VAD Marjorie O’Dwyer

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Marjorie O'Dwyer


Although not initially a local lady, Marjorie Frances O'Dwyer spent just over three year working at Keighley War Hospital as a dispenser.

She was born on 31st March 1897 to Emily Jane Barber O'Dwyer nee Fourness, and Henry Ernest O'Dwyer, a collier traveller. She was baptised on 9th May 1897 at St John's Church in Leeds, alongside her twin sister Evelyn Fourness O'Dwyer.

Sadly Emily died in 1900.

At the time of the 1901 census the family lived at 2 Grove Terrace in Leeds. Henry, aged 42 at this time, was still working as a traveller for a colliery. As well as Marjorie and Evelyn, there were two older siblings - a brother, Valentine who was 11 and a sister Phyllis Eileen, who was 7. Another sister, Doris, had died at the age of one in 1893. The household also had a housekeeper, governess and general servant.

The O'Dwyer family shown on the 1901 census

By 1911 the family had moved to Hazel House in Methley. Henry was now working as an assistant trade manager in a colliery and Valentine, now 21, was an architect's assistant. Marjorie and older sister Phyllis were still at home, but Evelyn was elsewhere at this time. A housekeeper and general servant were still employed and living at the home.

During World War One Marjorie worked at Keighley War Hospital at Morton Banks as a dispenser. Her father had died in 1914. Her brother Valentine was serving, firstly with the 1st Battalion, later the 2nd Battalion Prince of Wales' Own (West Riding) Regiment, he was killed in action on 23rd October 1918, less than a month before Armistice. He is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial in Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

Marjorie married on 14th September 1925, to Harry Stanley Coulter who was originally from Eton in Buckinghamshire but living in Woking in Surrey, and they appear to have lived in Woking for most of the rest of their lives. He had served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. I don't believe they had any children.

Marjorie and Harry's marriage

In 1939 Marjorie and Harry lived at Ridge View in Woking. Harry was a director for a motor body builder company. The electoral registers show them living there in 1949 and 1954 also.

Marjorie and her husband on the 1939 Register

Harry's death was registered in the first quarter of 1974 in Bridport, Dorset. Marjorie died later the same year on 1st November at North Allington Hospital in Bridport.

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
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
UK, British Army WW1 Medal Roll Index Cards, 1914-1920
UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1920
1939 England and Wales Register
Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962
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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