.]
MAUD CATLIN , Methwold, Oct 1914 – April 1919 . VAD Aux Hosp DM , has also worked Buckenham Hall , Swinton House and Eaton Square .[ living 1911 in Globe St , Methwold , born 1896 Hilgay. dau of Henry , grocer, draper and farm bailiff , and Louisa his wife ; poss married Arthur Thompson , 1921. ]
Hon Mrs ALICIA CECIL , 2 Cadogan Square , Oct 1915 – 1919 , VAD Aux Hosp DM , Secretarial and Nursing . [ born Alicia Amherst in 1865 , the 5th of 7 daughters of Lord and Lady Amherst of Hackney . Margaret her younger sister born in August 1864 became Commandant of Downham`s VAD hospital . She married Evelyn Cecil in 1898]
ALICE EASTER CHAPMAN , Denver , aged 22 , March 1918 – Dec 1918 , cook. Catterick Military Hosp 1918 and Holborn House Military , Nov – Dec 1918 ? [ born 1896 Downham , living Common Lane Denver 1911 with parents Walter , small holder, and Flora Chapman . ; 1939 living Stubb Road , Hickling , Smallburgh ]
JOHN O CLARK , Bridge St , DMKT , May 1915 – Dec 1918 . VAD Aux Hosp DM. [ poss John Osborn Clark, b 1849 , son of William Osborn Clark , ag lab, and Maria nee Beales , . bapt Northwold 1849; living 1911 with son in Finchley , unemployed coachman ]
MAUD CLENNETT, Northwold , Oct 1914 – 1919 VAD Aux DM , Buckenham and 87 Eaton Square . [Born Yorks, 1879, dau of Alfred , traveller corn trade , and Anne, schoolmistress in National School . living 1911 in Aldershot , elementary school teacher ; living 1939 Hastings, retired with several elderly blind ladies . ]
MARGERY COMBE , Oxburgh Rectory , Stoke Ferry , 1916-1918 VAD Aux Hosp DM , and Narborough . [dau of Walter Coombe, clergyman, and Zoe Brookman Coombe. born 1896 Leics .]
MAY COOMBE , Oxburgh Rectory , Stoke Ferry , Nursing VAD member ,,and Quartermaster , has 2 service bars . From Dec 1915 when the hospital opened to when present hospital closed in April 1919 .[ born 1887 Yorkshire ; 1939 living Blenheim House, Wells next the sea , with sister . Margery]
CLARA COWLISHAW , Methwold, Oct 1914 – 1919 , VAD Aux Hosp General hospital duties . [ living 1911 , Forest ? Fruit Colony , Northwold, with family. dau of Joseph H , cycle agent and ironmonger and Ellen his wife ; born Southsea Hants 1889 ; d 1972 ]
MRS GRACE CRISP , Hill View , Methwold, Oct 1914 – 1919 VAD and Quartermaster , VAD Hosp DM , 6 /11/16 – 6/2/17 . 2 bars . [ Grace Bateman , wife to Ernest L Crisp ; married 1915 Thetford . living 1911 Church farm , Swaffham ]
JOY CROXFORD , Howards Lane , Putney , 31/12/1915 – 26/4/1916 VAD DM ,, from 5/1917 . Sister. Has since joined Canadian AMC ; mentioned .? .[ born S Africa 1892 . living Vancouver , nursing sister, CAMC , mother given as next of kin ..Grace Croxford, living in South Africa, wrote about her daughter Joy who was working at the hospital.]
“My daughter Joy’s letters are so full of her bright and happy life with you . . . . It is such a comfort to us to know she is in such kind hands and such a lovely home . . .We hope she will do her duty to our poor wounded boys . . it is a great pleasure to us that she should have the opportunity of seeing so much of dear old England”.
GWENDOLINE DAVIS , 23 Lowndes Sq , 15/6/1917 VAD DM , Pantry , wards, secretarial , and 87 Eaton Sq , and K E Vll ; 1 bar . [poss Gwendolin Davis , dau of James Davis , Public Water Dept , India , married Claude Hermon Hodge , Cmdr RN 1919 . of Beacon Hill Park, Hindhead , Surrey ]
ELIZABETH DE BEAUMONT . Clermont House , Methwold , 1915-1917 VAD Dmkt , Buckenham Hall , Mundford. [born Liverpool 1898 dau of Louis Leopold de Beaumont Klein , and Kathleen O Hagan , see below . Living with family in Gloucester Terrace Regents Park , 1911 .]
