VAD Greta Thompson

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Greta Thompson


Greta Mary Thompson was born in Bradford, the youngest of two daughters of George Gilbert Thompson, a solicitor originally from Peterborough, and Ellen Thompson nee Sichel of Bradford. She was born on 27th June 1897 and baptised on 25th July at St.Luke's Church in Manningham. Their address at the time was 12 Selborne Grove - just around the corner from Violet Scott, another VAD who was the same age as Greta and baptised at the same church a couple of weeks later. Although both moved to other (nearby) addresses, it may be that they knew each other growing up.

The baptism record of Greta Mary Thompson

In 1901 they lived on Parsons Road in Bradford. Greta was three years old, her older sister Vera was six. A servant also lived with the family.

By 1911 they had moved to Spring Mount, Heaton in Bradford and they had three servants living with them.

Greta's service as a VAD began on 16th November 1916, when she began working in surgical nursing duties at Morton Banks War Hospital. She was working there full time, and stayed until 3rd June 1919, and will have also worked alongside her old neighbour Violet.

The next records of Greta see her having left the north of England. She attended the London School of Massage from 1920-1921 and appears to have worked in this field for many years. As part of this role, she achieved qualifications in medical electricity, medical gymnastics, and light and electrotherapy in 1931.

The UK Physiotherapy and Masseuse Register shows Greta's qualifications

The UK Physiotherapy and Masseuse Registers show Greta living in Sussex for most of her life, at a house called Our Cottage in Cuckfield. She lived with a lady called Gwendolen Battcock, who was also a masseuse.

The UK Physiotherapy and Masseuse Register for 1920-1934

In 1939 they were at an address in Fulham. The 1939 Register shows that during World War Two both women worked with the Auxiliary Territorial Service (16th City of London branch). This was the women's branch of the British Army, Gwendolen becoming a Section Leader.

The 1939 Register

By the 1960s Greta and Gwendolen had moved from Cuckfield to Scaynes Hill, about five miles away. Gwendolen died in 1962. Some time later Greta moved back to Cuckfield and lived until just before her 89th birthday in June 1986.


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

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1935

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

UK, Physiotherapy and Masseuse Registers, 1895-1980

East Sussex, Electoral Registers, 1705-1963

1939 England and Wales Register

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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