VAD Dr. Alfred George Hebblethwaite

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

Alfred George Hebblethwaite

Medical Personnel - Surgeon

Alfred was one of ten children born to George Hirst Hebblethwaite, a wool merchant and his wife Sarah E Hebblethwaite nee Watts. He was born on 19th June 1868 and baptised on 8th September 1869 at Christ the King Church in Battyeford near Mirfield.

The baptism record of Alfred George Hebblethwaite

In 1871 the family lived at Knowle Villa on Knowle Lane in Mirfield. Parents George and Sarah were 38 and 30 years old respectively. Alfred, who was almost two years old, had three older sisters Elizabeth Maud (5), Edith M (4) and Annie Caroline (3). The family had a nurse/domestic servant living with them.

In 1881 Alfred was a pupil in Lytham, Lancashire. The name of the school is not shown on the census document, but the headmaster was a Mr John Thompson who a search shows as head of 'Sandy Knoll School' at this time.

At the time of the 1891 census Alfred was with his family, though they had moved to Westroyd on Water Royd Lane in Mirfield. George was described as a driving belt manufacturer, Alfred was a medical student. His older sister Edith was not with the family, though he had more younger siblings - Dora M who was 19, Bessie Winifred who was 13 and Elsie Gertrude who was 9. Two brothers Walter Watts (16) and Gilbert Henry (11) were not with the family, and may have been at boarding school as their older brother had been ten years before.

The Hebblethwaite family as shown on the 1891 census

Alfred studied medicine in Girtford, Sandy in Bedfordshire and over a long career he worked in various roles: Consultant Surgeon at Keighley Victoria Hospital, Honourable Physician at Leeds General Infirmary and Chairman and Senior Representative of the Bradford Division of the British Medical Association.

The Medical Directory of 1942

In 1895 Alfred married Annie Blackburn Barnard in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. By 1901 they were living in Keighley, at 58 Devonshire Street, where Alfred was described as a medical man. They don't appear to have ever had any children.

By 1911 they were living at Lowfield, Keighley. I believe this may have been Lowfield House which was to the left of Keighley Library. This and the adjacent house at 2 Spencer Street (the previous census record correlates) were later bought by Keighley Corporation and, although it took several years to organise, were eventually demolished to build an extension to the library.

Lowfield House, seen to the left of the library. Home of Dr Hebblethwaite in 1911. Photo kindly provided from a postcard by Tim Neal of Keighley & District Local History Society

War service:

Alfred continued his medical work during World War One. He was a Lieutenant Colonel with the Royal Army Medical Corps as well as Senior Surgeon with the British Red Cross. He served in military hospitals in France from September 1914 until March 1915, was Lieutenant Colonel in Command of 1/2 West Riding Field Ambulance (in Leeds), Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services and Assistant Director of Medical Services with the Army of Occupation.

He was awarded the British, Victory and Star medals, and he is named on Keighley Golf Club's roll of honour.

At some point after the war, Alfred and Annie moved to Westworth, Millom in Cumberland (now Cumbria). At the time of the 1939 Register Alfred's occupation was described as Secretary of Seawale Golf Club, Special Constable no. 254 Constabulary and Retired Lt. Col. RAMC.

The 1939 Register

Alfred died on 19th February 1953, with Annie having passed away in 1940.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915
1871 England Census
1881 England Census
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
1939 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
UK and Ireland, Medical Directories, 1845-1942
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
Keighley Golf Club

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