HON MRS KATHLEEN DE BEAUMONT . Clermont House, Methwold . Oct 1915 – Sept 1917 . VAD DMkt . worked 1 or 1 1/2 days per week. Quartermaster. [ born 1876 dau of Thomas, Lord O `Hagan , of Tullahogue , and Alice; married Louis de Beaumont 1896 ; died 1974 aged 97 ; Commissioner of Girl Guides 1914 – 1945 ]
GEORGE W DEWSBURY. Market Place , DM . June 1915 – VAD Hosp ,,DMkt , joined forces .[ son of Fred, coal carter , and Elizabeth , of Hunstanton , working 1911 in Messrs Curl Bros , Norwich ,drapers. married Dorothy A Pink sister to Owen Pink , see entry below ]
LILIAN DIXON , Blakeney Farm , Nr Thetford, March 1917 – Dec 1918 . VAD Aux Hospital , worked 30/5/1917- Sept 1917 , Thetford , Dec 1918 .[ born Foulden, dau of Walter, farm manager, and Elizabeth Dixon , living Lt Buckenham 1901 . 1939 living Blakeney Farm , Thetford .]
MISS LILIAN DUDGEON . Extons road, KL , Feb 1916 – April 1919 , Prince Edward home , Hunstanton , VAD Feb 1916 DMkt , 8 months . Surgery and ward work, Downham . Oct 1916 – Jan 1919. [ born 1875 Lynn ;dau of John, commercial traveller , and Hannah Dudgeon, of King`s Lynn. Living 1901 in London with aunt . Living 1911 Extons Road, KL , ]
MRS EMMA DYE. Northwold . Oct 1915 – 1919 , VAD Aux Hosp DMkt , Oct 1914- ? [born 1883 dau of Thomas , carpenter, and Emma Warrren , of Northwold ; 1911 living Northwold dressmaker, married 1916 Charles Dye , merchant navy engineer, . living 1939 Docking . ]
BESSIE ELLIOTT, Middlestolls ? Duns Berwickshire , aged 20 . Nov 1916 – Feb 1917 VAD Hospt DMkt, London General Hospital May 1917 – Aldershot Nov 1917 – Dec 1918 . 1 scarlet stripe . [ ? Bessie Clarke, Mrs Elliot , Red Cross visitor to Cairo ,, see London Gazette.]
MR WILLIAM ENGLISH . Station road, DMkt .2 June 1915 – Oct 1918 . VAD Hosp DMkt , Orderly and transport , trans from Norwich . [ this could be William English , an army pensioner , 1911 , but if so, he is a chimney sweep in earlier census . born circa 1845/6 so outside the conscription age .]
GEORGE EXCELBY Bexwell Road, DMkt . Nov 1917 – Dec 1918 . Transport . [ George , b Yorkshire 1877 living in Norwich 1901 working with a chemist and druggist . Red Cross notes “gone away 1921 ” . married 1908 in York, Kathleen Frost , living 1911 Congregational minister, Blackpool; dau Winifred born Downham 1915.]
HELEN FREEMAN . 11 Nelson St , KL 1915 – 1919. P Edward Hunstanton , VAD Aux DMkt . May 1916 – end of 1918. I W S bar . Nursing . [born 1864 Docking ; dau of John , gentleman and farmer , and Annie Freeman ( nee Ayre) ;living 1911 in Mickleover , Derbys, visitor in household of Arthur , varnish manufacturer, and Mabel Ayre ; in same household Mrs Ayre is b King`s Lynn. The Ayres are her mother`s family ; 1901 living All Hallows , Southwark with the Sisters of Mercy . Living in 1939 in King`s Street ,KL , Mr Ayre is Major retired and senior ARP warden].
MABEL GOODERSON . Spring Lane , DM. June 1918 – still working . Secretarial services Prob ? £20 per year . Markham ? Marham, Norwich. [ Living 1901 Spring Lane , Marham , aged 10 , with parents Thomas, gamekeeper, and Agnes Gooderson ; living 1911 in Bayswater as under housemaid .]
OLIVE MARY GRAY . The ? Stanford, Mundford. 16 July 1917 VAD Aux Hosp DMkt Old Place. London. nursing £20 per year . Nursing and ward work . Jan 1918. [ born Ashill 1890 dau of James, labourer, and Charlotte Gray ; living 1911 Bramford Lodge , Suffolk, housemaid ; ]
KATE GREEN . Lode Farm , Lakenheath . Oct 1914 – 1919 . VAD Aux DMkt . General hospital work . [ living 1891 aged 6 , born Wilton with Hockwold , dau of Harrod , farmer, and Rose Green , East Fen Drove . ; married Frederick George Jones , 1920 .]
MRS JANE GRIFFEN , Denver, DMkt . March 1917 – 1918 VAD DMkt Asst QM .
