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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lottie Dod, VAD


Phil Wood
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Charlotte (Lottie) Dod is no longer a household name, but remains the youngest Wimbledon Ladies Champion - she went on to win 4 more times. Also winner of a silver medal at the Olympics in archery and a top class golfer, hockey player etc etc - a true sporting legend.

 

She served in the VAD - her record at the Red Cross - https://vad.redcross.org.uk/Card?sname=dod&id=62146&last=true shows a part of her service when she worked at Chelsea VAD Hospital.  However, this is not all - the record shows previous service in Devon, with no details. 

 

Her wikipedia entry and other online bios state she also worked at a VAD hospital in Speen, Berkshire - she lived in neighbouring Newbury, so this has some credibility.  I would like to discover if this information is correct and, if so, which hospital benefited from her services.  Can any one help?

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I don't know how much it might help you but the British Red Cross site has the ability to search by hospital \ location. Just tried Speen and gor over 30 matches. The hospital in question seems to be the Benham Valence Auxiliary Red Cross Hospital, Speen, Newbury. A lot of the people named have the starting date of the 1st December 1914, so presumably that was when it opened. No obvious candidate for a typo for Charlotte (Lottie) Dod, however.

 

The building that housed the hospital was still standing in 2005.

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6225

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

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Her card shows her C/O address in Bideford, Devon, late of Chincombe, Bideford. Not a place I can locate via google. No hospital service showing in Devon.

TEW

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There is a Chircombe House in Chircombe Lane, Bideford. Could be?

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There were two Red Cross hospitals in Speen :- Benham Valence, home of Sir Richard Sutton and Albion House in Newbury Borough but Speen parish. A Red Cross publication post-war designates Benham Valence as 'Speen' so that is the most likely.  However, Albion House would be far more convenient for Lottie's home (even more convenient hospitals in Newbury could never be called Speen). To add to the confusion the Red Cross refer to Albion House as 'Donnington' - where it definitely wasn't!

 

I have spent time in the Red Cross records with no luck - I am trying to find why online bios mention Speen given the lack of records in the (to me) obvious sources.  She was not a nurse so the TNA catalogue doesn't help either.

 

Several of the bios suggest that she was awarded a Red Cross gold medal for her service in Speen - are there are records of the awards of this medal?

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