Mr E. Jordan

THE WAR: All the six sons of Mr and Mrs E. Jordan of Middle Street, are now in the service of their King and Country. The eldest, Mr Edward Jordan joined up on July 24th, and has been sent to Yorkshire, where he will probably be employed at his trade as a bricklayer.

The second, Pte Frank Jordan is in the A.S.C. in France. The third, Sergt Frederick John Jordan is an old soldier, having previous to the war served for over 12 years (eight in India). Three years ago he rejoined the forces in the Queen’s and has been in Salonica since Christmas 1916.

The fourth Pte Stanley Jordan joined the Queens in August 1914 and is now in India. The fifth, Pte Leonard Jordan, enlisted in the Queens in February 1916. After training proceeded to India, and from thence to Mesopotamia.

The youngest Pte Harvey Jordan joined the Queens in September 1914. His first experience of warfare was in the Dardanelles, where he suffered from trench fever. He was next sent to Egypt and has taken a prominent part in the fighting in Palestine where he was wounded in the side by a bullet. He landed in France five weeks ago and when he wrote home last was at the base.

Mr and Mrs Jordan have three sons-in-law in the army, viz Pte Henry Leonard Hopgood in the Hussars in France; Gunner Harry Lucas, R.G.A., also in France, and Pte E. T. in the Queen’s. The latter was shot through the foot in France a short time ago and after treatment in hospital and detention in convalescent home is now able to visit his relations in Brockham and Purley.

Of two other sons in Law one has been exempted for three months and the other has not yet received his warrant. Of ten nephews one has been killed, two are prisoners of war in Germany, one has been discharged and six are still on active service.

A letter received on Thursday night from Pte Jack Overton, The Queen’s son of Mr and Mrs Overton of Jubilee Cottages, who was taken prisoner on April 13th stated that he is wounded in the leg.

Information from The Surrey Mirror 2 August 1918 Page 3.

Ottermead Auxiliary Military Hospital, Ottershaw


The Ottermead Auxiliary Military Hospital opened in December 1914. Ottermead, the Surrey seat of the Earl of Meath, starting with 12 beds which was later increased to 25.

The building had been lent by the Countess of Meath for the duration of the war as a hospital. She was born Lady Mary Jane Maitland and married Reginald Brahazon, 12th Earl of Meath on 7 January 1868.

Local people were generous in giving or lending the new hospital many useful articles and within two months they received the following items.

Bagatelle table, crutches, deck-chairs, piano, mowing machine, chickens, jam, tea and sugar, cornflour and marmalade, knife machine, hammock, books, magazines, kitchen swobs, cups and saucers, soiled linen basket, cigarettes and sweets, eggs, vegetables and fruit, (via: Surrey Advertiser Saturday 17 July 1915 Page 5).

There was occasional entertainment for the men and staff at Ottermead and in November 1916 Mr J.C. Greenleaf of Chertsey organised a concert. The local paper stated that the ‘soldiers heartily appreciated the excellent programme of vocal and instrumental solos and recitations’ (Via: Surrey Advertiser – Saturday 25 November 1916)

At Christmas that year the 24 wounded men in the Hospital found their stockings filled with presents and other gifts were given to them at the breakfast table. Turkeys and Christmas puddings had been given to the hospital. Friends were invited to tea and there was music, games and songs. On the following Wednesday evening a concert was given and the programme included a violin solo and dances. (via: Surrey Advertiser Saturday 30 December 1916)

In 1917 four nurses from Ottermead were among the many names which were brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for Valuable Services rendered in connection with the war. The four nurses were Mrs G. Clenshaw, Matron,   Miss E. Ashmole, Sister,  Miss D.A. Power, Nurse and Miss I.H. Wood, Nurse    (via: Surrey Advertiser Monday 29 October 1917)

Miss D.A. Power, Nurse – Dorothy Ada was born 3 March 1887 Walton on Thames. Her parents were Edward and Annie Elizabeth, She had sisters Ethel Annie, Amy and Fanny and two younger brothers Arthur E. and Ronald. Dorothy died 20 Dec 1974. Her brother Arthur joined the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment. Her youngest sibling Ronald was in the British Army – Royal Flying Corps No 1 Aircraft Deport Rank was Air Mechanic 2nd class.