AMELIA GRUNDY . 45 Apsley Road , Gt Yarmouth , 26 June 1916 – still serving . Storekeeper Asst QM ,, mending and linen QM. [ b 1873 dau of Jonathan and Annie Grundy ,, farmers of Moulton , Lincs . d 1942 . ]
FREDA HARBAGE , 22 Queen St , KL . Sept 1918 . Aug 1917 Downham VAD Hosp nursing . Military Hospital Fargo ( Southampton ?) Sept 1918 . [ born 1891 Warwickshire . living 1911 Rose Villa, Gaywood Road, KL , art student , aged 19. dau of Thomas, ironmonger , and Jane Harbage. Living 1939 with mother and sister . brother Thomas killed in action in Gallipoli (died 12 Aug 1915 ,aged 21, 1/5th Norfolk Regt . m Elizabeth Cox, July 1915) ]
GEORGE HARTLEY . Bexwell Road . April 1918 – Dec 1918 . DMkt ,VAD Hosp. [born 1875 Hilgay, Fruit and veg and potato salesman and farmer. married Florence dau of James Dagley , at Hammersmith , 1898 . living 1939 Bexwell Road ].
EDITH HEASMAN . DMkt Hospital ,. cooking . 1918 . [ 1911 living Enys Road, Eastbourne with Walter and Elinor Urquhart , aged 25 , b Tunbridge Wells. Living 1891 Tunbridge with parents James, lab, and Rebecca Heasman , ?Rose Edith , 6th of 7 children ]
ANNIE ELIZABETH HOLLIDAY . 30 Pottergate , Norwich . 21 July 1917 – 1 March 1918 . VAD Aux DMkt , £30 , night nurse , whole time . Also Regents Park Hosp , Sherley , S`hampton . Red X Colliton House , Dorchester .( Muttock House, Blakeney). [ in 1911 living aged 24 at Hellesden Lunatic Asylum , nurse, b Blakeney ; poss dau of Edward Holliday , sailor, paralysed ; aged 4 in 1891 living with aunt Mary Mann, High Street, Blakeney .]
GWENDOLIN VICTORIA HUTSON . The Poplars , Stow Bridge, 24 Oct 1917 – May 1918 . Cook. VAD 1915 – 1916 cook at Downham Hosp as VAD cook . Nov 1917 – May 1918 Quartermaster , Nov 1917 – May 1918 , nurse of Downham Hospital whole time . [ living 1901 West Head road, Stow Bridge ; dau of Walter , farmer, and Sarah Jane Hutson ; live in governess. died Nov 1920 . assets left to father Walter . Brother Walter, joined up 6 Aug 1914 , transf to RAF April 1918. ]
MRS ELLEN HYDE . Common House , Marham , DMkt . 11 June 1917 , Swanton House , Melton Constable . The Palace , Norwich , cooking .
PERCY JACKSON . The Chambers , London road, DMkt ; May 1915 – May 1917 VAD Aux DMkt. [ living in 1911 , The Chambers , DMkt , with father James , accountant , and mother Belinda . 1939 living Downham cert accountant and special constable .]
MISS BESS JAMESON . 86 Ashley Terrace , Edinburgh. June 1917 – Sept 1917 VAD Aux Hosp DMkt. Sister. Worked at 87 Eaton Square . until it closed . [ Bessie Hindmarsh Jamieson , BRC and O of St J , Boulogne Unit no 5 ; awarded British war medal , 1914 star and Victory medal . ]
ANNE JANE JOHNSON. Hockwold . 10/14 – 1917 . VAD Aux Hosp DMkt , 1915. [? Alice Jane , living with widowed mother at Hockwold in 1911 , aged 30.]
MISS LOUISA JOHNSON . Hockwold. Oct 1914 – 1919 VAD Hospt DMkt . General hospital work . [dau of William , coal merchant, and Mary Johnson of Hockwold ; asst teacher aged 38 in 1911 . ]Living 1891 Blackfriars Kings Lynn , son of Henry , brewers managing clerk, and Fanny Laird . born KL 1875 . 1911 Cashier of bank , living Wells next the sea. Married Janet Farrow 1905 . living 1939 Amersham Bucks .]
