VAD Ethel Brook

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Ethel Brook
Nursing member, Surgical nursing duties


Ethel Brook was born on the 18th September 1884 to John, a railway clerk and Ellen Brook nee Padgett. John was originally from Leeds and Ellen from Bramley. She was the third of four children, two brothers Herbert Alfred and Thomas Orlando, six and four years older respectively, and a sister Martha, three years younger. Ethel was baptised on 6th September 1888 at Holy Trinity Church in Lawkholme. Their address at the time was 99 May Street.

The baptism record for Ethel Brook

At the time of the 1891 census the family lived at 10 June Street. John was a railway clerk, perhaps working at the nearby railway station in Keighley. Despite being aged just 12 and 10, Ethel's brothers were working as worsted spinners.

By 1901 the family had moved to nearby Victoria Avenue, number 33. John remained a railway clerk and was by now joined by his son Thomas, whereas Herbert was a butcher and 16 year old Ethel was a worsted spinner.

By 1911 Ethel's brothers had moved from the family home and she was working as a 'stuff' weaver (stuff was a coarse cloth).

By 1916 World War One had been going for two years. On 27th July of that year Ethel began working as a nursing member, undertaking surgical nursing duties at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital, and she remained in post until 3rd June 1919.

The following year saw Ethel marry Jacob Moffatt, a clerk. Her age is documented as 29, however she was 36! Jacob was a clerk of Florist Street, Stockbridge. He had served in the Labour Corps and had been discharged due to disability - I haven't been able to ascertain details but the Men of Worth Project has no record of him being in one of Keighley's military hospitals.

Ethel Brook and Jacob Moffatt's marriage record

Electoral registers indicate that Ethel and Jacob lived at 33 Victoria Avenue with Ethel's father John for several years and then moved to 8 Birchwood Avenue. The 1939 Register shows Ethel and Jacob at this address (Ethel's date of birth has her as six years younger), with her father and a son, John, born in 1922.

Jacob died in 1950, and Ethel died the following year on 12th March, at Victoria Hospital. Her probate records indicate her estate was left to a James Ernest Moffatt, railway signalman. I am not sure how James Ernest was related as I haven't found a birth record for him.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
1939 England and Wales Register
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
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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