Ward Orderly, Transport of Wounded, Air Raid, Sick Nursing etc
Norman Crouch is one of our younger VADs, born on 26th May 1901 in Keighley and baptised at St. Andrew's (Parish) Church on 7th July that year. His parents were Alfred Crouch, a carter from Hitchin in Hertfordshire and Annie Elizabeth Crouch nee Drake, from Rotherham. He was one of eleven children, though three sadly died in infancy. I believe Norman was the youngest.
At the time of the 1911 census the family lived at 13 Wharfe Street (also known as Thorn Street as the two were back to back) in the area of Thwaites Village. His father was working as a drayman. Five of his siblings were still living with the family - Alfred was 23 and working as a general dealer in small wares, Mary Elizabeth was 19 and a rover, John was 17 and a labourer, Hannah was 13 and a spinner. 11 year old Alice and Norman were at school.
Despite his young age, Norman worked as a VAD from December 1916 as a ward orderly at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital and was still serving at the time of the records being filed. In addition, he worked from July 1917 until May 1919 at both Spencer Street and Morton Banks War Hospital in the transport of wounded, air raids and sick nursing. He completed 2,000 hours of work as a ward orderly and 1,100 hours in his other role of transport, air raids and sick nursing.
He may have been inspired to support the war effort as his brother John was serving as a Private with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, and was discharged due to disability in July 1919.
Electoral registers show Norman living at 13 Wharfe Street in 1926, with what I assume was a lodger named Fred Entwhistle.
The next available record is the 1939 Register, where Norman has moved to Leicester - a house named Norann on Billesden Road. He is described as married, his wife was Sarah Ann Crouch. I have found a marriage record for Norman Crouch marrying Sarah A Ireland in the third quarter of 1926 in Leicester. Sarah's date of birth on the register is 20th March 1893, and I have found a birth record for a Sarah Ann Ireland in Keighley in the second quarter of 1893, so it could be assumed that Norman and Sarah left Keighley in 1926 and married in Leicester soon after. Norman was working as an engineer instrument fitter in 1939, and Sarah was a boot and shoe operative table hand.
Sadly the next record is Norman's death on 8th November 1957, at the young age of 56. He was back in Keighley, living at 8 Gladstone Street. His widow as named on his probate record was Sarah Ann Crouch, who appears to have died in 1974 in Keighley.
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935
1911 England Census
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
1939 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995