WALTER KISBY. Hilgay. DMkt. Oct 1915 – Dec 1918 . [ Ernest Walter Kisby , born 1897 , Hilgay, son of Ernest , farmer, and Annie Kisby , of Holly House , The Pitts, Hilgay ; living 1901 aged 4 with grandparents ; married Emma Coulson in Downham 1924]
ARTHUR LAIRD , Nat Prov Bank , DMkt Oct 1916 – Oct 1918. . Orderly and escort . [living 1891 Blackfriars St , King`s Lynn , son of Henry , brewers managing clerk and Fanny Laird . Born 1875 KL ; cashier bank 1911 . living Wells next the sea, married Janet Farrow , 1905.; living 1939 Amersham , Bucks. ]
CATHERINE LAXON. The bungalow , DMkt. March 1917 VAD Aux Hosp DMkt . Nursing and general duties .[ born 1888 dau of Allix Barker, grocer, and Lucy Mary Laxon . living with family in High St 1901 ; married George Dennis , DMkt 1917 RAMC , 53 Field Ambulance . KIA aged 28 ,May 1918 ( member of the Pharmaceutical Society ) Living with sister Dorothy in Norwich 1939. ( member of “64th det ” ) ]
MARY LAYTE . Foulden . Oct 1914 – 1919 . VAD Aux Hosp DMkt , Sewing , Buckenham Tofts, and Eaton Sq in 1917 . [ dau of Charles,, estate horseman , Didlington, and Mary Ann Layte nee Reeve ; b Northwold 1885 , dressmaker in 1911. living Downham 1939]
RUTH LEADBETTER . 1 Station Cottages,, Uppingham Road, Leicester. June 1916 Nurse. June 1916 evenings , weekends, March 1919 . 1 service bar. [ living in 1911 , Denver with Wm and Genevieve Green, shop keeper ; aged 25 , asst teacher with NCC ; 1901 living with family at Authorpe, Leics , John , railway signalman and Eliza Leadbeater; living 1939 Holdenby , Brixworth , with ` incapacitated` mother ; elementary school teacher . ]
ETHEL MARY LEONARD . High House Farm, Fordham . June 1915 – Sept 1916 , Sept 1916 – Feb 1919 ,nurse. Oswestry Military. Sept 1916 ; France Military 3/18- 2 /19 . 2 scarlet efficiency 2/2/19 . Red Service bar .[born 1889 Crickhowell , working as a nurse in Queens Hospital Bethnal Green . ]
MISS CONSTANCE LEYTON . March 1917 , Upwell schools , Wisbech VAD Aux DMkt . Nursing . Downham VAD Aux Hosp. [ living 1911 School house, Upwell, dau of Albert , elementary schoolmaster, and Edith, schoolmistress , Layton , born Derbyshire , 1896 ]
MRS EMILY LOUISE LIFFORD . 28 Grove Road , Chertsey , Surrey . 6 March 1918 – April 1919 . Asst nurse – nursing and surgery work. . Charge on nights in Sister `s absence whole time . VAD Hosp Downham ; blue stripe and 4 war service bars , 21./3/1919 . Ottershaw Pk , Chertsey , Caenshill . Aux Mil Hospital Weybridge ; the Grange , Chertsey , Aldershot ; VAD Aux Hosp DMkt May 1916. [ living 1911 with husband William Lifford , insurance agent, Chertsey . Born 1879 dau of Peter , merchants porter, and Hester Copeland; marr 1909 Alton Hants, William Lifford; living 1939 Chertsey , first aid post fulltime ;he is Pte NDC 6th East Surrey Regt . (Aka Emma Louise) .]
JOHN H LONG . Church Road, Downham Market. May 1915 – May 1917 . Quarter master . VAD Aux DMkt Termination 1916 . Joined HM Forces. [ born 1879 son of John Vince Long, stone mason , and Elizabeth his wife , living 1911 London Road ]
MISS MINNIE MACROW . Siluria, Riversdale Road, Hawthorn, Melbourne, VIC. 10.1916 – April 1919 VAD Hosp DMkt 1916-1917 . Royal Free 1917 -1918, Naval Hosp Chatham , 1918- 1919 . [ poss Ethel Coline Macrow, dau of William Macrow, of Melbourne, .Father and sister Clara Zoe arrived Liverpool 1916 ,sister a nurse . or Miss E Macrow, arrived Melbourne to London 1914 SS Medina . both Clara and Minnie awarded the British War Medal . ]
MR ALBERT MARCHANT . High St , DMkt, May 1915 – Dec 1918 . VAD Hosp DMkt Orderly and Transport . ” A most punctual and efficient member ” CW Prangley , Comdt , 1918.
ARTHUR D MARCHANT . High St. DMkt . 5 May 1915 – 31 Dec 1918 . Quartermaster . Orderly , transport and escort.
HAROLD MARCHANT . High St , DMkt 18 May 1917 – 31 Dec 1918 , Transport.
.MRS ADA LUCY CHRISTIANA MARKHAM , Hill House, DMkt . 1914 – 1915 Aux Hosp DMkt , Office, Jan 1914 – July 1917 , Hon Q Master. [ dau of Joseph Markham , farmer. Mother ran Hill House School , DMkt , and Ada later became principal of the school .School closed circa 1930s when Downham Secondary School opened .]
