VAD Norah Oates

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

Norah Oates
Nursing, Member S.J.A.B


Norah was born on 2nd June 1877 to Isaac and Margaret Oates. They were both from Sunderland. Isaac was a house painter. They appear to have moved to Southport from Sunderland before settling in Keighley. She was baptised with her sisters at Christ Church in Oakworth in 1884, and were living at Lidget at the time.

Norah and sisters' baptism record

In 1881 they lived at Mytholmes in Haworth. Norah had older siblings Isaac, John Thomas, William and Margaret A, and younger sisters Ada and Ruth.

The 1881 Census

Her father, Isaac, died in 1885 and is buried at Christ Church, as is her older sister Margaret who died in 1889.

In 1891 the family had moved to 5 Victoria Road in Haworth. Older brother Isaac had married and moved to his own house, John was a domestic servant and groom, William was a wool comber and Norah was a worsted spinner.

By 1901 John and William had also moved on. Margaret and her three daughters Norah, Ada and Ruth lived at 52 Damems Road in Keighley. Norah was working as a cloth mender as was Ruth, and Ada was a woollen weaver.

I have not been able to locate Norah or her mother on the 1911 census, though her mother is at 37 Foster Road in Keighley for several years.

The VAD records show that Norah worked in nursing, including some night duty, as a member of St. John's Ambulance Brigade, from 1917 until May 1919. She worked part time, a total of 1016 hours.

Norah's mother died in 1922, and Norah is then seen on the electoral registers at 37 Foster Road, some of the years with her sister Ada. There is also a Norah Oates on the 1938 electoral register at The Shroggs in Steeton, which was the home of another VAD Mary Talbot. In 1939 she appears to have been on holiday in Morecambe at a hotel on Marine Road West, she was described as a nurse companion.

Norah never married, and died in the first quarter of 1947 in Keighley.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
1881 England Census
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
1939 England and Wales Register

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