VAD Archibald Raymond West

Voluntary Aid Detachment page


Red Cross, St John Ambulance Brigade and Royal Army Medical Corpsbadges

VAD Archibald Raymond West

Convoys, sick nursing and air raids

Born on 5th March 1899, Archibald was one of ten children born to John West, a house painter, and Annie West nee Kimber, both from Kent. He was baptised on 21st May at St Michael's in Buslingthorpe near Leeds.

Archibald West's baptism record

At the time of the 1901 census the family lived at 38 Chancellor Street in Leeds. Archibald, referred to as Archie, was the youngest child at the time, at two years old. His older siblings were Gertrude Helena Mabel (known as Gertie, 11 years old), John Clifton (nine), Sidney Stephen, (seven), and Joseph Edward (four).

The West family on the 1901 census

By 1911 the family had relocated to Keighley and lived at 4 Oxford Street. Some of the older siblings were working - Gertrude was a mohair spinner, Sidney and Joseph were setters. Archie was attending school part time, and also worked part time as a doffer despite being just 12 years old. He had three younger siblings, Ada (nine), Major (seven) and Alfred (four).

Although only 16 years old, in July 1916 Archie signed up as a VAD and undertook roles in sick nursing, convoys and air raids. He completed 1,264 hours of service at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital and Morton Banks War Hospital.

Archibald West's VAD card

He may have felt compelled to support the war effort as all three of his older brothers were serving in the army. John had joined a few years before the start of the war and served with the 3rd, then the 1st West Riding Regiment, Sidney and Joseph were also with West Riding Regiments. Thankfully all three survived the war.

On July 17th 1926 Archie married Minnie Bennett, at the Parish Church in Keighley. Archie was described as an electrician.

Archibald and Minnie's marriage record

They had a daughter, Marjorie, who was born in 1931. I don't believe they had any other children.

At the time of the 1939 Register Archie and Minnie lived at 93 Victoria Road in Keighley. Archie's occupation was an electrician for an electrical contractor and was also volunteering again as an ARP Warden.

The 1939 Register

Archie died in Keighley during the third quarter of 1974 at the age of 75. Minnie died in 1988.

Sources:

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

UK, Red Cross Volunteers During WW1, 1914-1918

UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007

1939 England and Wales Register

England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

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