VAD Hannah Maud Roe nee Sillitoe

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

Hannah Maud Roe nee Sillitoe
Cook, then Surgical Nursing Member

Joseph and Hannah Maud Roe in later years, photo kindly provided by a relative, A. Roberts

Hannah Maud Sillitoe was born in Trumpington, a village on the outskirts of Cambridge in Cambridgeshire, on 15th February 1891. Her parents were James, a coachman and domestic gardener, and Clara. She had three younger sisters - Susan Emily born in 1893, Ada Florence Victoria in 1897 and Beatrice, born 1902 and a brother, Frederick James, born in 1904.

In 1891 the family lived on London Road in Trumpington and in 1901 had moved to Stapleford Road in nearby Great Shelford. In 1911 Hannah was working as a general servant with a family named King in Cambridge.

Hannah worked for the VAD as a cook, from 3rd December 1915 until 29th December 1916 at the 1st London General Hospital (in Camberwell), before relocating to Keighley where she worked as a surgical nursing member at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital from 8th May 1917 until 25th January 1919.

It is possible that she moved to Keighley as her husband, Joseph Roe, was a Keighley lad. He was a private with the Royal Army Medical Corps, who was from Cross Roads. He had originally joined up with the Duke of Wellington's  (West Riding) Regiment at the age of 17 in 1908, having previously worked for W. Haggas & Son at Bocking.  He and Hannah married on 30th December 1916 at St. Augustine in Paddington. His family lived at 5 Cecil Street, Lees, which is Hannah's address on the VAD records so it can be assumed that she and her husband lived with them at the time. Joseph received the Military Medal in addition to the British War and Victory Medals.

One sad side note is that of Hannah's sister, Ada Florene Victoria Sillitoe. Although not a Keighley girl, it is worth noting that she had joined the Women's Royal Air Force and died in service at the age of 21 in 1918, and has a Commonwealth War Grave at St. Mary's Churchyard in Great Shelford.

In 1939 Hannah and Joseph lived at 118 Hainworth Wood Road with her father James, now retired, and their daughter Barbara, born 13th October 1919. Joseph was working as a textile overlooker (mohair) and Barbara was a shop assistant. The 1939 Register indicates the family were still committed to serving,  with Joseph an ARP First Aid Superintendent, Hannah a nurse reserve, and Barbara an ARP Medical Store worker.

The 1939 England and Wales Register

At some point after, Hannah and Joseph moved to Brentwood, Essex. Both lived several more years, Hannah died in 1978, and Joseph in 1980.


England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
British Army WW1 Service Records, 1914-1920
1939 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

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