VAD Harold Bird

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

Harold Bird

Convoy Work and Hospital Duties

Harold was the middle of five children, born on 4th June 1887 in Scarborough. His parents were John Joseph Bird, a brew yeast merchant originally from Batley, and Lucy Bird nee Adams from Wolverhampton in Staffordshire.

In 1891 the family lived at 6 Blenkiron Street in Scarborough. Lucy was away at her in-laws' hotel in Batley with their two daughters Frances (7) and Ethel Anna (5 months), leaving John with the boys William J (5), Harold (3) and Richard (2). A servant named Selina Thompson also lived with the family.

By 1901 the family had moved to Keighley, living at 79 Eshton Terrace. John had changed occupations and was working as a railway clerk. None of the five children were in employment. Lucy's niece, also called Lucy, was with the family, and the servant Selina had moved to Keighley with them.

The Bird family on the 1901 census

During the second quarter of 1909 Harold married Rose Ann Elsegood in Keighley. They went on to have two children, John J in 1913 and Margaret G in 1924.

In 1911 Harold and Rose Ann were living at 6 Otterburn Street, Harold was following his father's footsteps and working as a railway clerk. They had a boarder, a Hilda Leece from Morecambe.

Some time later they moved to 108 Devonshire Street, as this was the address Harold provided when he joined as a VAD. He worked from May 1916 until June 1919 transporting wounded soldiers and as a hospital orderly at both Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital and Morton Banks War Hospital. He worked 1,000 hours and rose to the rank of Sergeant with the VAD.

At the time of the 1939 Register Harold, Rose Ann and Margaret were at 21 Balmoral Gardens in Whitley Bay. It doesn't appear to be a hotel so I am not sure if they were living there at the time - Margaret married there (though not until 1980) so they may have been staying with her, or moved there as a family. Harold worked as a general clerk and book keeper.

The 1939 Register

Some time later they moved back to the Keighley area, as they can be found on the electoral register in 1957 living at 33 Ilkley Road in Riddlesden.

The 1957 electoral register

Harold died on 14th November 1959 at Victoria Hospital in Keighley, his probate record shows they still lived on Ilkley Road at the time.


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

1891 England Census

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

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

1939 England and Wales Register

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962

England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005

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

England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

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