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June Underwood

Nurse Nellie Decima Brown

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June Underwood

Please does anyone have any further details of Nurse Nellie Decima Brown who was born and lived in Emberton, Bucks

Her birth was registered in the Dec quarter of 1883 in Bucks

Her parents were William and Mary Ann Brown, who I think died young, as Nellie was living with her brothers and sisters from the 1891 census onwards.

There is a plaque in Emberton church which states that she "died 2 Jul 1921 after 3 years of suffering following 4 years of active service in the Great War 1914 - 1918"

June

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June Underwood

Many thanks, John, I'll follow that up.

June

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pauldesmondwhite

Hello, June. The commemorative 1934 French-language commemorative book Femina Patriae Defensor records "N D Brown" as having died on 2/7/21. She was listed as a VAD, but you probably know that by now from her Medal Index Card. She doesn't seem to be listed in York Minster or registered with CWGC, probably on account of the delay between service and death (i think the compilers for Femina showed a bit more compassion).

Just in case you haven't bought the MIC download, i can email it if you want (too big to attach here). Actually it's depressingly uninformative - no indication of origin (i.e. Red Cross or St John), no dates or locations, only that she qualified for British War and Victory medals (plus Roll references).

FreeBMD gives Nellie D Brown died, age 37, in Q3 1921 (as expected), Newport Pagnell RD (includes Emberton) 3a 860, if you want the death certificate.

I'd love to know more about your reasons for asking this question and very keen, if you're agreeable, to have details of anything else you manage to unearth for inclusion in my project. Have you got a pic of the plaque to share?

Good luck. Paul.

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Jim Strawbridge

Hello, June. The commemorative 1934 French-language commemorative book Femina Patriae Defensor records "N D Brown" as having died on 2/7/21. She was listed as a VAD, but you probably know that by now from her Medal Index Card. She doesn't seem to be listed in York Minster or registered with CWGC, probably on account of the delay between service and death (i think the compilers for Femina showed a bit more compassion).

Just in case you haven't bought the MIC download, i can email it if you want (too big to attach here). Actually it's depressingly uninformative - no indication of origin (i.e. Red Cross or St John), no dates or locations, only that she qualified for British War and Victory medals (plus Roll references).

FreeBMD gives Nellie D Brown died, age 37, in Q3 1921 (as expected), Newport Pagnell RD (includes Emberton) 3a 860, if you want the death certificate.

I'd love to know more about your reasons for asking this question and very keen, if you're agreeable, to have details of anything else you manage to unearth for inclusion in my project. Have you got a pic of the plaque to share?

Good luck. Paul.

Paul and June, I am trying to find her grave and also need a photograph of the memorial to her. As the memorial is in Emberton church I suspect (and hope) that she is in the churchyard there. Are you close enough to have a look? Jim

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pauldesmondwhite

Sorry, Jim, too far for me just now. Paul.

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seaJane

Jim, there is a picture of the plaque that June mentions (it is on the wall of the church) at this site - http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Buckinghamshire/Emberton.html

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June Underwood

Paul and Jim

Many thanks for your replies. In the light of the death being registered at Newport Pagnell, I've been to the Centre For Buckinghamshire Studies (it's only 3 miles away) this afternoon and found various pieces of information.

Burial Register for Emberton

Nellie Decima Brown of Emberton, buried 6 Jul 1921 aged 37

WILL

Nellie Decima Brown of Emberton, spinster, died 2 Jul 1921. Probate granted Oxford 19 Aug to John William Inns, farmer.

Effects - £173.12sh 10d

A small booklet entitled All Saints Emberton Guide Book contains the following paragraph:

"Nellie Decima Brown was the youngest (10th) child of Tom and Mary Ann Brown. Tom and his son Joe were the village blacksmiths for nearly 80 years. Nellie died of lung disease while nursing all through the war and it was therefore deemed appropriate to commemorate her as near to the Angel as possible."

You will see Nellies plaque behind the marble angel - highly polished, so not easy to take a good photo. The angel is reflected in the plaque.

I'll post the other photo separately.

Paul, My husband, Peter, and I have a website which can be found at http://www.buckinghamshireremembers.org.uk and we are hoping to find all the War Memorials, Plaques, graves, Rolls of Honour, etc in the county; photograpgh them and research each casualty listed. We are well on the way to completing this part of the project and then we have to start looking at the local newspapers. The photos of Emberton can be found on the website, as well as any details that I have been able to discover about Nellie. If you would like a photo sending directly to you I'll be pleased to send it. I've not heard of the Femina Patriae Defensor - how much info does it give for each entry? I have another nurse in the south of the county, but I know a little bit about her. I've not got round to looking at the MIC for Nellie yet, so from your details, I don't think it will be necessary.

