VAD Emily Wallace

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Emily Wallace

Nursing Member, Surgical Nursing Duties

Emily Hilda Wallace was one of 13 children born to Alexander William Wallace, an iron stone miner (working underground) from Chatham in Kent, and Esther Wallace nee Carter of Howden in East Yorkshire. She was born on 29th March 1894 and baptised on 23rd April that year in Guisborough.

Her siblings were Emma Elizabeth (1882), Esther Florence (1884), Estelle (1885), Alexander William (1889-1982), Ethel Maud (1891-1901), George E (1893), Robert Bruce (1896-1907), Edith Constance (1897), Eunice (1899-1962), Edna Dorothy (1901), Ena Muriel (1905) and Eileen Joyce (1903).

In 1901 the Wallace family lived at 21 Milbank Street, Skelton-in-Cleveland.

The Wallace family on the 1901 census

In 1911 the family had moved to 7 John Street, still in Skelton-in-Cleveland. Alexander's place of work is documented on the census, at Park Pit in Skelton. The pit operated from 1871 until 1923 and is now protected by English Heritage and is now listed. Emily's brother George was also working there, above ground, as a blacksmith's striker. Emily was not living with her family at this time, however, she was a kitchen maid with a clergyman and his family at St. Clements' Rectory in York.

In July 1916 Emily came to Keighley to work as a VAD nurse, undertaking surgical nursing duties at the War Hospital. Her brother Alexander was serving at the time as a private in the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards). Thankfully he survived the war, though may have been injured as there is a record of him receiving a disability pension following discharge in June 1918.

Emily must have developed a passion for nursing as she trained formally at Sunderland Royal Infirmary between 1917 and 1920. The nursing registers show that she used the family address of John Street in Skelton in 1931, though she appears to have moved to Hampshire later as the 1939 Register shows her working as a matron at the Isolation Hospital in Bournemouth.

Emily Wallace shown on the 1939 Register

In 1940 her address was in Whitby, though she was back at the Isolation Hospital in Bournemouth by 1946 according to the nursing registers.

In 1948 she travelled to Canada. The passenger record gives a physical description - she was 5' 5", with a fair complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. Emily had given her mother as her next of kin, who was now living at 9 The Chine, Saltburn-by- the-Sea.

Passenger record of the SS Queen Mary, when Emily sailed to Canada via New York

Emily never married. She died on 11th October 1967, her last residence being what had previously been her mother's address in Saltburn-by-the-Sea.


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

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

England and Wales, Christening Index, 1530-1980

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

UK, World War 1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923

Skelton Park Pit - GooseyGoo

Skelton Park Ironstone Mine – East Cleveland's Industrial Heartland (

1939 England and Wales Register

UK and Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968

UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960

New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (Including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957

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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