Category Archives: Red Cross – YMCA

Inspector Kate Galt and Jessie Robertson

Over the years I have been lucky with almost every research I did, I was able to find some information in almost every person I research except a few. Most of them are women, they are particularly difficult to research for two main reasons;

–        Many time even if they were participating at the war effort, women were part of civilian organisation and those did not kept any record on their service

–        After they involvement in the war effort many of those women married and changed their name, if you cannot find with whom they married, you lose their track right there.

It’s even more difficult if their name is common.

Here are two of those women for whom I was not able to find information.

Inspector Kate Galt served British Red Cross and Saint John of Jerusalem during WW1. She is entitled to theBritish War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Information taken from British Red Cross list 1914-18

Her rank was Inspector

Her Certificate number was 16487 and it was issued after august 1917

Her Passport Reference was 186094

and the Department she worked at is listed as “Canadian”, meaning she probably worked for the Canadians

Jessie Robertson served with Voluntary Aid Detachment during WW1. She is entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Matron Agnes Brooks R.R.C.

Matron Agnes Brooks (civilian) served with the British Medical Service during WW1. She is entitled to the Royal Red Cross 1st class, the British War Medal. She also received a silver badge from the Vice-Chairman of the King Edward VII Hospital Silver.

1906: She began her training at the Old Infirmary, she finished in 1909. She received her certification and her nurse’s registration number is 14764.

1910 : She became Sister

She worked for the British Red Cross and the Order of Saint-John of Jerusalem

November 25th 1914 : She arrived in France and organised the X-ray department for the 2nd British Red Cross Hospital in Rouen

1915 : She was promoted Matron at the King Edward VII Hospital

February 16th, 1920: She awarded her Royal Red Cross on that day and her investiture ceremony on March 3rd, 1921

May 18th, 1923 : She registered herself for the first time on the State Register of Nurses.

September : She retired from her job at the King Edward VII Hospital

1928 : Her address was 19 Trinity Place, Windsor

If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography

Matron Agnes Brooks WW1 medal and badge

Welfare Officer Lilian Joan Jansen

Welfare Officer Lilian Joan Jansen  served with the British Red Cross in Malaya. She is entitled to the General Service Medal 1918-1962 with clasp Malaya and the Voluntary Medical Service Medal.

The British Red Cross was present at all the major military conflicts of the 20th Century. Its role was to provide some comfort to the men and women serving under the flag. One of the many responsibilities they took was to run canteen, rest area and look at the wellbeing of every military personnel present. In these situation the Welfare Officer would have to make sure that men where feeling as comfortable as possible under the circumstances and this would imply doing many tasks as looking for their hygiene, mail from home, organising social activities etc.

She was born on February 22nd, 1925

September, 23rd 1953 : Listed as a Welfare Officer on the ship Antilochus. Sailed from Port Swettenham, Malaya, Singapore and arrived in Liverpool, England.

Proposed address 15 Munden street, W Kensington, London.

1965 : She married Harry Hancock

From 1948 until 1975 she was living at that same address (15 Munden Street)

Her Voluntary Medical Service Medal was issued in the 1960’s for 15 years of service.

August 1985 : She died in Peterborough, United Kingdom

If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography

Ernest Albert Pleasance

Ernest Albert Pleasance served during World War One with the Young Men Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.). In his civilian role he went to France but never got near the combat zone so he was entitled only to the British War Medal. Unfortunatly civilian organisation did not keep records of their members service, so very  few informations are available for Mr. Pleasance.

1883: Born in Cambridge 2nd semester (April, May or June)

1901 United Kingdom census: Living at 63 Cottage grove Portsmouth Hampshire

Address: 7 Shally Terrace, St Peter Street in Cambridge

November 1915: Landed in France and also served in Belgium.

Ernest Albert Pleasance WW1 medal Index Card

August 27th 1926: Sailed from London UK on the Naldera to Sydney, Australia

July 24th, 1929: Sailed on the Ranpura from Yokohoma, Japan to Plymouth, UK. He is listed as a secretary and living at 22 Portugal Street, Cambridge

July 11th, 1930: Sailed from London UK on the Mantua to Yokohama, Japan via Marseilles, France

March 28th: Sailed from Liverpool, UK on the Atholl to St-John, New-Brunswick

April 18th, 1931: Sailed from St-John, New-Brunswick to Liverpool, UK on the Duchess of Bedford.

August 29th: Sailed from London, UK on the Rawalpindi to Bombay, India

August 19th, 1932: Sailed from Liverpool, UK on the Naldera to Yokohama, Japan via Colombo, India.

April 15th, 1937: Sailed from London, UK on the Chitral to Brisbane, Australia

September 18th, 1957: Died in Sussex United, Kingdom

If you know more information on this gentleman, please leave me message so I can add it to his small biography

WW1 Commenwealth nurses uniform – part 4

This is the last post of a serie of four on WW1 nurse’s uniform. This text gives you a comparison of other WW1 woman nursing personnel uniform who were wearing with the Australian and British forces. I do not pretend that this text is the definitive source of information but rather some observations made after looking at many WW1 Canadian Nursing Sisters pictures. I was never able to find the official Dress Regulations for the WW1 Canadian Nursing Sisters so these posts are the starting point to something that could evolve as I get new information on the subject.

