VAD Mary Jane Foster

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

Mary Jane Foster
Probationer Nurse, St. John's Ambulance Brigade

Mary Jane Foster was born on 22nd August 1888 and baptised on 28th October of that year at All Saints Church, Bingley. She was the oldest of five children of Jonas and Martha Ann Foster, both of Bingley.

Mary Jane Foster's baptism record

At the time of the 1891 census Mary Jane had one younger sister, Sarah, aged ten months. They and their parents lived at Moor Edge in Bingley. 40 year old Jonas worked as a cloth weaver.

The family still lived at this address in 1901. I have not been able to decipher Jonas's occupation. Mary Jane was 13 and working as a worsted spinner. In addition to Sarah there were three more children - twins Hetty and Harry (8), and Elizabeth (6).

In 1911 the family lived at 11 Moore Edge, Harden - I assume this is the same home as the previous census. Mary Jane was by now working as a worsted weaver, along with Sarah and Hetty. Harry was a spring maker, as was their father Jonas, and Elizabeth was a worsted weaver.

Mary Jane worked at Keighley War Hospital as a Probationer Nurse for St. John's Ambulance Brigade from October 1916 until March 1919, working some 1856 hours in that time. Her address was 70 Long Lane in Harden. She must have developed a devotion to the caring profession as she went on to become a midwife. The UK Midwives Roll indicates that she qualified in December 1924.

She was still working in this role at the time of the 1939 England and Wales Register. By this time her father had died and she lived with her mother, described as incapacitated, and her sister Hetty, at 31 Sycamore Avenue, Bingley.

The 1939 Register

She was still on the UK Midwives Roll in 1943-1944.

The UK Midwives Roll 1943-1944

Mary Jane died aged 60 on 24th July 1949, leaving her estate to her brother Harry.

Sources:
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
UK, The Midwives Roll, 1904-1959
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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