HARRY MARTIN , High St . May 1915 – 31 Dec 1918. VAD Hosp DMkt Orderly and transport . [ born 1896 living 1911 Christ Church Rectory Wisbech, with parents, Henry , gardener, and Elizabeth Martin , “house boy domestic .” ]
MISS ESTRETH MIDDLEDITCH . c/o Rev W Partridge , West Tofts Rectory, Mundford . Oct 1917 -1919 . VAD Genl Hosp work . Permanent address Burgate House , Felixstowe . [ born 1896 ; living in Hastings, 1911 at school of older sister and husband,, together with widowed mother and younger sister . Living Yorkshire 1901 with father Percy , hemp spinner and manufacturer,, and Lilian ] .
MISS STELLA MITFORD . 17 Cadogan Sq , Aug 1916 – 1919 . VAD Aux Hosp DMkt . Nursing . 1 bar , 6 Feb 1919 [.born 1898 in Guernsey , dau of Bertram and Eltheldreda Mitford, nee Manners, . married 1929 Kensington , Henry Percival Foulerton .]
MRS MAHALA MOORE , Methwold . Dec 1915 – Sept 1916 . Cook 7 months in 1916 and 14 months in 1916-1917 , Vol work at St James , Eaton Square . [ born Methwold , living 1911 Methwold. ; living 1901 Kennet St Paddington with husband Charles Moore, butler , housekeeper to 2 spinster and 2 widow ladies . ]
MISS IDA MURIEL MORTON, Stow, DMkt , aged 28 . 10 July 1916 – 25 Aug 1919 , Nurse . Kitchener Brighton Military 10 July 1916 . Shorncliffe Military . 10 March 1919 – 25 Aug 1919. Salonica Military , 9 Nov 1916 . 2 scarlet stripes. [ born 1887 Stow. dau of Joseph ,. farmer, and Eliza (nee Edwards) Morton . living 1891 New Bridge Farm, Stow Bardolph ; living 1911 also with parents Stow Bardolph ; married Norman Preston 1921, son Alan Morton Preston ; died 1979 ] awarded British war medal and Victory medal .
CAROLINE MURRAY , 14 Beaufort Gdns , Lewisham , Oct 1916 – 1919 VAD Aux DMkt , General hospital work ,and 87 Eaton Square 1916 -1917 .
CATHERINE ANNE NIXON .3 Millicent Road, W Bridgend , , Notts. Posted DMkt May 1917 – Nov 1918 “work excellent ” . Nurse .
ADA NUTMAN , Lucania , New Walsingham . Aug 1917 – Oct 1917 . Kitchen and stores ,, whole time . [born c 1871 dau of George , druggist, and Sarah Nutman , living with aunt in 1911 in Shepherds Bush ; emigrated to Canada , Manitoba , 1920 to live with sister . ]
MARY ELLEN PALMER . 2 Wiltshire Terrace , Mistley , Essex . July 1916 – Apl 1919 . Nursing . – close of hospital . Apl 1919 . work in wards . whole 2 service bars .
SOPHIA PALMER . Foulden . Oct 1914 – 1919 . VAD Hosp DMkt . general hospital work . [ born Wiggenhall St Germans , c 1858 . living 1911 ” nr blacksmiths shop” Foulden with husband Thomas . no children , dressmaker . nee Watkins of Wormegay , m 1885 . working 1881 as housemaid in Rectory North Creake .]
DAISY PARROTT , Warren House, Brandon Road, Methwold . Jan 1918 – Feb 1919 . Nursing ward work etc. [ youngest of 4 children of Frederick and Minnie Parrott ,, farmer. b 1895 married Leonard Catlin, 1923, butcher and shopkeeper. bookkeeper]
ELINER PARTRIDGE . ( Now Mrs Lowe) , West Tofts Rectory , Mundford. Oct 1914 – 1919 general hospital work .[ born 1871 dau of Walter ,coal merchant, and Hannah Partridge ; living 1881 Reigate with younger brother Walter Lawrence , later the Rev Walter , of West Tofts Rectory . ; married Percy Lowe. ]
ELFRIDA PEARCE . Hockwold. Oct 1914 – 1919 . general hospital work . [ b 1895 Lakenheath . married Thetford 1919 Oscar Peacock . d 1981 . They went to South Africa to farm after the war and when they returned they lived in Hockwold . Bury Free Press 15/9/1950. ” We in East Anglia are fortunate in having such lovely old churches , ” said Mrs Oscar Peacock of Hockwold, when she opened a fete and sports at the Social club recreation ground, Weeting in aid of the church restoration fund . ” These churches have been handed to us generation by generation and it is our duty now to keep them in good repair for the future , ” she said . ]
Mr OWEN PINK , Denver Road, DMkt Jan 1918 – Dec 1918 .[ Albert Villa , Bexwell Road, DMkt son of Thomas H Pink, law clerk , and Emma Sarah nee Parrott, ; born 1903 . . 1939 register living in Sussex , ARP warden and bank clerk in charge . died 1981 .]
