VAD Richard O. Haigh

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

Richard O. Haigh

Transport and Hospital Duties

Richard Oastler Haigh was one of at least ten children born to William, a woollen cloth dyer and Hannah Haigh nee Mitchell, both from Huddersfield. He was born on 14th April 1879 and was baptised on Christmas Day 1882 at St. Matthew and New Wortley in Holbeck, Leeds on the same day as one of his brothers, Henry Edgar.

The baptism record of Richard Oastler Haigh and his brother, Henry Edgar

His siblings were John Thomas (1863), Sophia (1865), Mitchell (1867), Ellen (1869), Henrietta (1871), Louisa (1873), William Edward (1875), Henry Edgar (1877) and Charlotte Beatrice Emily Mary (1883).

In 1881 the family lived at 3 Bankston Lane in Holbeck. William was working as a woollen cloth dyer as was oldest son John. Mitchell was working as a labourer in a cloth mill.

In 1891 they still lived in Holbeck but at a different property, 10 Staincross Place. Father, William, had died some time since the previous census (I have found a burial record of a dyer named William Henry Haigh in Holbeck Cemetery, aged 46 on 10th May 1887 but it has no family details). Despite being so young, Richard was working as a railway dray boy.

The Haigh family on the 1891 census

In 1901 the family lived at 20 Pleasant View in Holbeck, and Richard was working as a tailor's assistant.

On 26th December 1903 Richard married Ada Fitzpatrick at St. Peter's Church in Hunslet, and by 1911 they had moved to Keighley. In 1911 they lived at 25 Gordon Street where he was working as a tailor's salesman. They had two children, Madge had been born in 1905 and Clifford, born in 1908.

Richard and Ada Haigh's marriage record

In December 1916 Richard began working as a VAD at both Spencer Street and Victoria Auxiliary Hospitals, his roles were in transport and hospital duties. He worked until May 1919 and completed 1,000 hours of service. One of his brothers, William, had been serving with the Gloucestershire Regiment but had gone missing and was presumed dead on 25th September 1915.

Several years after the was Richard and his family moved to a house called Naresfield on Thornhill Road in Steeton. By the time of the 1939 Register Richard had retired as a tailor. Daughter Madge was a milliner and shopkeeper, and son Clifford and his wife were proprietors of a cinema in Islington, London but Clifford went on to join the police.

The 1939 Register

Richard died on 23rd November 1951, just a few months after his wife, Ada.



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

1881 England Census

1891 England Census

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

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

UK, Army Register of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962

1939 England and Wales Register

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

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