VAD Edith Widdop

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VAD Edith Widdop
Surgical Nursing Duties

Early life:
Edith Widdop was born on 1st March 1890 in Keighley and baptised on 4th May at St Andrew's Church, her parents were Joseph Widdop of Haworth, who was the curator of the public baths, and Martha Widdop nee Kay, also of Haworth.

Edith Widdop's baptism record

Joseph and Martha had four children, one of whom died in infancy. Edith was the youngest surviving child. Her older brother was called Willie and had been born in Leicester four years before Edith. Her older sister was Annie, and she was three years older.

Edith was one year old at the time of the 1891 census, when the family's address was Public Baths, Keighley which were on Albert Street.

The Widdop family shown on the 1891 Census

In 1901 the family had moved to Brighton, where Joseph was the secretary and bath manager, Martha the manageress of the baths - I believe the address on the 1911 census reads as 'Bills Baths, 1142 Pool Valley'. Edith was still at school, her brother working as a stationer assistant and her sister a mother's help.

By 1911 Martha had moved back to Keighley and was working as a draper. Joseph had emigrated to Canada in 1907 (Martha and Annie later joined him, but not for another 16 years!) Annie was still with Martha and working as a dressmaker, Edith was now 21 and a milliner.

War service:
In 1916 Edith began working at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital, working full time in surgical nursing duties until December 1918.

On 29th April 1919 married Arthur Galbraith Smith, originally from Fife in Scotland but had emigrated to Manitoba Canada in 1905. A civil engineer, he had served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war. His address at the time was Witley Camp, which was a facility established by the Canadian Army.
Arthur Galbraith Smith was a 32 year old wounded patient at Keighley War Hospital from 6th October to 14th November 1918, so it's likely this is where they met. The record shows he was serving with the Canadian Army Service Corps at the time.
His Canadian Army service record (page 17 of 54 pages) confirms that he had SW (head) and DAH.
SW is a shot/shrapnel wound - in this case, to his head.
DAH is Disorderly Action of the Heart which is a term covering any anomaly of the heart.

Soon after marrying, Edith and Arthur relocated to Canada where Arthur had a farm in Selkirk, Manitoba.

Sadly, Edith died in 1924. She was buried in Birtle Cemetery, Western Manitoba.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
Canada, WW1 CEF Personnel Files, 1914-1918
1921 Census of Canada
Manitoba, Death Index, 1871-1947

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