CHARLES W PRANGLEY , Bexwell Rectory . 5 May 1915 – 31/12//1918 VAD Hosp DMkt . Commandant. [Born in 1863 died at Bexwell 1928 . Father of Charles Dean Prangley , killed in action , bd Les Boeufs , 24th Sept 1916].
NORAH PRANGLEY , 17 Dec 1917 – 12 Jan 1918 , did nursing , day and night , at Downham Hospital under Miss Noel , VAD Clerk in Commandant`s office mornings .[ Norah Prangley was the youngest sister of the Rev Charles Prangley of Bexwell and was born in 1872 . ]
ERNEST E PROCTOR . Bridge St . March 1915 – Dec 1918 . Pharmacist . May 1915 – Dec 1918 ,. Transport .[ chemist and druggist ; b Shouldham . married Helen Luxon of Bridge St. Living Brighton 1939.]
PHOEBE RADLEY , New Boat House , Upper Clapton . Aug 1916 – 1919 . general hospital work . 87 Eaton Square . 1916 – 1917 . [b 1876 dau of Vincent , boat builder , and Martha Radley . Living 1891 in Stratford upon Avon, Union Hotel , with family ; living 1901 living Hackney , music teacher , ditto 1911, Upper Clapton . died 1964.]
ALVIRA MAY RAINES. 1 Gordon Terrace, Hockham. July 1917 – Feb 1919 . nursing and ward work . 1 service bar. [ born 1893 Castle Rising dau of George , team man , and Alice Raines, ; living 1911 Lodge Farm Cottages, Hunstanton, ]
HELEN RIDLEY . 34 Emperors Gate ; Dec 1916 – 1919 . nursing . 1 service bar 1918 . 87 Eaton Sq . Freemason`s hospital .
SIDNEY RODWELL , Bexwell . Nov 1917 – Dec 1918 . [born 1903 Herbert Sydney Rodwell , one of the 8 surviving children of Herbert and Sarah Ann Rodwell ( of 12) stockman of Bexwell . [ 1911 living in Bexwell , aged 10; emigrated to Manitoba , Canada 1923 under Harvesters Scheme . died 1984 .widow May died 2001 . ]
MABEL WINIFRED ROUND, 314 High St , Plumstead. Jan 1916 – Feb 1919 . 6 weeks VAD Aux DMkt . Head cook. cooking. 13 months .Military hospital Dover . [ married Raymond Round , Blean , 1915 ; Mabel W deMelho- Aserappa ]
GLADYS RUSSELL . Lynn Road. Downham . Aug 1914 – Nursing Downham , 1914 – Aug 1916 Birmingham . Red Service Bar. [ born 1896 Downham , youngest of three children of Albert and Mary Ann Russell, greengrocer of Lynn Road. ]
MAUD SHEILDS , Suffolk House , Brandon. Oct 1914 – 1919 . VAD Aux Hospt DMkt and Prince Edward home , Hunstanton . ( 2months) . [ born Maud Sabine, dau of Edward , clerk to the LCand D Railway, living 1871 Clapham Road, Stockwell ; married 1893 Arthur Shields , living at the Fruit Colony Thetford 1901 ;]
AMELIA SIMKINS , 95 London Road, KL . 1914 -1917 . Foresters Hall as help not nursing . National school room nurse in charge every afternoon 2 – 7 pm .From June 1915 – April 1917 as outside worker . RS Bar. [ born 1872 West Lynn,, dau of William Smith, merchant . married Edmund Arthur Simkins , bank cashier 1899]
MISS ELSIE SIMSON , Fincham. Jan 1915 – July 1917 . Downham general work help in nursing June – July 1917 Middlesex War hospital . [ born 1892 dau of William, and Hannah nee Batterbee ,Simson , carpenter and later hawker, grocer and tin ware dealer . married George Stephen Markham. 1926]
CHARLES WALTER SMITH , Market Place, DMkt . May 1915 – Dec 1918 . Sec Leader Transport and orderly . ” his consistent and punctual service has been invaluable ” CW Prangley . [ born 1885 Downham , son of Thomas Russell Smith , grocer , and Sarah his wife . 1911 living High St , grocer`s assistant .]
GEORGE SMITH , Cynthia House , DMkt May 1915 – Dec 1918 . “Gov work”. [ born 1873 , corn merchant ; son of Robert Samuel ,, corn merchant , and Julia Amelia Smith ( Julia Amelia one of 9 children of George Pryke , of Herringswell ,, Suffolk m 1864 ) ; living 1911 DMkt , with Ada Louise m 1903 Kennington , London, (nee Lidsey) . described as stationer in the 1901 census . Created the Missal for the Rev Charles Prangley`s son , killed in action , 1916, which was donated to St George`s chapel at Ypres. .
