Search Find – WW1 Nurses Database

Have you seen this database for WW1 nurses? This week an interesting search lead me to a database at the Red Cross UK site where you can search for V.A.D. Nurses including WW1 Nurses. Details below and this is how I got there:

What are VAD’s?

The search started with me trying to find out what V.A.D stood for in the rank or profession on a marriage certificate I recently got from the UK.  Typically I find the rank or profession section of certificates is blank for females however this one for a 1 January 1919 marriage was not.

Google lead me straight to Wikipedia which explained “The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) referred to a voluntary unit providing field nursing services, mainly in hospitals, in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire. The most important periods of operation for these units were during World War I and World War II.

The VAD system was founded in 1909 with the help of the Red Cross and Order of St. John. By the summer of 1914, there were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Of the 74,000 VAD members in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls.” Check out Wikipedia if you wish to read more.

WW1 Nurses

See page for author [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 Another link on the Google search that attracted my attention was the Red Cross which had been mentioned in Wikipedia. This Red Cross page had the search box for the database of A through to G that they have indexed so far from the First World War volunteers or a Red Cross hospital.

I was fortunate to have an AUSTIN so searched on the full name Ivy Alice AUSTIN however this gave no result. I did find 3 with Ivy AUSTINs however not enough detail was provided to know if any were the correct one.

I also did not see any details on what would be available in the future.  I assume they will add the rest of the alphabet.

For the record, the marriage was between Herbert Cleveland Eric KITTO (25 years, Soldier NZEF* of 24 Warwick St, his father was Francis KITTO, Merchant Taylor) and Ivy Alice AUSTIN. It was solemnised at Holy Trinity Church in the Hamlet of Heigham in the County of the City of Norwich.

Where else to look for WW1 Nurses

Another job added to the list, looking for more details on WW1 nurses. A possible place to start is at the National Archive in the UK.

* New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Any WW1 nurses in your family? Tell us about them.