Miss I.H. Wood, Nurse –– Ida Hamilton was born 30 July 1868 in Bengal. Her parents were William and Julia Anne. She was mentioned in Despatches – Ida Wood died on 27 December 1918 and her name is on the Surrey Red Cross V.A.D. memorial in Guildford (Farnham Road)

In July 1918 Ottermead Hospital had a garden fete which raised £50 for the hospital funds. The band of the South African Light Infantry played during the evening and the R.A.M.C. Pierrot Troupe also gave a concert. Trays of fancy goods, including necklaces and charming designs made by patients were sold by members of the staff and patients. (Via: Surrey Advertiser –  24 July 1918)

On 29th January 1918, the War Office published a list of the names of ladies whose names had been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War as having rendered valuable services in connection with the establishment maintenance and administration of war hospitals, and convalescent homes for sick and wounded soldiers. Mary, The Countess of Meath was amongst the ninety-one published. She received a handsome illuminated card, relating to the Ottermead hospital that she had established. This card of thanks was published by the Government and ran as follows:

“During the Great War of 1914-1918 this building was established and maintained as a Hospital for British Sick and Wounded. The army council, in the name of the Nation, thank those who have rendered to it this valuable and patriotic assistance in the hour of its emergency, and they desire also to express their deep appreciation of the whole-hearted attention which the Staff of this Hospital gave to the patients who were under their care. The war has once again called upon the devotion and self-sacrifice of British men and women, and the Nation will remember with pride and gratitude their willing and inestimable service”

 (Ref: “Memories of the Twentieth Century” by Reginald, 12 Earl of Meath, K.P. pp. 270-271) (SHC ref: 728.8 OTT p)

When the Countess of Meath died in 1918, her Will stated that the land was to be given to the Ministering Children’s League, of which she was a founder, but her husband could lease it back for his own use until his death. On the Earl’s death eleven years later it was sold by the Trustees of the Ministering Children’s League. In 1936 it changed hands again when it was purchased by The Wantage Sisters who ran it as a home for girls until 1965.

(Via Chertsey museum) (SHC Ref: 7386/4)

The Ministering League booklet

Happy English Homes. The Ministering League

A Foreword from the President on November 13, 1915

Dear Mrs Phillp

As you know I have twice visited the Homes at Ottershaw. Each time I have been greatly impressed by the excellent work being carried out in them. My earnest hope is that the good work may continue for many many years, and that the blessing of God may continue to rest upon it.

Yours sincerely A.F. LONDON President M.C.L.

2 Countess of Meath and children

Title: 2 Countess of Meath and children
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Impressions of a Surrey Village

Ottershaw is a familiar name to members of M.C.L. all over the world, but thousands have not seen it, and for the information of several hundred new members, and many who live overseas, I must begin by saying that it has a very special interest for them.

This exceedingly lovely Surrey village, with its beautiful little church is one of the favourite residences of the Earl and Countess of Meath; Chaworth House, their Ottershaw home is charmingly situated on high ground and commands extensive views of the village and rolling country beyond. In the garden there is a fascinating Swiss Chalet, with a wide loggia in front, and here, too, a magnificent view is obtained.

Close to the gates of Chaworth House stand the four Homes supported by the “Ministering League”

Ottershaw always strikes me as being what one calls “an ideal village”. Lying midway between Chertsey and Woking, it is one of the most beautiful spots in beautiful Surrey. It has no station within two miles, and is therefore quite unspoilt by new buildings of the villa description. It abounds in picturesque creeper-clad cottages, and pretty houses surrounded by shady gardens and green lawns. The beautiful Church spire peeps out from amongst the trees on one side of the Common.

The M.C.L. Homes consist of four buildings, one for girls, two for boys, and a Sanatorium, with prettily laid out grounds surrounding the whole.

4 - Corner of the sanatorium

Title: 4 - Corner of the sanatorium
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They were built through the generosity of the Countess of Meath, and given by her to the League, whose Branches maintain children. Over 60 children are received here, the inmates of most costs being supported by a Branch of the M.L. or M.C.L. * (note at bottom of page reads- *‘ An interesting proof of how wide-spread the League has become is afforded by the fact that two of the cots are supported by branches in Japan, two others by Hong-Kong members and associates, one by a centre in Penang, another by a branch in Shanghai, whilst the seventh cost is maintained by South Australian helpers’ )

Many of the Branches have worked a quilt for their particular cot, and I was much interested in the various designs, especially those covered with worked autographs of members, and a very lovely silk quilt, exquisitely embroidered by the Hong Kong Branch, with a peacock in the centre, their cot being occupied by an orphan named Peacock.