MISS MURIEL H WOODFORD SMITH , 4 Victoria Villas , Bury Road , Harlow , Essex . 20,. VAD Aux Hosp DMKT . 4/11/16 – 20/12/16 . 2The Beeches Aux War Hosp , Reigate Hill, Nov 1916 – Oct 1919 .
ROBERT SMITH , May 1915 . The Laurels, Railway Road, May 1915 – Dec 1918 . Sec. Leader , Orderly and transport. [ born 1871 living the Laurels , with Isabella Ethel, dau of Wm Clarke, farmer 1911 ]
MISS THEODOLINDA SMITH, Waterloo House, Swaffham, June 1918 – Jan 1919 . Nursing . [ born 1900 dau of Charles, farmer, and Mary ( nee Hill) , of Great Massingham and Gt Dunham . married James Walker , 1923.]
HILDA SNEEZUM , nee Bennett . High St DMkt . Aug 1914 – Feb 1918 . nursing -1917 Jan 1917 – Feb 1918 Lakenham Mil Hosp . [ see Hilda BENNETT , m Dennis Sneezum 1916; dau of Fred Bennett, ironmonger ; b 1893]
GERTRUDE HELEN SPINKS , Cosy Cottage, Whittington , Stoke Ferry , Nov 1917 – Apl 1919 , helper . also helped at Hunstanton VAD , mornings as orderly nursing and ward work. [ born 1883 dau of Frederick , solicitors managing clerk, and Martha , living Bexwell Road, 1901 . ( mother Martha Riches Yarmouth 1872) ]
MISS HELEN EDNA STARKE, 25 , Jan 1917 , Shouldham . – 31 /12/1918 , Beechcroft Military Hospital nurse . [born 1890 Shouldham ; 1891 census living Shouldham with father John , estate agent and farmer, and Catherine Starke . 1901 census , Shouldham , mother now widowed .]
MISS MARY STIBBON , Magdalen, KL. Aug 1914 nursing . Red Service bar . Aug 1914 – Aug 1916 VAD Aux Hosp DMkt trans 1st SGH B`ham till March 1919 Mil Hosp Parkhouse . [ 1911 census Gladys Elizabeth May Stibbon, b Magdalen aged 16 , at school in Boston, Lincs, dau of James, farmer, of Manor Farm , and Jennie Stibbon , ; 1919 married Lewis Oldroyd , Downham .]
MRS MARY TAYLOR , Canford Lodge,, Canford Cliffs , Bournemouth . Oct 1916 – 1919 . VAD Aux DMkt nursing , Eaton Square . [ Charles Taylor , b c 1843 living Canford Lodge, electoral register 1920 ]
JOSEPH THOMAS , Denver Road , DMkt May 1915 – 1916 Joined HM Forces . returned 21.10.21 not known . [ married Ellen M H Arterton,, DMkt Jan 1916. poss Joseph Henry Thomas b 1894 Congleton , son of John James , railway labourer,, and Mary . living 1939 Hendon , sanitary inspector . ]
MILDRED THROWER . The Homestead,, Fen Road, DMkt . 3/18 Asst waitress . Ist S G H B`ham. [ born 1895 dau of George ,farmer , and Rose Thrower, Salters Lode . 1911 living Fen Road, aged 15, with parents ; married 1920 Bertie Johnson , son of George and MaryAnn Johnson of Stowbridge. 1939 civil defence observer living Downham , smallholder .]
MRS MABEL TRAVERS , Brooklyn House, Warley , aged 47, 12/16 – 2/18 Downham 13/12/16 – 15/1/17 Portmadoc Aux Hosp Feb 17 – Feb 18 nurse. Hosp for facial injuries 78 Brook St , 24 Norfolk St , & 37 Porchester Terrace . Honorary Commd`t Glamorgan VAD joined Essex June 1914 . [poss dau of John Grieve Hall ; b 1874 India , married Robert Eaton Travers , Col Gurkha Rifles , awarded 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory medals ; m 1895 , Simla .]
FRANCES ROSA TURNER , Braziers End , Tring , DMkt VAD Aux hosp June 1918 – Jan 1919 . ward maid , night nurse . 2 stripes . [ 1901 at school aged 12 , Sussex House, with sister Olive Mary .; living Marylebone 1891 with parents , father a draper , North Bank , Marylebone ;, both daus of Henry John Turner, gentleman ; (Olive awarded 1914-1918 nursing cert ;Olive married 1920 at Christ Church , Mayfair b Cholesbury ).]
