VAD Mary Lister

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

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

Mary Lister
Surgical Nursing Duties

Mary was the second oldest of five children born to Alfred Lister, who was the borough treasurer and an accountant, and Mary Jane Winfield Lister nee Stott, who was originally from Bolton. She was born on 30th May 1892 and baptised at St. Andrew's Church on 22nd June that year. At the time they lived at 69 Devonshire Street. Her siblings were Robert Winfield (1890/1), Arthur Keighley (1894), Maude Victoria (1898), and Hilda (1906).

Mary Lister's baptism record

In 1901 the family lived at Belgrave Mount and a domestic servant lived with them. By 1911 they lived at 13 Sunny Mount. Robert is described as a student, Mary was 18 but had no occupation listed. Arthur was not with the family but was a cadet at some type of training facility in Birkenhead. Living next door at 11 Sunny Mount were the Whitehead family - sisters Agnes and Sarah were also VAD staff.

War service:
Mary worked as a surgical nurse during World War One at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital - from July 1916 until June 1919. Both of her brothers were serving. Robert was serving with No. 3 Company, 14th Battalion, Quebec Regiment, having emigrated to Canada just prior to the war, and sadly died of wounds sustained in action at St. Julien. He is commemorated at the Menin Gate as well as in Keighley. Arthur was an Acting Corporal with the Border Regiment, and thankfully survived the war.

Later life:
Mary married Frederick William Brownjohn, originally from London but by then living in Salisbury, on 5th June 1924 at the Parish Church in Keighley. Frederick was also a veteran of the war, a Sergeant with the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment. I believe they lived in Salisbury for a short time at least, as they had a son in 1925, Frederick L Brownjohn, who sadly only lived for two days.

Mary and Frederick's marriage

I have not been able to locate much information as to where they lived, apart from an entry on the 1964 Electoral Register, at 34 Wimbledon Close, Wimbledon. Frederick died in December 1979, this still being their address. Mary died on 22nd February 1986 in Keighley (her address was 153-155 Skipton Road); she and her husband are buried at Utley Cemetery.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995
UK, British Army World War I, Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1923
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

2 Responses

  1. I have just come across your very interesting article on Mary Lister. She was my aunt and my father was Arthur Keighley Lister her brother..Are you connected to the family in any way or is your interest the VAD? Regards Jo
    • Carole Hodge
      Hello, thank you for your comment and enquiry. No I am not connected with your family, I work with Women of Worth (part of Men of Worth) researching people of the Worth Valley area who contributed during war time. If you have further information about Mary and/or any photos, or of your father, we would be very pleased to add to the article Regards Carole

Leave a comment

Please verfiy you are not a computer program by answering the following question to submit your comment *