VAD Fanny Clough

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Fanny Clough
Surgical Nursing Duties, Nursing Member

Early life
Fanny Clough was born 3rd September 1883 in Baildon, to James and Mary Clough (nee Robinson).
James was a manager in worsted manufacturing, who would soon own his business and become an employer. Mary was a dressmaker at the time they married on 22nd August 1874 at St. Peter’s (the Cathedral) in Bradford. They had two sons – Joshua (1876) and Arthur (1877) and a daughter Emma (1881) before Fanny and would go on to have another four daughters – Annie (1885), Maggie May (1887), Edith (1889) and Mary (1892). Sadly, Arthur died, presumably within the last day or two of 1881 at the age of four, as he was buried on 3rd January 1882.

In 1891 the family live at Spring Cottage, Cliffe Lane in Baildon – I believe the house is still there and called Springfield Cottage. James is manager of a worsted weaving company, and fifteen-year-old Joshua is an apprentice, overlooking. By 1901 James owned his business, and the family had moved to 1 Rushcroft Terrace, still in Baildon. Emma has followed her mother’s lead and is a dressmaker, eighteen-year-old Fanny is a milliner – both described as having their own account.

I have traced James Clough’s ancestors back to the early 1800s in an effort to establish whether or not Fanny was descended from the same James Clough that is rumoured to have built what was known as Clough Mills in Baildon – now Baildon Green Mills. Fanny’s father was born in Birkenshaw/Birstall, and previous generations were in the same area, working in the wool industry so I can’t say for sure that there is a connection. However, on electoral rolls from 1905-1915 James is described as ‘Joint Owner in Freehold Property’ at Baildon Green Mills with Cyrus Barker Brook – and according to the mill is rumoured to have been built by a James Clough around 1840. In 1868 it was shared by Cyrus Brook and Co, worsted manufacturer who also had a mill in Halifax, and Messrs Brearley who were steam engine manufacturers.

This map on the National Library of Scotland shows the mills in place in 1908 at 'Upper Green.'

Map section for information only. Copyright to NLS;

Map showing the mill buildings at 'Upper Green' on Baildon Green.

1911 finds the family in two areas – James is with daughters Emma, Maggie May, and Mary at Rushcroft Villas, whereas Mary is with Fanny and Edith at 5 Dalton Road, Morecambe. Both James and Mary describe themselves as married on their respective census documents – I wonder if Mary had taken the young ladies on holiday? Neither Mary, Fanny nor Edith has an occupation listed. Joshua has by now married and started a family and is an employer in worsted manufacturing.

War service
Fanny appears on the Red Cross V.A.D. lists as a Nursing Member, undertaking Surgical Nursing Duties, starting her employment on 3rd December 1916 until 29th March 1919. Sadly, the record does not show which hospital she worked at, although the stamp on the back of the card states 'Keighley War Hospital.'

Marriage and death
She next appears in 1922 when she marries a Scottish man named George Leith Shivas Spence on 31st August – both aged 39. They married at St. Luke’s in Manningham, Bradford – Fanny’s address being 47 Park View Road, Manningham, at this time. George’s address is given as being in Aberdeen, where he was from, his occupation being a chemist and druggist.
I have not been able to find any further records about them, including on the 1939 England Register, until their deaths – George in 1966, Fanny’s in 1976, in St. Austell, Cornwall. I wonder if they moved to Scotland after marrying, before retiring to Cornwall, or did not participate in the 1939 Register?
George’s probate record indicates his estate being passed to Fanny without any mention of children, though this is not conclusive.

Information sources:
1841 England Census
1851 England Census
1861 England Census
1871 England Census
1881 England Census
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1901 Scotland Census
1911 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
West Yorkshire, England, Tax Valuation, 1910
England and Wales, Civil Register Death Index, 1916-2007
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995
Baildon Green Mills Business Centre

This research has been carried out by volunteer Carole Hodge.

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