CLARENCE TWISS , Church Road, DMkt May – May 1915 . Joined HM Forces . [ son of Walter, medical dispenser , and Clara Kate, living Church Road, 1901 . served with the RAMC WW1 ]
MISS ELLA URQUHART c/o Midland Bank , Eastbourne , Oct 1918 – April 1919 , Matron Oct 1917 – Apl 1919 . Admin work . [ registered nurse from 1912 . Presidency General Hospital India 1912; 1891 dau of Andrew Walter , Capt Royal Artillery and Eleanor Holmes Urquhart . born 1885 , Nursing qualifications 1917 . ]
SYBIL VALLENCE , Bexwell Road, aged 23 , Feb 1918 – March 1919 , nurse. 1st SGH B`ham . 1 Scarlet stripe . 1919 . [ born 1895 ; living 1901 Bridge St with parents Abram , nursery and seedsman ,( b Somerset) and Emma ( nee Casey) ; living 1911 , milliners apprentice ; died 1976 USA ]
CONSTANCE VILLIERS STUART . Beechamwell Hall , Swaffham. Sept 1916 – 1916 general hospital work . [ born 1877 only child of Joshua and Frances Fielden, merchant, born Lancashire , lived Beechamwell Hall, 1891 . married 1908 Patrick Villiers Stuart . water colour artist ; studied in Paris ; went to India after her marriage ; painter and author ; awarded British War Medal and Victory Medal ]
MISS BEATRICE WAGG . Methwold. Oct 1914 – 1919.[ born 1888 Methwold dau of Henry Barrington Wagg, farmer,, and Keren Happuch ; school teacher . living 1939 Dyke House , ” approved home ” ]
DR EDWARD WALES , DMkt . May 1915 – Dec 1918 M.O. [ son of Thomas Garnys Wales,surgeon , and Mary Elizabeth Wales . b 1877 Downham . 1891 living Charterhouse School ; living Newington , London , Student of medicine ; MACantab, MB BCh 1902 Cambridge and Leeds ,MRCS, LRCP ,London 1901 , MOH Downham . married Annie dau of Richard James Dowling ; son Richard James Wales RAFVR killed in action 1941 commemorated Runnymede .}
ROBERT O WARNER, Bridge St , DMkt , May 1915 – Dec 1918. [ born c 1880, Colchester, living 1911 Howdale , grocer and provision dealer , married Susanna 1908 ]
ARTHUR WARREN , Howdale , May 1915 Joined HM Forces , 1916. [ married Nancy Fendley DMkt 1899 . b 1881 ]
MARIA WATSON . Church Road , DMkt . Aug 1914 – nursing . – 1918 . ” used to help at intervals since hospital was started in 1915 . helped with teas to afternoons.” [ born 1878 ,dau of James Watson , Church Road, retired pensions officer (parish relieving officer . ) in 1911 Maria aged 33,drapers assistant . born Shouldham ]
FRED C WAY . Downham Mkt, May 1915 – Dec 1918 . [ born 1861 son of Frederick , accountant , and Annie M Way 1871 census, watchmaker and jeweller.]
HEALEY WILSON , DMkt May 1918 – Dec 1918. [ born St Ives, 1877 , corn and coal trade, son of John Healey , corn merchant ; married 1905 Elinor Elizabeth dau of George Saner , market gardener, Essex .]
VICTORIA WORTLEY , Methwold , Oct 1914 – 1919. [born 1880 Skeyton dau of John Wortley , farmer, and Victoria . living Shipdam 1911 . brother Ernest Dixon Wortley , doctor /surgeon served with RAMC, Capt , OBE died 1921 ]
MABEL HILDA WRIGHT , Ashby Road , Burton on Trent , Staffs May 1918 – April 1919 . sister. [ aged 20 in 1911 living Ashby Road, dau of Arthur James Wright , jeweller , and Maria (Foster) Nursing register shows Cert 1914 – 1918 Queen`s Hospital Birmingham . Awarded British War and Victory medals ]
MRS MARY YEATES , Hafdeg , Towyn , N Wales. July 1916 – March 1917 . Cook . 23/3/1917 – 1/11/17 DMkt ; Blackpool Mil Hosp . RN Hosp Plymouth .
ELLA YOUNGE , Ancona Road, Plumstead, Oct 1914 – 1919 . Nursing . 1 bar .
[Margaret Amherst . b 1859 d ? 1923. lived Didlington Hall . youngest dau of Lord Amherst of Hackney , of Didlington Hall and later of Foulden Hall ]
[Francis Holditch Chadwick , photographer. b King`s Lynn ; 1901 living S Everard St , corn merchants clerk ; married Adelaide Martha Adams , b 1875 ; living 1939 corn merchants clerk in Downham . In 1933 Trades directory as Photographer .]
[ Mike Bullen , archivist , was present as a young man at the fire which destroyed the Towers on August B/H 1968 and watched the then disabled residents being lead out to ambulances.]