VAD John William Harrison

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

John William Harrison

Hospital Duty and Transport of Wounded

John William Harrison was born on 16th June 1879 in Keighley and baptised on 2nd November that year.

The baptism record for John William Harrison

His parents were Joseph Harrison, a cotton warp dresser from Keighley, and Annie Elizabeth Harrison nee Murgatroyd from Bradford. He had one older sister, Mary Ann and one younger sister Edith, as well as two younger brothers, Oliver and Benjamin.

At the time of the 1881 census the family lived at 9 Low Bank Lane in Oakworth. Joseph was 28, Annie was 25. Mary Ann was four years old and John was not yet two. A boarder named Nancy Murgatroyd lived with them, possibly Annie's sister. She was 21 years old and from Bradford like Annie, and worked as a worsted weaver.

The family had moved to Baildon by 1891, living at 9 George Street. Mary Ann was by now 14 and working as a worsted spinner. Though still only 11 years old, John was also working, as a worsted bobbin setter. Younger siblings had joined them - Oliver was nine, Edith two and Benjamin was just two days old.

By 1901 the family had relocated again, this time to 13 Mytholmes Terrace in Haworth. Mary Ann was a woollen weaver, John a warp twister, Oliver in joinery and Edith a worsted spinner.

The Harrison family on the 1901 census

John married Mary Alice Nicholson during the second quarter of 1902 in the Worth Valley. She was from Nelson in East Lancashire. In 1911 they were living at 31 Cliffe Terrace in Keighley. John was still working as a warp twister. They had an 11 month old son, Ernest.

John started work as a VAD in May 1915. He completed 1,716 hours of hospital duties and 314 hours transporting the wounded, at Morton Banks War Hospital and Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital. His brother Benjamin was serving in the Royal Navy at the time.

Following the war, John went back to working as a warp twister, as can be seen from the 1939 Register. He and Mary were living at 59 Selbourne Grove. Ernest was still living with them also, and working as a wood machinist.

The 1939 Register

John William Harrison died during the first quarter of 1972, at the age of 93.


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

West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985

1881 England Census

1891 England Census

1901 England Census

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

1911 England Census

UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939

1939 England and Wales Register

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


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