You can find the first post on WW1 Canadian Nursing Sister Service Dress by clicking here, the second post on the Ceremonial Dress by clicking here and third post on How the Nursing Sister were wearing their uniform by clicking here.

Australian nurse – Frances Mary Byron MacKellar

click on the image to enlarge

A St-John Ambulance – British Red Cross nurse photographed with a relative. Note that she is wearing an armband with Order of St-John emblem.

click on the image to enlarge

Voluntary Aid Detachment – British Red Cross personnel – It’s a common mistake to identify these women as nurse, they were not qualified nurses but rather medical assistant with a basic first aid training. They were employed for various tasks in military hospital, sometime not even related to nursing. Some of those women did the daily tasks of cleaning nursing quarters, preparing the medical materiel ect.

click on the image to enlarge

Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service – British Force. Theses woman were civilian and not part of the army. They had three “ranks” or appointment Staff-Nurse, Nursing Sister and Matron. If you look on the right side of their cape, they had a insignia (cape badge) and it was part of the uniform and must be worn at all time.

click on the image to enlarge

Picture of their cape badge and a modern picture that shows the colors of their uniform

click on the image to enlarge

Nurse Grace Errol Bolton

Grace Errol Bolton served as a nurse with Canadian Voluntary Aid Detachment during WW1.

Nurse Bolton is one of the very few Canadian women who died while serving with an armed force in a military conflict. Her war service file is unavailable, so it is impossible to know what medals she was entitled to, but she must have received the British War Medal and her father must have received the Memorial Plaque and the Memorial Scroll.

September 14th, 1890 : Born

1901 Canadian census : Listed as living in Vercheres, Quebec

Daughter of J.W. Boulton and late Annie E. Boulton of 302 Lagauchetiere

Died on February 16th 1919 at the age of 28

Buried in Section G1 470-B Mount Royal Cemetery Montreal, Quebec

If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography.

Picture of her gravestone in Mount Royal Cemetery

Nursing Sister Isabel Henshaw

Isabel Henshaw was a nursing sister with Red Cross, one of the few Canadian women who died while serving at the front during WW1

Daughter of late Robert Henshaw (Royal Engineer) and Mary Ann Henshaw of Trowbridge, England

Died of sickness on August 11th, 1919 at the age of 50 at the General Winnipeg hospital.

Buried in lot S.3. G.1641.in Elmwood cemetery in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Obituary from Manitoba Free Press Tuesday August 12, 1919 page 11 «Henshaw – in Winnipeg on August 11th Isabella Henshaw (Red Cross Nurse) of 350 Home St. The funeral will take place Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock from Clark Leatherdale’s parlors, 232 Kennedy St. to Elmwood cemetery»

If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography

Isabel Henshaw gravestone

Nurse Dorothy Pearson Twist

One of the few Canadian woman who died during the Great War while serving at the front

She served as a nurse with the Canadian Voluntary Aid Detachment (Canadian). Unfortunatly there is no service file for her but she would at least been entitled to the British War Medal and her parents most probably received the Memorial Plaque and the Memorial Scroll.

Her service number was 82/T/118

Daughter of Pearson Gill Twist and Julia Twist, of Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia

Died on September 26th, 1918 at the age of 29 from pneumonia (influenza)

Buried in Aldershot Military Cemetery, Hampshire, United Kingdom, AG. 374

Nursing Sister Margaret C. Delaney

Although Margaret C Delaney did not serve with the Canadian Army Medical Corps, she was one of the very Canadian women who went to Europe during WW1 as a trained nurse. She worked for the St-John Ambulance and served under the British Red Cross like all other St-John Ambulance personnel. She is entitled to the British War Medal and the Service Medal of the Order of St-John with two clasps. After the war she continued serving with the St-John Ambulance in Canada

Born in on August 1th, 1893 in Nova, Scotia

Information from the 1901 census taken in Ward No. 3, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Father : William Delaney born July 28th 1863
Mother : Mary Delaney born February 7th 1861
Brother : William Delaney born March 14th 1888
Brother : Patrick Delaney born July 11th 1891
Sister : Agnes Delaney born June 18th 1897
Sister : Frances Delaney born July 24th 1900

March 1915 : Joined the Order of St-John as a nursing sister with the Canadian Pacific Railway nursing division
February 1918 : On active service
March 25th : Enlisted as a paid nurse with the British Red Cross from the C.P.R.N. Division no 8
November 5th  : Posted to the War Hospital in Reading

May 6th, 1919 : Demobilised with the British Red Cross.  She gave Agnes street, Winnipeg as her address
November 18th, 1919 : Left the St-John Ambulance Brigade

Not with the brigade from 1920 to 1924

1924 : Rejoined with the Fort Garry nursing division
December 3rd, 1928 : Became the Secretary treasurer of the division
December 31st, 1935 : Received the Service Medal of the Order of St-John (St-John Ambulance Long Service Medal)
October 1st, 1936 : Appointed Lady Division Superintendent
December 29th, 1937 : Transferred to the Canadian Pacific Railway nursing division
September 1st, 1940 : Appointed Lady District officer – Manitoba
June 18th, 1941 : Awarded her first bar medal (17 years of service)
November 13th, 1945 : Awarded her second bar (22 years of service)
March 1st, 1949 : On the reserve list

If you know more information on this lady, please leave me message so I can add it to her small biography