Jim, I haven't got a photo of the grave yet, but we'll have a drive over to Emberton in the near future and try to find and photograph the headstone, if there is one.

What projects are you both working on?

Seadog, Thanks for posting the link to the Roll of Honour website.

June

This is the photo of the Angel with the plaque behind it.

June

post-18716-056563200 1290100578.jpg

post-18716-093147100 1290101839.jpg

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seaJane

seaJane, not Seadog, but all biscuits gratefully accepted ;)

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pauldesmondwhite

June, really splendid stuff.

I need to get this clearer in my own head, but Femina was written some years after WW1 as a joint effort by delegates for the whole "women's effort" in each (most) of the allied countries to an organisation called FIDAC (or the auxiliaire féminine thereof). Ithink (but will stand to be corrected) that our's was Lady Norman who had a vast task post-war of trying to document the role women had played.

It would be really lovely if any members here can correct this and definitely expand on the work that took place, who was involved and so on. I know there was a vast photographic project that went round the whole country and a lot of the stuff we see at IWM and in other archives probably derives from that exercise.

Femina has quite a simple listing of names (usually fuller than York Minster's) under the various service categories, but its biggest virtue is that of rather over over 1500 names more than 400 have death dates. But that's it. A few of the names seem to be duplicates between services, a few have been omitted from York (apparently owing to deeper scrutiny or stricter criteria), but otherwise they match quite well. Interestingly, though, comparing the entries makes it very clear that neither was a copy of the other. Vicky Harrison at York never did answer my question as to the origins of their list, and i must follow that up some time.

There is really only one area where York/Femina differs from CWGC, the latter omitting munitions workers (but let's not start that up again - yet!).

Anyway, enough for tonight.

Paul

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Jim Strawbridge

Jim, I haven't got a photo of the grave yet, but we'll have a drive over to Emberton in the near future and try to find and photograph the headstone, if there is one.

What projects are you both working on?

June, My project is to record and research EVERY serving female casualty of WW1. I have an exhaustive list, gathering information, photographs of them, their graves and their memorials. Nine+ years so far and so much more to do. I hope to publish the results at my own expense as a memorial to them.

Paul, The York Minster panels are a reasonable base for research and agree that they are really the only place to find a listing of munition workers. But the information on them I now know to be inaccurate with some women being listed more than once but many, many more omitted not through want but through poor communication in relaying information.

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June Underwood

seaJane - So sorry for getting your name wrong. It will teach me to look closer next time and not assume that I know best!

Paul - Thank you for all the explanations.

Jim - We've been to Emberton today but have not found the grave or headstone of Nellie Decima Brown, even though she was buried there on 6 Jul 1921. There were quite a number of other Browns - probably some of her 9 brothers and sisters and their children. There was no extra information to be gleaned from another visit inside the church. I might be able to help with photos or details of 2 more Bucks nurses, if you would like to PM me.

Thank you to everyone for your help.

June

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Jim Strawbridge

Jim - We've been to Emberton today but have not found the grave or headstone of Nellie Decima Brown, even though she was buried there on 6 Jul 1921. There were quite a number of other Browns - probably some of her 9 brothers and sisters and their children. There was no extra information to be gleaned from another visit inside the church. I might be able to help with photos or details of 2 more Bucks nurses, if you would like to PM me.

June

June, So far as I am aware my only requirement from Buckinghamshire (other than Emberton) is a photograph of the grave of Henrietta Martha Thomas, a doctor who served with the BSRDA. She is buried in the Friends Burial Ground, Jordans, Chalfont St. Peter. She is buried next to Prof. Sylvanus Thompson and just a little further on is William Penn. Jim

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June Underwood

Jim, I'll have a look at Jordans, when we're next in that area. Do you know of Elsie Janet Underwood at Beaconsfield?

June

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Jim Strawbridge

Jim, I'll have a look at Jordans, when we're next in that area. Do you know of Elsie Janet Underwood at Beaconsfield?

June

Unfortunately she is not at Beaconsfield. She died and is buried in France and I have not yet been able to find the location. She is remembered on her husband's headstone in Shepherd's Lane Cemetery and someone kindly provided a photograph of that but I don't know if her name made it onto the Beaconsfield war memorial.

