VAD Dorothy Collins

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Dorothy Collins
Assistant Nurse, Surgical Nursing Duties

Dorothy Collins, photo kindly supplied by family.

Early life:
Dorothy Constance Collins was born on 10th February 1893 to Frederick Charles Collins, a wool merchant of Bradford and Mary Ann (known as Pollie) Collins nee Pattman of Suffolk. She had one older and one younger brother, Cecil Victor and Norman Pattman, and another sibling who died in infancy.

In 1901 they lived at 5 Cliffe Villas in Bradford, but by 1911 had moved to Ivy House, Castlefield in Bingley.

The Collins family on the 1901 census

18 year old Dorothy was actually a visitor with a couple in Leicester at the time of the 1911 census, with her occupation listed as governess student. Her older brother Cecil was an apprentice in the wool trade, presumably to his father, and there were two servants with the family.

War service:
Assuming that Dorothy returned to the family home some time after, she worked at the war hospital as an Assistant Nurse, then in Surgical Nursing Duties from July 1916 until March 1919. It may be that she wanted to 'do her bit' as both of her brothers were serving - Cecil was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry, Norman was with the Labour Corps and after the war he emigrated to Australia and served with their Army Citizen Military Forces during the Second World War.

Dorothy Edmonds nee Collins. Photo kindly provided by family member John Owen

Later life:
The next available record is of Dorothy traveling to Boston, USA, with her parents in May 1922. Their nearest relative in the UK was a Dr Crocker, an MD in Bingley.

Later that year Dorothy married Alfred John Edmonds, a Wesleyan Methodist Minister and electoral registers show them living in Rothwell for the first few years of their marriage. They had two children - Doreen May (1924-2003) and John Charles (1927-2015).

At the time of the 1939 Register Dorothy was staying with her now widowed mother at The Hills, Bingley (I believe this may be part of Castlefield but have no confirmation) though her home itself was in Preston at the time. She was described as a housewife.

Alfred died in 1958 in Cornwall, and Dorothy died six years later on 22nd October 1964 in Devon - her address given at her time of death was Newquay.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
1939 England and Wales Register
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
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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