The elder children are mostly Boy Scouts and Girls Guides and look very smart in their uniforms. I had the pleasure of watching them give an exhibition of Drilling and Signalling, both of which have been brought up to a very high pitch of excellence, through the very great personal interest taken by the Earl and Countess of Meath in training the children. They receive their education at the village school, and when old enough have situations found for them. A good number of the boys go into the Navy.

6 - Grounds of the Sanatorium

Title: 6 - Grounds of the Sanatorium
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Another interesting feature of Ottershaw at the present time is the Red Cross Hospital. This is at ‘Ottermead’ a pretty house belonging to the League, lent for the purpose. It has a balcony round two sides of it, where the patients sit if not able to get out; the billiard room makes an excellent recreation room. The peaceful shady garden where they ait is indeed a haven of rest to the poor fellow after the experience of the trenches.

I visited yet another haven of rest in Ottershaw. This was Meath Cottage, also called “King Edward Memorial Cottage”, which has been opened by “The Girls’ Realm Guild” as a Guest House for women of gentle birth, whose means would not permit of an expensive holiday being enjoyed.

The rooms are very daintily and charmingly furnished by different Branches of the Guild, the colour schemes being kept distinct in each room, rose, blue, green, etc. I am sure the visitors must appreciate a holiday in such a lovely and health-giving spot, and the beautiful walks and drives in all directions.

So you see that Ottershaw is a very busy and useful little place, constantly sending out into the world a stream of men and women, boys and girls, who have sought and found healing, strength, refreshment, and shelter in this favoured spot; and who carry with them to their Battle of Life happy and grateful memories of a peaceful beautiful Surrey village, and of kind friends there who ministered to their needs. Written by M.H.B.

7 - Ottershaw homes

Title: 7 - Ottershaw homes
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M.C.L. Homes for Children at Ottershaw

The Homes at Ottershaw are three pretty, homelike houses standing just back from the village street in their big grounds. Immediately behind the houses is the kitchen garden, with its neat rows of vegetables; beyond that, far dearer to the hearts of the children, are the sandy pits where they make wonderful cave-houses, and nowadays probably, bomb-proof dug-outs. Other joys are water to paddle in, nice low trees to climb and gardens of their very own. Much can be learnt of the different characters of the children by a careful study of their respective plots, some very neat and tidy, some full of “inventions” some neglected and uncared for.

They are a very jolly, happy little crew, these 60 boys and girls, ranging from the big girls of 14 and 15, who have left school and are bring trained in housework, cooking, making, mending, and patching, down to the tiny person of five years old with a face like a robin redbreast. She and her two brothers were admitted to the Homes last Spring, and are paid for by their soldier-father who is thankful to have his motherless little ones so well cared for. If you had been in our pretty little church on the top of the hill one Sunday in April you would have seen these three little ones received into Christ’s Church by Holy Baptism, and three of our Sunday School teachers acting as their godparents.

The children attend the village school both on weekdays and Sundays, and carry off a good proportion of prizes each year. Summer is a very happy time for them, for then Lord and Lady Meath are here, and are constantly in and out of the Houses, to the great delight of the children. The middle-sized girls form a patrol of Girl Guides, with the Vicar’s daughter for their Scout mistress.

But there is much “give” as well as “take”. Last winter the elder girls spent their pennies in wool, and made 12 pairs of warm mittens in answer to Duke Michael’s appeal, six pairs of mittens, six pairs of socks and three mufflers have gone to the East Surrey Regiment, and others to old boys in the Army and Navy. I think the sandbags are the order of the day now. Sometimes both boys and girls drill for the amusement of the invalid soldiers at the Ottermead Hospital, or wait upon them when Lady Meath invites them to tea in her garden. Two old boys sown for a holiday sent them a present of cigarettes and books.

