VAD Grace Gidleigh

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

Red Cross, St John Ambulance Brigade and Royal Army Medical Corpsbadges

Grace Gidleigh
Surgical Nursing Duties

Grace Gidleigh was born on 18th August 1888 and baptised on 7th October that year at Ingrow St John in Keighley. Her parents were Clement and Caroline Gidleigh nee Bailey of Hainworth Shaw. Clement was a mechanic who had moved to Bingley, then Keighley, from Devon and married Caroline in Bingley in 1886.

In 1891 Clement, Caroline and Grace lived at Back Shaw Lane, Bingley with Caroline's family. Clement worked as a washing machine fitter. By 1901 they had moved to 142 Long Lee, Keighley. Clement was still working as a washing machine fitter and Grace, although only 12, was employed also in the worsted industry (I have been unable to decipher some of the handwriting on the census). Grace also had a brother by then, seven year old Richard. They were also joined by Caroline's widowed mother, Sarah. Note that on the census documents, their surname is spelled 'Gidley'.

The Gidleigh family on the 1901 census

By 1911 the family had moved to 68 Back Aireworth Terrace, Bradford Road, Keighley. Clement was now described as a foreman machine fitter (and he had documented being born in Blackfriars, suggesting he possibly spent time in London as a youngster. His birth was registered in Devon and previous documents indicate Devon also). Grace was working as a weaver of dress goods and Richard was an apprentice weaver ? overlooker.

Grace worked at the War Hospital 9 from 27th July 1916 until 3rd June 1919 as a nursing member, undertaking surgical nursing duties. She may have been inspired by her brother Richard, he had initially joined the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment in 1910 but left in 1913, before joining the RAF. She may have moved away from Keighley at some point around this time, as the Red Cross VAD records show her address as 78 Marine Drive, Sandilands, Morecambe.

Grace continued nursing after her war service, and trained formally at Bradford Royal Infirmary from 1919 until 1922. The nursing register shows her in 1928 living at Throwleigh, Riddlesden.

The Nursing Register 1928

At the time of the 1939 Register Grace lived at 10 Parkfield (Nursing Home) in Bradford, working as a matron, and her father, now widowed, also lived there.

The 1939 Register

The electoral register for 1946 shows that Grace was still there at that time.

I have found no further records for her until a death registered in her name in the third quarter of 1963 in Lancaster.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920
UK, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940
UK and Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968
1919 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

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