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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Private Margaret Oliver RAMC


bickerton16/625

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Hello,

During our researches to commemorate the lives and service of those people from the Coquet Valley in North Northumberland, only one woman's name has emerged on the various Rolls of Honour.

Her name was Margaret Oliver and she appears on the Alnham Roll of Honour. it would be wonderful to find out a little more about her and her service and I hope that someone out there can shed a bit of light on what little we know which has been gained from her Medal Card which appears to be the only surviving record.

She is shown as serving as a Private with the RAMC/ 14FA - what does 14FA stand for?

She entered an un-named theatre on 20.8.14 and is entitled to the 14-15 Star. She was discharged on 9.9.15 and the abbreviation "T of E" appears in the Comments section - what does this stand for?

Its not much to go on, I know but there seems to be some unusual elements to her case - would a nurse be described as a Private - was an engagement of a year common? where might she have served?

So many questions....

I would be very grateful for any further information or sources of information.

Thanks in advance

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TE, or T of E means "Time Expired". This is when the individual reached the end of agreed period of military service. It applies only to pre-war army regulars or to the Territorial Force.

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It would appear that you you have mistakenly assumed that the medal record card is for Margaret Oliver. The card actually only shows the name 'M. Oliver'. Given that Nurses were never referred to as Privates, and that women would not serve with a Field Ambulance it seems that M' may stand for, say, Michael or some other male name. I am guessing here that the Roll of Honour only gives Margaret's name. She may well have served as a VAD. Records for VAD's are to be released online by the British Red Cross later this year, and her name may be included.

Regards,

Alf McM

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My issue is that the MIC names Pte "M. Oliver" 17930. There is no confirmation of the name Margaret on this source.

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It sounds as if the Roll of Honour lists those that served from Alnham rather than those that died. From my own extensive records no woman by the name of Oliver died in WW1 serving her country. Certainly, the MIC that you have found relates to a man. No UK woman served as a Private.

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You could start by looking at these records which are in The National Archives

Date of enrolment: 06 August 1919.
Air Ministry: Master General of Personnel and Director of Personnel: Airwomen's Records.
Name Oliver, Margaret.
Service number: 31677.
Date of enrolment: 06 August 1919.

Collection: Records created or inherited by the Air Ministry, the Royal Air Force, and related bodiesDate range: 06 August 1919 Reference:AIR 80/180/52Subjects:Armed Forces (General) | Air Force

LINK TO THE ENTRY

.....I hope...

CGM

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Have you traced any likely candidates living in Alnham in 1911?

I see there was a Margaret Isabella Oliver employed as a housemaid in Alnham House Whittingham

Aged 19 in 1911 makes her a good age to have volunteered for one of the many ways women could serve give service during the war.

CGM

** I have edited my text as "serve" suggests in a military capacity and I don't want to suggest that is what she (or rather the Margaret Oliver on the Alnham Roll of Honour) must have done.

If she gave service as a civilian she may have been a VAD, or a Munition Worker, for example.

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Thanks to all of you for your responses - I was unsure about the medal card in my own mind but many of the responses have removed all doubt - I apologise for asking silly questions!

Our Margaret Oliver is recorded as have served alongside a number of individuals (all men) in Alnham Church. this list shows those who served and survived rather than those that died but there is absolutely no other details as to units or service on the document.

CGM - we are talking about the same Margaret Oliver, I'll certainly follow the leads you have suggested. Many thanks

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Please don't apologise for asking "silly questions" - all questions which help to clear up misconceptions are good questions.

Have you searched through the local papers? There may be an article about her....

CGM

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Thanks CGM,

One of our group is working her way through copies of the local paper picking up all sorts of useful information. She'll keep an eye out for Margaret.

Sadly the Kew reference came to naught - that Margaret Oliver came from Glasgow, worth a try though.

we will perservere....

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Silky4015

Hello there, I’m new to the site and I’m also a retired RAMC sergeant who served 22 years.

There were no women privates in the RAMC until the turn of the 21st century. The only women allowed into the RAMC were doctors and dentist.

If it is a women then she would have been either a member of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, a volunteer or a member of the Red Cross and she was woul;d have been attached to 14 Field Ambulance RAMC.

For those not in the know, a Field Ambulance is a unit that is about 10 miles from the front line. Their job is keep the casualty alive for the next 6 hours so that they can be sent further back to the Field Hospital for major surgery.

Hope this helps.

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