VAD Doris Smith

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Doris Smith
Surgical Nursing Duties


Doris Evelyn Smith was born 2nd December 1895 in Keighley, and baptised 4th January 1896 at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Devonshire Park. At the time they lived at Hillbrook, Keighley. Her parents were Sir Prince Prince-Smith and Maude Mary Smith. The company of Prince Smith and Sons, or Prince Smith and Stells, were a well-known textile machinery firm.

A catalogue cover for Prince Smith & Stells, courtesy of

In 1901 the family were boarders at a place called Lauderdale, possibly a hotel, in Bournemouth, Hampshire. Doris was known by her middle name of Evelyn. She had a younger brother, Prince, aged two.

I have not been able to locate her on the 1911 census. She and her brother Prince may have been away at a boarding school. Her parents and a younger sister, Joan Mary, had moved to Whinburn where they employed a governess, parlour maid, two housemaids and a cook that lived with them.

Doris worked in general service four hours per day from May 1916 until 1916 at Spencer Street, clocking up 1500 hours in that time. She then worked as an assistant nurse, undertaking surgical nursing duties, from 12th July 1916 until 1st December 1919 at the war hospital.

On 3rd September 1919 Doris married at the Parish Church in Keighley to Captain John Haggas Brigg of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry, who lived at High House in Addingham. They went on to have two daughters, Rachael Mary Brigg (1924-1985) and Evelyn Pauline Brigg (1927-1988).

The marriage of Doris Smith and Captain John Haggas Brigg

At some point they moved to Shropshire. The 1939 Register shows John H and Doris E Brigg residing at Priors Halton, Ludlow Road. John is described as a chartered land agent and chartered surveyor. It is noted that during the Second World War he was an ARP rural organiser, and Doris was in the nursing auxiliary service.

They must have moved again after this, as Doris’ death, at the age of 74, is registered in Thirsk from 8th January 1970. She was buried at St. Felix Churchyard, Felixkirk in Hambleton. Her address at the time was Brook House, Sutton, Thirsk. John later died in 1983, aged 92.

Headstone of Doris Brigg nee Smith, her husband and daughter, courtesy of

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
1939 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

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