Many of our old boys are serving their King and Country by land or sea. One among them, Albert Donovan, is already on the Roll of Honour, having gone down with so many others when the “Formidable” was struck by a torpedo. Their names are read out at the Intercession Service on Thursday evenings, with those of our village men and lads who are on active service –   written by “An Eye Witness” August 1915

8 - Albert Donovan

Title: 8 - Albert Donovan
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These various accounts of Ottershaw and its Homes would be incomplete without a few words about its picturesque little church on the top of the hill. We kept its Jubilee in 1914 with thankful hearts for all the help and blessing which has come to the village through its presence in our midst. Almost everything in the building has some tale to tell of lobe to God and man; it owes its very existence to the generosity of a former owner of Ottershaw Park, the later Sir Edward Colbrooke.

The seats are made of Spanish chestnut from his estate; the tower and spire were a later gift from others; the clock and chimes are in memory of our former beloved Vicar, the Rev. Baron Hichens; the nave windows were put in, in 1902 by the family of Sir Edward; the Cross over the pulpit was carved by a former schoolmaster in memory of his young wife; the flooring and panelling were a thank-offering; the reredos, chancel windows and screen are all memorial gifts. To this house of hallowed memories the children of the Home come week by week for worship and teaching, and a number of boys are in the choir; here the elder ones are prepared for Confirmation by the Vicar of the parish who takes a great interest in the Homes, and is Chairman of the Committee. Many letters show how the children in later life look back with deep affection to the little church and its reverent services, where they first learnt to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”

Written by An Old Parishioner

9 - Infant School at Ottershaw

Title: 9 - Infant School at Ottershaw
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Exmouth M.C.L. Sea-side Home for Convalescent Children

Many new members and no doubt, some old ones, have vaguely heard of the M.C.L. Children’s Seaside Home at Exmouth, and it may be of interest to read its little story.

In March 1896, a branch of the Ministering Children’s League was started in Exmouth because of the difficulty in obtaining teachers for the Sunday School, or sufficient workers for any object; the children were growing up selfish and pleasure-loving, and it was hoped that in time the League would teach the rising generation truer ideals.

The “object” for which the branch would work was to be a Children’s Convalescent Home but this was a dream of the future as we had no money! However, fate was very kind and on June 24 of that same year an old disused Sailors’ Rest, lying close to the river and sea, was, with fear and trembling rented, and in a very modest way the Children’s Seaside Home was inaugurated and there it remained dong useful and happy work for many years.

On March 22nd 1911, after countless efforts and many disappointments and delays, a good suitable building was built on a quarter of an acre leased from Lord Clinton at £1 per year. The building cost £1,211 /12s/6d and is the property of the M.C.L.  Over 1,276  boys and girls have passed through the Home to date, the majority restored completely to health, and helped in many cases in character.

There is no lack of workers in Exmouth to-day; in fact, nearly everyone works hard, and it is certain the Ministering Children’s League has helped to bring about this happy result. Written by I.M.

11 - Exmouth Convalescent Home

Title: 11 - Exmouth Convalescent Home
Description: by-nc

The Meath Convalescent Cottage M.C.L. Home, Hayling Island

The Hayling Island Convalescent Home for Epileptic Children was originally intended to be a seaside resort for the inmates of our Homes at Ottershaw, but as the regulations concerning school attendance are very strict – except in the case of invalid scholars – it was found impossible to send children away, except during the holidays, and it was thought well to look out for other ways if utilising the attractive little abode. The members if the committee of the Meath Home of Comfort, at Godalming, who much desired some of their patients to enjoy sea air, were approached and they consented to take over at a nominal rent this building for their more youthful charges.

Now for a long time, little ones suffering from a sad and mysterious malady have been tenderly cared for and have derived great benefit from living in so healthy a locality. It is a happy sight, on a summer’s day to see these children – mostly with no outward signs of ill-health about them – playing about on the sands just opposite their above and enjoying far more freedom than they could possibly have if the building were not situated in a secluded spot, admirably adapted for the purpose.

