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NATALIE WRIGHT VAD


bobspark
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I started collecting medals about 6 months ago, and therefore I am still very much a novice. My most recent purchase was the silver war medal to a VAD Natalie Wright. It came with the following detail.

Only one N(single initial)Wright VAD in the Red Cross Register of Overseas Volunteers 1914-1918.Number 11870 and shows her going to France.A possible on Ancestry -Natalie Wright born Leicester1891,died Loughborough 22April 1938.

The medal index card (1914/15 star, war and victory medals) has her shown as serving at an Anglo/French Hospital and going to France on 5-8-1915. I’m trying to find out more about where she served? My question is how many Anglo/French Hospitals were there? Studying the Crimson Finders site I see in the Matrons War Diary, a VAD Wright pops up several times in the period 1915 to 1960 and again 1919 VAD Wright pops up again with the Matron .Problem is with no initials there are no clues and there may have been many VAD Wrights serving in France. Nevertheless the Crimson Finders web site has given a lot of information on the VAD nurses so much so my family find me quite boring on the subject, while I find it all quite fascinating.

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Apologies to Sue Light. I meant Scarletfinders web site.Put my error down to first post nerves and colour-blindness.

Gosh Ive looked at the site enough times in the past week!!!!!!!!!!

How could I get it wrong!

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There must be some deep-seated psychological reason for the error, but as a new member you're probably unaware that the Forum is inhabited by men in white coats looking for work - they will be knocking on your door shortly ... :ph34r:

There were quite a number of Anglo-French hospitals, but usually they were in the French sector, and the only Anglo-French I can think of that might be relevant here is No.5 British Red Cross Hospital (Lady Hadfield's) at Wimereux, which also went by that name early on in the war. However, the BRCS Register of Overseas Volunteers does show that Natalie Wright went to France under the auspices of the War Office, so it would seem a bit odd for her to then serve in a BRCS hospital. If you haven't already done so, the only chance of finding out where she worked is from the BRCS Archives in Moorfields.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/Museum-and-archives/Resources-for-researchers/Volunteers-and-personnel-records

I agree that it's not possible to assume much from the war diary entries as there's no way of telling who they applied to, and Wright is a common surname (though I haven't looked through the Wright references for clues).

Regards --- Sue

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Having checked the Wright mentions in the diary, the first one says:

08.09.15

Boulogne

To British Red Cross to see Miss Crowdy with reference to a Miss Wright who wished to join VAD Detachment for service in Military Hospitals France.

So I think that shows that this is the correct Miss Wright, and she was in France working for the BRCS (Miss Crowdy being the BRCS VAD Commandant in France) and she wished to transfer to War Office contract. That would make No.5 British Red Cross Hospital fit in with her medal index card. It's difficult to say where she worked from then, and it might make it a bit harder for the BRCS archives to tell you as they might not have all the postings in military hospitals, but still the only route to go.

Sue

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Bob

Yes thank you, I noted ref 8/9/15 entry you refer to that the Matron didn’t think a married woman was suitable for the work. So can we assume she was married or about to get married. Though referred to as Miss Wright.

I haven’t been all through the diary but these are some the VAD Wright I came across.

Other entries 1/9/16 ref Wright 8 General Hosp requesting leave as mother ill.

15/9/16 Resigned

22/9/16 14 days special leave

27/9/16 VADs including Wright now in England requesting permission to wear long service badges( surprised as this seems trivial detail for a matron in such a high position to deal with.

And the very last 19/1/19 With VAD Wright to HQ. (Sounding as if this Wright was either a driver or secretary?

Now the previous owner says the Red Cross register of Overseas Volunteers only one entry against N Wright VAD

RANK VAD / CERTIFICATE NUMBER 11870/ PASSPORT NUMBER /WO/ DEPT REF /VAD. DESTINATION FRANCE.

So I assume he has already been to Red Cross Records?

Thanks again for your input

Bob

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Bob

I don't think the married woman mention refers to Miss Wright - I think it's just the Matron-in-Chief writing very quickly and different thoughts coming to mind.

I've got a copy of the BRCS Register of Overseas Volunteers here, and it looks to me as though the previous owner is just quoting from the book - that's exactly the information that's in there. I can't see anything to suggest that it's been checked with the BRCS archives.

I don't think the 27/9/16 mention can refer to Natalie Wright as she hadn't served long enough for long service stripes - it had to be two years continuous service.

There's no way of knowing if the others refer to her or to others - there were a lot of VADs named Wright serving in France.

Sue

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Sorry, going too fast here - it is possible that the 27/9/16 reference could be her, as for the first long service stripe it was thirteen months service, and two years for the second (which was the important one), so she had worked just long enough for the first.

Sue

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Thank you again Sue , I will write to Red Cross Records with all I know and the requested donation and see what they can tell me.

Still be my favourite medal in my modest collection regardless of what I’m told!

Thanks Bob

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had the reply back from the Red Cross, and the only place they can’t name is her first posting ,so perhaps she is the VAD Wright No 8 Hospital requesting leave as her mother is ill in the Matrons Diary ,and this may account for the long gap between hospitals.

Anyway she more than did her bit.

Address :Loughborough

Detachment : Leicester/24

Rank: Nurse

Enrolled 26/10/14 to 20/11/19

26/10/14 to 12/14 served Loughborough General Hospital Military Wards

6/8/15 to 6/9/16 served at ???????????? France

7/2/17 to 7/3/19 served No14 General Hospital, France

5/4/19 to 20/11/19 served RAF Yatesbury near Calne

Awarded 1 Scarlett Stripe at 30/6/18

Thank you Red Cross for supplying and keeping the records.

I have framed the medal and takes pride of place in my front room.

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