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June Underwood

Jim, I realised that it was a headstone only at Beaconsfield and not an actual burial, and hoped that you might know a little bit more about her. We discovered the grave of her husband whilst looking for other WW1 graves and noticed it with the surname being the same as ours (no relation, though). She isn't mentioned on the War Memorial in Beaconsfield or on any of the plaques in the church. Is there a possibility that she used her maiden name as a nurse? There is a marriage of Harold Stanley Underwood and Elsie J Boulton in the Dec qtr 1914 registered in the Bromsgrove district.

June

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Jim Strawbridge

Jim, I realised that it was a headstone only at Beaconsfield and not an actual burial, and hoped that you might know a little bit more about her. We discovered the grave of her husband whilst looking for other WW1 graves and noticed it with the surname being the same as ours (no relation, though). She isn't mentioned on the War Memorial in Beaconsfield or on any of the plaques in the church. Is there a possibility that she used her maiden name as a nurse? There is a marriage of Harold Stanley Underwood and Elsie J Boulton in the Dec qtr 1914 registered in the Bromsgrove district.

June

The Scottish Women’s Hospital records Mrs Underwood as signing up as an orderly and departing for Sallanches on the 30th August 1918. This is four months after her husbands death. He died on the 30th March 1918 aged 39. Elsie served at the Elsie Inglis Hospital for Serbs, Sallanches, Haute-Savoie, France. I understand that the SWH was not one of the "recognised" organisations as Elsie Inglis, having offered the unit to the British, was told to go home and "sit on your hands". The Serbs, the French and the Belgians were not so pompous and single-minded and very gratefully received them. Because the SWH was not under British control neither are many of the records. To answer your question she joined the SWH under her married name. I would hope that, in France, her actual grave is marked but as yet I have been unable to find it. I cannot believe that she was just shovelled into a hole to be forgotten.

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Gonker44

I realise this is now nearly 4 years since the last posting, however I am currently working on identifying if Elsie Underwood has a marked grave in Sallanches. I will post further information shortly, but if anyone has further information/interest - I would be pleased to receive.

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June Underwood

Gonker

I'm still interested in Elsie Underwood, so if you do manage to find her grave I'd like to know. I've not found out any more about her in the last 4 years though.

June

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Jim Strawbridge

Me, neither, but I am still interested. Are the Scottish Women's Hospital records still available as they may pinpoint her grave ?

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CGM

Not sure if the memorial plaque to Elsie and her husband in St Laurence Church, Alvechurch is known about?

CGM

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Jim Strawbridge

Not sure if the memorial plaque to Elsie and her husband in St Laurence Church, Alvechurch is known about?

CGM

Not by me. Thank you. Now to find someone to photograph it for me.

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June Underwood

There is a photo of the plaque in Alvechurch church on our website. Search in the casualty field for Elsie Underwood and click on her name. You'll see the tabulation of her details. Click again on her name and scroll down until the Alvechurch plaque can be seen.

June

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Jim Strawbridge

Hello June, Yes, I've seen it. It's a copyright thing. I don't pinch things which will eventually end up in my book. I am really looking for someone to take a photograph who can confirm I may use it. Unless of course it is your photograph and you are agreeable.

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Gonker44

I have now obtained the handwritten death certificate from the Sallanches Mayors office for Elsie Underwood, which a friend has translated as follows:

The 21st of October, 1918 at 19h30. Underwood Elsie Janet, 32 years old, nurse at the Scottish Women’s Hospital of Red Cross located at the Sallanches Grand Hotel. Daughter of parents whose name we don’t know; widow of man whose name we don't know, she died at the Depraz-Depland’s Villa, Megève road. The death certificate was established on the 22nd of October 1918 at 15h00 on the statement of Eugène Montessuit, 43 years old, farmer, resident of this town, and Joseph Revenaz, 49 years old, town clerk, resident of this town, who signed it jointly with us, Francois Gex, Mayor of Sallanches, replacing the mobilized Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Registrar

Notifiers:

Eugène Montessuit

=====

According to information from Alan Cummings http://scottishwomenshospitals.co.uk she was initially buried, then re-interred in an area within Sallanches Cemetery other Serbian soldiers/boys from the TB hospital she was serving in were buried. Regrettably my investigations have drawn a blank that there is a record of the location or a marked grave - however I have not finally accepted this!

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