VAD Emma Scaife

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Emma Scaife

Nursing Sister, Bed making and any ward duties


Emma was born on 5th December 1894 to Joe and Margaret Jane Scaife, nee Scott. She was baptised on 24th February 1895 at St. Peter's Church in Addingham.

Emma Scaife's baptism record

Joe was a gardener originally from Leeds, Margaret was from Ulverston in Cumbria. Emma had a brother, Robert, who was six years older than her, and a sister who died at the age of 12 in 1898.

In 1901 the family lived at 3 Victoria Terrace in Addingham. Joe and Margaret were 36 years old at this time, Robert was 12 and Emma six. They had a boarder named William T Shain, who was a gardener like Joe.

The Scaife family on the 1901 Census

By 1911 the family had moved to 5 Tillotson Street in Silsden. Robert was married and his wife Beatrice and son Harry (aged six months) was living with them. He was working as a butcher. Emma, now 16, was working as a cotton weaver.

Emma joined as a VAD very soon after the outbreak of war, in October 1914. Though only 19 years old she was working as a nursing sister at Morton Banks Hospital. This selfless lady gave up her spare time voluntarily for the next four years for no pay, and paid all her own travel, laundry and uniform expenses. Her tasks included bed making and other ward duties.

On 21st August 1929 Emma married Horace Fortune, an insurance agent of 7 Nicholson Place in Silsden, at St. James' Church.

The marriage of Emma Scaife and Horace Fortune

They had one daughter, Sheila, who was born in 1931.

In 1939 they lived at 17 Hawthorne Street in Silsden, Emma was working as a silk weaver whereas Horace was now a postman. The family still lived at this address in 1957.

The 1939 Register

Emma died during the first quarter of 1978, her death registered in Keighley, and Horace in 1989, also in Keighley.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935

1939 England and Wales Register

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962

England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

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