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British Red Cross worker - who is she, and what was her job?


headgardener
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I have a photo of a Red Cross worker, and was wondering whether anyone could offer me any advice regarding her uniform, or service details. I couldn't find her in the MIC's, so I assume that she was home service only, or that any medals were issued in her maiden/married name. For some reason, I wonder whether she was an ambulance driver - not sure why I think this, maybe I've seen a photo of an ambulance driver wearing a similar uniform....?

The badge on her headgear looks like a standard red cross badge. I'm particularly interested in knowing the significance of the Badge on her sleeve.

She's written her name on the reverse of the card. It says: "Miss G. Muddell, The Bungalow, Dockenfield, Nr. Farnham, Surrey". The photographer was in Farnham, too.

Any thoughts.....?

post-55685-0-61442500-1418829148_thumb.j

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There is a detailed website devoted to the family here - http://www.muddlefamilies.info/ardingly/12ep.htm

Am I allowed to paste this in? Please remove if not.

William and Annie’s second child was Gladys Maude Marchant Muddell who was born at Dublin in Ireland on 28 April 1894, and baptised in Dublin on 23 May 1894. In the census of 31 March 1901 Gladys, at the age of 6, was living with her mother at 45 Palmerston Street in Devonport, her father was then serving in South Africa. Gladys attended the Garrison School in Devonport and on the 1 July 1907, when she was 13, was examined by Lieut. S G Goater, an Inspector of Army Schools, and given a certificate showing that her standard in eleven subjects was good to excellent. Then in the census of 2 April 1911 Gladys, now aged 16, was living with her parents at C House, York Road, Weston Mill, St Budeaux, Devonport.

At the beginning of 1916, during the First World War, Gladys, at the age of 22, became a member of the Surrey/74 V.A.D. ( Voluntary Aid Detachment). On 18 January 1918 Gladys, on completing two years' service with the Surrey/74 V.A.D., was presented with a Red Cross Certificate showing that she had been elected an Associate of the Society and was entitled to wear the Associate's Badge. Then on 2 June 1921 Gladys, on completing five years' service with the Surrey/74 V.A.D., was presented with a Red Cross Certificate showing that she had been elected a Member of the Society and was entitled to wear the Member's Badge. For her services during the war Gladys was also presented with certificates by the Surrey Branch of the Red Cross Society and the Joint Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England. Finally on 24 July 1922 Gladys received the British Red Cross Society medal for War Service with a letter from the Commandant of the Surrey/74 V.A.D.

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It was presumably her experience and training in the Surrey/74 V.A.D. looking after and nursing war casualties that led to Gladys working as a nurse for the rest of her life. In 1934 Gladys was granted administration of her mother's estate. She never married and was living, and presumably working, at Horton Hospital, Epsom, Surrey, when she died on 1 August 1943, at the age of 49. It's thought that she was buried in St James' Churchyard at Rowledge in Hampshire, which is near Farnham in Surrey. Probate of Gladys' will, which valued her effects at £901 14s 0d, was granted on 4 October 1943 by Llandudno Probate Registry to her brother Leslie.

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The badge on her left forearm is the General Service badge of the Joint War Committee - the wartime amalgamation of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John - it shows the emblems of both societies, i.e. the Red Cross in one half, and the St. John's cross in the other, with the words 'V.A.D. General Service surrounding them. Despite the information above showing her to have been a nursing VAD, which in all likelihood she might have been at some time, the wearing of the badge (post 1917) was limited to General Service VADs. This suggests that at the time the photo was taken she was working in a military hospital in some capacity other than nursing, e.g. driver, orderly, cook, clerk, storekeeper, dispenser etc.

Sue

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IPT - that's brilliant! You've answered many of my questions in one fell swoop....! Thanks very much for posting the link.

Sue - thanks very much for explaining the badge. I did wonder whether it was a combination of BRCS/OST.JJ badges, but had no idea about the wording, or what it might indicate regarding her service.

2 quick questions:

The article mentions that she served with Surrey/74 VAD. I've seen VAD units described in this way before (a county name followed by a number), and was wondering how the VAD's were structured - in this instance, does this refer to Surrey's 74th VAD 'branch'?