(SHC Ref 7386/2/1)

12 - Children at Ottershaw

Title: 12 - Children at Ottershaw
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Peace Celebrations

SHC Ref: 6520/64

‘Dear Sir or Madam,                                   Cranleigh July 12, 1919

Peace Celebrations, July 19, 1919

At a Public Meeting held at the Village Hall, Cranleigh, on Thursday evening last, Sir G.F. Bonham, Bart, in the chair, it was decided to arrange:

  1. A tea for all children under 15 years of age to be held in Knowle Park
  2. A Luncheon to be given to all ex-Service men
  3. A Program of Sports and Entertainments
  4. A Display of Flares and Fireworks

Full details will be published later

A Committee was elected to raise funds. Mr Furbank is Hon. Treasurer, and will be pleased to receive any contribution, large or small, at Lloyd’s bank, Cranleigh, or these may be given to any member of the Committee.

It is felt that you would wish to contribute on this occasion, and as the time is limited the Committee will appreciate your prompt action

I am, Yours obediently


Hon Secretary

P.S. Below are the names of members of the Finance Committee who will receive money or promises of help

Rev P. Cunningham                                                 Mr W.P. Furbank

Dr A.A. Napper                                                         Mr H.J. Hayman

Col H.A. Tapp                                                           Mr H. Kelf

Mr Malcolm Bourne                                                  Mr Arthur Parsons

Mr T. Atkin Wood’


Christmas card to Hester Godfrey

Image of a Christmas card to Hester Godfrey: ‘The Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes for Christmas and the Coming Year’.

Remembrance Poster

This poster was within a collection given to Surrey History Centre from Hester Godfrey.

Remembrance Day This Year November 10th – F.M. Earl Haig’s appeal for Ex-service men of all ranks

Wear a Flanders Poppy

SHC Ref: 6520-61


Soldiers Concert at Cranleigh

From a Newspaper clipping

Convalescent soldiers from Oaklands Hospital gave a New Year’s Day concert

A most enjoyable entertainment was given in the Village Hall on Wednesday afternoon by a party of convalescent soldiers from Oaklands Red Cross Hospital. On New Year’s Day the patients had given a concert at the hospital in honour of the Commandant (Mrs Rowcliffe) and as a token of their gratitude for her constant and many kindnesses to them, and it was decided that the concert should be repeated in the village for the benefit of the many generous supporters of the hospital among the residents. A large number accepted invitations, the hall being crowded and a delightful programme was given. For the arrangements chief credit is due to Sergt Lane, who also played the accompaniments throughout in masterly style and was rewarded by insistent calls from the audience at the close. The first part considered of a pierrot entertainment in which the following took part: Ptes Birmingham, Osler, Cohen, Birchall, R. Porter, Hewins, Roerig, Horseman, W. Porter and Dunderdale; Lance-Corps Dougherty and Cain; Gunner Stockwell and Driver Alexander, Pte Harpur of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, gave a realistic display of the Highland sword dance.

In the second part a series of tableaux was given as follows:

‘Mercy Kamerad’ Ptes Mann and Osler; ‘First Aid’ Ptes Birchall and Hewins; ‘A Frequent Occurrence’ Ptes Mann and Harpur and four Boys in Blue. ‘Off to Blighty and back to France’ Ptes Birchall and Hewins; ‘A Serious case’ Ptes Harpur (nurse) and Hewins (Patient); and ‘Rule Britannia’ Ptes Porter, Harpur and Mann: An improvisation entitled ‘We are the Oaklands, B’hoys’ set to music by Sergt Lane caused much amusement. The Commandant said a few words of welcome to the audience and the Rector (The Rev. P. Cunningham) thanked the artists at the close.

SHC Ref: 6520/52    

Nursing Sisters

SHC Ref: 6520/48 – newspaper cutting from an unnamed newspaper dated Monday January [no date/year].

‘A Military Hospital Sketch

(By Special Correspondent)

It is etiquette to call her always ‘Sister’ though technically ‘Sister’ is an intermediate grade between ‘nurse’ and ‘matron’. Matron is a great dignitary. She has, in the language of the Bar, ‘taken silk’, and when her silk gown rustles into the rooms it is etiquette for officers to stand up, provided you have legs and strength to stand up. Otherwise you ‘come to attention’ by smiling, as well as you can; a respectful, cheerful, but not an hilarious or free and easy smile. It should convey the message that you are having the time of your life in the best possible of hospitals under the best possible matron.

