VAD Mary Dawes

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

Mary Dawes
Nursing, St John's Ambulance Brigade

Mary Dawes nee Foy. Photo kindly provided by her great niece, Kate Sykes

Early life:
Mary Jane Foy was born on 10th March 1895 in Workington, Cumbria. She was the oldest daughter of George Foy and Catherine Foy, nee McGee. George was a steel worker from Harrington in Cumbria, Catherine was from Middlesborough.

Mary was the oldest of four daughters - her sisters were Annie, Elizabeth and Winifred.

In 1901 the family lived at 3 Martin's Lane in Workington. George and Catherine were both aged 28, George's occupation being a steel worker in rail mills. Mary Jane was six, Annie four and Elizabeth one year old.

The Foy family shown on the 1901 Census

By 1911 they had moved to 27 Pilgrim Street, still in Workington, and George was still a steel worker. Mary Jane, now aged 16, was working as a domestic servant. Her younger sisters were not in work yet.

War service:
Some time after 1911 and before World War One the family relocated to Keighley. When Mary signed up as a VAD her address was the family home at 5 Grape Street, which is in the Dalton Lane area. Mary served with St John's Ambulance Brigade undertaking nursing duties from 1915 until 1919 at Morton Banks.

On 15th January 1919 Mary married Alfred Dawes at St Mary's Church, Eastwood.

The marriage of Mary Foy and Alfred Dawes

Alfred was born in Whitehaven in 1890 and had served as a Private with the Cumberland Border Regiment for four years before joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a Sapper with 170th Mississauga Battalion.

Immigration record for Mary Dawes in 1921

Passenger records show that Mary and Alfred settled in Toronto and they had one daughter named Sheila in 1933/34. Alfred died at the age of 54 on 2nd March 1945.

Though I have no official source for Mary's death, other family trees on indicate that she died on 29th March 1971 in Toronto and was buried there.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924
Canada, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Canada, WW1 CEF Personnel Files, 1914-1918
Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1948

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