VAD Gladys Fleming

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Gladys Fleming
Surgical Nursing Duties


Gladys Violet Fleming was born on 4th October 1891 to William Daniel and Emily Fleming nee Payant. She was baptised on 19th October 1895. William was a woollen stuff goods manufacturer and merchant from Glasgow, Emily was from Manchester. They had 12 children, two of whom died in infancy.

In 1901 they lived at Moorlands, Bingley. Their children were Zoe (28), William Daniel (25), Ernest (24), Herbert (20), Daisy (18), Norman (17), Gilbert Allen/Allan (14), Gladys (nine) and Dorothy (three). An older daughter, Ida, lived elsewhere at this time. The two older children were born in Bradford, the rest in Bingley except for Gladys in Apperley Bridge. William and Ernest were working in the family business, Herbert was an architecture student and Norman was an electrical engineering student.

The Fleming family shown on the 1901 Census

By 1911 the family had moved to Oakleigh, 8 Slenningford Terrace in Bingley. Zoe, William, Herbert and Norman had moved. Ernest was working as a commission agent in insurance, Daisy was a student governess, Gilbert a warehouseman, Gladys was an art student, drawing. I believe Dorothy may have been at boarding school.

Gladys worked at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital from 23rd September 1916 until 3rd June 1919, undertaking surgical nursing duties full time. She may have been inspired to support the war effort by her brothers - William was serving as a corporal with the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) and was discharged due to disability in March 1918, and Ernest served with the RAF from 1915 until 1919.

Gladys must have developed a vocation for health care as the next available records see her on the UK Physiotherapy and Masseuse Registers from 1920 to 1921.

Gladys shown on the UK Physiotherapy and Masseuse Register for 1920-1921

O 9th June 1922 she married Gavin Allan Young, an engineer from Glasgow, at All Saints Church in Bingley.

In August 1922, two months after marrying, they travelled to Bombay in India. Their address, by now, was 43 Annette Street in Crosshill, Glasgow. Their intended residence was India. Her brother Norman had married in India some years before.

They appear to have travelled a lot, and lived in other countries. In August 1928 they crossed the border from Canada into the USA and recorded their last address as being in Siam, Bangkok. Their eventual destination was England. The crossing record indicates that Gladys was 5' 5", brunette with blue eyes.

The Canada/US Border Crossing record

By the following year they were on the move again, travelling to Canada. Their address was, I assume, Gavin's employers - Brown Craddock and Co. Their intended residence was India again. Within days of arriving in Canada they once again crossed into the USA. A month later they were returning to the UK via New York, still intending to reside in India, specifically in Asansol.

By 1939 they had settled at 12 Stow Park Circle, Newport in Wales. Gavin was a metallurgical engineer at an iron and steelworks, Gladys a housewife. They had a domestic servant living with them.

Gladys and Gavin on the 1939 Register

I have found no further records until their deaths. Gavin died on 13th April 1963 in Newport, Gladys lived for several more years, passing away in Dorset in 1988 at the age of 96.


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

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

West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985

1891 England Census

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920

UK, Royal Air Fore Airmen Records, 1918-1940

UK, Physiotherapy and Masseuse Registers, 1895-1980

England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005

U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1960

UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960

UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960

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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