‘Sister’ is of many different grade of devotion, the highest. If she is of the company of beginners, not allowed in the operating theatre and debarred from doing difficult dressings, she strives to make up by being extra-attentive about drinks, pillows and so on. When I am a general and can, on receiving an honourable wound, have something of my own way in hospital, I shall have two nurses in attendance, one a ‘strafer’, the other a very junior V.A.D. ‘a cooler’. Then the wound and the thirst would both get the highest degree of attention.

A ‘strafer’ is a sister who by ten years or so of hard, anxious work and self-denial has reached to the giddy height of £40 a year and a professional skill which saves lives daily and cuts weeks off ones stay in hospital. You are always glad when she has gone away from your wound but at the back of our gladness is the knowledge that you want her for the next dressing. A good ‘Strafer’ goes over a wound with the enthusiasm of a thrush with a large family going over a lawn for worms. She examines, searches, squeezes, probes, looking out for shed pieces of bone for ‘proud flesh’ for odd corners where inflammatory matter might lurk. She is looking for mischief and any mischief found is promptly ‘strafed’. If it is bad she calls in the doctor; if it is minor she has her own little armoury of mischief-breakers, scissors, pincers, nitrate of silver and the like. After she had done something quite useful and exquisitely painful, as a reward for your not roaring more than a sucking dove the ‘strafer’ may remark “You did that quite well!” With that reward you are content for the ‘Strafer’ has no habit of facile sentimentality. If you have not a serious or interesting wound the ‘Strafer’ rarely comes to dress it, but manages to leave it to a junior.

The majority of nurses come somewhere between the two types of ‘strafer’ and ‘cooler’

An officer of intelligence – I do not mean an officer of the Intelligence but an officer who has intelligence – learns after some weeks in hospital that ‘Matron ‘ has not for her sole object in life the pursuit of scrupulous neatness at the price of unscrupulous sacrifice of her patients’ comfort. Very many officers go through a long hospital life without ever learning the lesson. Of Course Matrons are very trying. Somehow they can never learn that cigarette ash on the floor is neither unhygienic nor really untidy; and they expect the masculine mind to conform at short notice to all the ridiculous feminine prejudices about wastepaper, clothes as chair drapes and so on. Their minds are not broad enough. But there is an element of reason in the objection to keeping bottles in our bed or fruit under your bed.

Matrons are easily offended. At …… Hospital [no name mentioned] in France the King was half expected as a visitor. The Matron at once had a bad attack of decoration fever. As I was a lightly wounded that time I assisted her policy of deceiving his Majesty into thinking that the hospital was always a fairy bower by going out and acquiring some flowers – despite all K.R. [King’s Regulations] regarding loot. So far so good. Then Matron had clean quilts on all beds, and the order went forth that these were to be kept creaseless and smooth. But one patient would persist in crooking up his knees. Matron argues with him. He disloyally pleaded that he was much more comfortable that way. Now, having got flowers for the ward I thought I had a right to give advice as a sort of accomplice and suggested mildly to matron.

“Better break his knees, Matron”

She was offended. I do not know exactly why. Then the King did not come after all; and I think she was inclined to blame me for that.

But as I have ventured to hint – differing therein from a very large number of brother-officers –matrons are not altogether an evil like adjutants and brigade majors, they are at the worst necessary evils, at the best quite good sorts. But there is one matron-habit that should be dealt with sternly by regulation. If a very pretty nurse is posted to a hospital Matron generally manages to assign her to the sick sisters’ ward. Obviously that is a bad strategy. The prettiness of their nurse would have no cheering effect on sick sisters, but to sick officers a pretty sister irresistibly suggests the wisdom of getting well quickly whilst the maximum price for a hotel dinner for two is eleven shillings. Fortunately the supply of pretty sisters is too great to allow of them all being absorbed in wards for sick sisters. Now in our ward – but it is necessary to be discreet.

What reconciles one to Matron is the discovery sooner or later that, despite silk gown and awe-inspiring manner, she is at heart still ‘Sister’ ready with skilful air and encouraging sympathy in case of need. It is a nice etiquette that makes the title ‘Sister’ general, for it is just sisterly affection which makes the atmosphere of a military hospital so cheering and recreating’.