Is it reasonable to assume that her service details will be amongst the VAD record cards that are gradually being released online by the BRC?

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Each County's VAD was given a number. Male VAD's were given odd numbers, 1, 3, 5 etc. and Female VAD's were given even numbers, 2, 4, 6 etc. This means that Surrey/74 VAD was actually the 37th Female VAD in Surrey. There were generally less Male VAD's in a County than Female ones.

There is a good chance that her records are included in the VAD record cards. There are already a number of Surrey VAD cards released.

Regards,

Alf McM

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I don't have a full list of the relation between VAD detachment numbers and their hospitals, but I'm trying to construct one from the BRCS records now being released, and think that Surrey/74 was Highlands Auxiliary Hospital, Shortheath Road, Farnham which provided 51 beds for other ranks.

The website that Alf pointed to is very in-depth, and obviously a lot of research has been done. However, it's not obvious why it's thought that she spent the rest of her life nursing. It seems that the date of death may have been taken from probate records rather than from a death certificate, and the assumption that she was working at Horton Hospital at the time of her death might not be correct. There could be a possibility that she was actually a patient there - a hospital that cared for both short and long-term mentally ill adults. (Just playing Devil's Advocate!)

Sue

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Each County's VAD was given a number. Male VAD's were given odd numbers, 1, 3, 5 etc. and Female VAD's were given even numbers, 2, 4, 6 etc. This means that Surrey/74 VAD was actually the 37th Female VAD in Surrey. There were generally less Male VAD's in a County than Female ones.

There is a good chance that her records are included in the VAD record cards. There are already a number of Surrey VAD cards released

Alf - many thanks for this explanation. I'd never realized that there were male and female VAD's.

I don't have a full list of the relation between VAD detachment numbers and their hospitals, but I'm trying to construct one from the BRCS records now being released, and think that Surrey/74 was Highlands Auxiliary Hospital, Shortheath Road, Farnham which provided 51 beds for other ranks.

The website that Alf pointed to is very in-depth, and obviously a lot of research has been done. However, it's not obvious why it's thought that she spent the rest of her life nursing. It seems that the date of death may have been taken from probate records rather than from a death certificate, and the assumption that she was working at Horton Hospital at the time of her death might not be correct. There could be a possibility that she was actually a patient there - a hospital that cared for both short and long-term mentally ill adults. (Just playing Devil's Advocate!)

Thanks for this info, Sue. I see what you mean about the details of Gladys' death. I'm certain that it's based solely on Probate records, and I will certainly explore this further.

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From the burial record of Rowledge, Southampton, the ashes of Gladys MUDDELL were interned in the grave of her mother on August 5th 1943.

Her address was given as 80, Hook Road, Epsom.

CGM

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In the Autumn 1926 electoral register she is listed as a resident of Horton, County of London Mental Hospital. Parish of Epsom.

She has O and O next to her name in the first two columns of the register.

Hopefully someone can explain what these mean...

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I have searched for the answer to O and O in #10, with limited success.

In 1926:

Against each person are two codes, the first giving the qualification for Parliamentary Elections, and the second for Local Elections. Where there is a dash the voter could not vote in that election.

___

So far, so good.

But O means the named person (male) has Occupational Qualification.

But Gladys is a woman and should have Ow by her name.....

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CGM - Amazing! Thanks very much for this! 'Occupational qualification' for being on the voters list at that particular hospital sounds like she would have been on the staff, then.....? Anyone know how to decode entries on Voters Lists?


Yes quite brilliant. This forum is a treasure.

Amen...!

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Thanks CGM. Looks like the abbreviations on the 1926 Voters List match the list from 1918 rather than 1928 - maybe the change occurred in 1928? Either way, I'm reading this as indicating that her residency at the hospital (leading to her registration as a voter) was linked to her occupation. Obviously, I'd welcome any correction on this point if appropriate.

Thanks to Alf, Sue, IPT and CGM - I really appreciate your input on this. I've always liked this particular image, and had often wondered who she was and what she did. Particularly interested to find that she was a VAD.

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