Monthly Archives: June 2016

A Hawley VAD in World War One

The Red Cross has recently completed uploading all their WWI VAD record cards to their website, and have made them searchable.  Whilst I have not yet found anyone from Sutton at Hone, there is a VAD from Hawley.

Miss Ellen Tamar Wingrove, of 1 Royal Road, Hawley, became a Head Cook in the 5th December 1917, with a salary of £45 per annum, and served until the 27th May 1918.  Ellen was Head Cook at Canadian Special Hospital (tubercular), Lenham, where the Canadian Army had taken over the Kent Sanatorium, which had been built in 1914.

The war diaries of this hospital are available online, and the entry for 3rd December states that Major Hart had been in London where he had arranged tentage and VAD women cooks. On 4th December twenty bell tents were received for use as personnel accommodation.

On 5th December, the war diary notes that Head V.A.D. Cook reported for duty ( a day before nursing staff), and that all personnel accommodation had been moved from the hospital buildings to the bell tents.  So Ellen Wingrove and all other staff, would have lived in tents in the grounds of the hospital.  There is no specific comment about Ellen’s departure, and I have not yet read through all the diary, but the weather is noted daily, and there are comments about air raid warnings at night, as well as regular entertainment for the patients.

Ellen Wingrove was born on 21 June 1882, the daughter of John and Isabel Wingrove, and by the 1891 census, the family were living at Spring Gardens, Franks Lane, and her father was described as a butcher. in 1901, Ellen had gone into domestic service, and was a maid at Riverside, working for Hawthorn Brown (a paper maker) and his family.  In 1911, Ellen and her mother Isabel were in Edmondton, visiting an uncle.

The 1939 Civil Register tells us that Ellen was living at 110 Tufnell Park Road , Islington, London, and she is described as Hospital Nurse & Caterer, and Ellen died on 2 November 1970 at 8 Church Lane, London, N8