Auxiliary Nursing Services Training Schools

SHC Ref: ACC 1321/7/3

‘The need of Training Schools to prepare those who wish to serve the sick and wounded in Auxiliary Hospitals has been proven by results during the first months of the war. Lecturers, hand-books, and class practices have been practically the only training available, save in a few instances where part-day attendances have been allowed at local hospitals for selected members of detachments. Such training does not give adequate results. It fails to bring out the essential qualities for a good nurse, and does not show which are deficient in quickness of apprehension, in observation in knowledge of the behaviour required in Hospitals. It gives little or no opportunity to those who have special qualifications to go ahead and to be fitted for more responsible work than that of the raw probationer in the provincial Hospital.

It is therefore proposed to establish Training Schools, where Courses will be given, on the principle of all the large London Hospitals that no probationer is allowed to undertake actual attendances on the sick until she has passed satisfactorily through a Course in a Training school.

The A.N.S. Training Schools will fit untrained women to enter at once on probationer’s duties; and will materially assist in rendering them fit for further responsibilities which the emergencies of war may throw upon them.

The training Course will be for six weeks, all students living in

  1. Daily Instruction by the Sister-in Charge in practical nursing, surgical and medical, and in Hospital routine, discipline and theatre work
  2. Lectures by experts on: Military Hospital Nursing: elementary anatomy with reference to fractures and other injuries; elementary physiology with special reference to digestion, ptomaine poisoning, diets, feeding, circulation with special reference to haemorrhage; the nervous system with special reference to strain, shock, rest; infection with special reference to sepsis and typhoid; sanitation and hygiene with special reference to cleanliness, ventilation, drainage, and preparation of buildings for temporary hospitals.
  3. Class in Cooking under qualified teachers, and instruction in household duties required in wards.


The sister-in-charge will have entire control over the school with the right to terminate the engagement of any pupil whom she may consider unfit for training. The daily time-table will be divided between practical work, lectures, study, physical exercises and recreation. Care will be taken to develop to the maximum the physical efficiency of all pupils. Weekend leave will be allowed. It is recommended that all pupils should be between the ages of 19 and 40, as the Board of Management considers that girls under 19 are physically unfit for the work in the wards of a Military Hospital and that for women over 40 the work and instruction are heavy and cut of proportion to the results.


E. Locke King

Assistant County Director

By order of the Executive Committee

North Surrey and Kingston Division

B.R.C.S.   January 1916′.



Miss Hester Mary GODFREY

Hester Mary GODFREY was born 16 October 1866 Moldgreen, Yorkshire. Her parents were George Brown GODFREY, an Engineer (b: abt 1837 Liverpool d: 1911 buried 2 May 1911) and Hester Ann GODFREY Nee Cochrane (b: abt 1846 Ireland  )

She was the eldest of 5 siblings

Joseph James (b: abt 1870 Hungary ), George C. (b: abt 1872 Ireland ),  Alfred Grice (b: 26 August 1873 ), Adeline Eleanor (b: 12.11.1879 Yorkshire  d: 1962, Sussex) and Florence Maud  (b: abt 1882 Yorkshire ) (Ref: Ancestry. com Census )

In 1881 Hester lived with her family in St Anns Villas, Bridlington, Yorkshire. Ten years later the family had moved to Brompton, London and had a cook, parlour maid, housemaid and a maid. From here Hester moved with her parents to West Gables, Cranleigh, Surrey where she stayed for many years. (Ref: Census )

In 1894 her brother Alfred sent her a letter from Neville’s Masonic Hotel, Dordrecht*, Cape Colony dated 25 November.

‘Thank you very much for your letter, also for the papers which are most acceptable as reading matter is not too plentiful wen (sic) in Dordrecht. We expect to remove to Sterkstroom*  in a day or so and in fact are only awaiting orders to move camp. We intend to live in camp in Sterkstroom  if we can make it convenient as it is so much nicer and less expensive, just now we are only two in camp as some are off for a holiday. I intend to take one soon and get to Queenstown which is only about 2 hours from Sterkstroom  which is their country is like going from South Kensington to Temple and in fact you hear of people going there for afternoon tea.

 Adeline’s birthday was on the 12th and I quite forgot if I wrote to her or not. I am afraid I cannot get hold of that paper for …(unreadable), but will have one other try. It is so annoying because I could have had that paper I saw it in, and nearly sent you the cutting. Yesterday I had a game of tennis with two awfully nice girls and got beaten each time, which makes one feel foolish, with the best player we were 5 games all, and vantage all so I made a good show of it and I played better than I ever have done before, but she was too strong for me. I consider she plays nearly as well as Mrs Hilliayard and would do so with more practice.

 Kind love to all …. included from your loving brother Alfred J Godfrey’ (SHC Ref: 6520/4)

 *(Dordrecht, Cape Colony is in South Africa- Sterkstroom is a settlement in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.)

Hester started working at Oatlands Red Cross Hospital, Cranleigh as Quartermaster on 17 December 1912, during which time she was still living at West Gables Cranleigh. (Ref: British Red Cross web site) As well as her work at the hospital she helped in the organising of concerts and table top sales. (SHC Ref: 6520/65)

For Christmas she was given an autograph book and the patients and staff in the hospital signed it. Some people drew pictures and others wrote poems. (SHC Ref: 6520/1)

In November 1917 she was given a Certificate of Application for War Service Bar dated 5 Nov 1917 stating ‘This is to certify that Miss Hester M. Godfrey Member of V.A.D. No 8 County Surrey has served thirteen months 1st year twelve months second year in Oaklands Red Cross Hospital as Quartermaster and is recommended for the War Service Bar’   Signed head of hospital C.E.H. Rowcliffe Commandant  (SHC Ref: 6520/20)

After two years service as Quarter-Master at Oaklands Red Cross Hospital she was presented with a fountain pen and scent bottle on Christmas Day 1917 signed by 42 colleagues. (SHC Ref: 6520/22)

It appears she was not only good at her job but also well regarded by her colleagues as during her time at the Hospital she was given a card stating:

‘Presented to Miss Godfrey by the members of the Cranleigh Branch of the Red Cross Society as a token of appreciation of the kind help she has always given them’ It was signed by Mrs Rowcliffe and 19 other ladies. It is not known if there was a gift with the card but Hester must have appreciated such a kind thought. (SHC Ref: 6520/23)

She also received thank you letters from patients as the one dated 13 January 1918 from Mr A.J. Osgood shows:

‘Excuse me writing these few lines to you, but I thought I would like to thank you for your kindness to my wife at Xmas time she wrote and told me you went and saw her also I must thank you for the present you gave her’. (SHC Ref: 6520/24)

After the war she was recognised by the Secretary of State for War for ‘ WAR SERVICE IN SURREY HOSPITALS’. The newspaper article states ‘The names of the following have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the war in Surrey hospitals:

Miss H. M. Godfrey, Oaklands Auxiliary Hospital, Cranleigh now closed: (SHC Ref: 6520/62)

Hester died: 1953 Cuckfield, Sussex


 The following material can be found at the Surrey History Centre

Programme of Knowle Fete on May 22nd 1918 – SHC Ref: 6520/27/1

Programme Oatlands Hospital Dec 26th 1916 Various songs and sketches  – SHC Ref: 6520/14

Printed postcard about Blandford Camp in rhyme to E. Godfrey.   – SHC Ref: 6520/17

Envelope to Miss H.M. Godfrey with a 2 page letter inside from G Lennie AB.- SHC Ref: 6520/18/2

Coloured greetings Card depicting 7 servicemen Xmas 1915  – SHC Ref: 6520/12

Post Office Telegraph dated 26 Nov 1914 from Lieutenant Barwell – SHC Ref: 6520/9

Postcard addressed to Mrs Godfrey – SHC Ref: 6520/13

Letter  dated  31.10.1915 – SHC Ref: 6520/11/1 and 6520/11/2

Programme of Music, dated  16 July 1912.  – SHC Ref: 6520/7

Card printed invitation to invite Miss Godfrey to a Reception of the British Red Cross Society – SHC Ref: 6520/6

Letter to Miss Godfrey dated 31.10.1915 – SHC Ref: 6520/10

Letter  dated July 2 – SHC Ref: 6520/15

Surrey Red Cross Week programme May 20 – 26thSHC Ref: 6520/26

War Poem  dated Whitsunday 1918  – SHC Ref: 6520/25

Newspaper report about Queen Alexandra at a Garden Party – SHC Ref: 6520/8