In October 1915, the St Saviour’s, Stoke-next-Guildford, parish magazine outlined a new scheme that would allow women to work in war hospitals, as well as detailing how women in the Guildford Division of the Voluntary Aid Detachment should apply.
A scheme is being inaugurated for women of the Voluntary Aid Detachments of the British Red Cross Society to take the places of men in Military Hospitals. Hitherto their work has been replacing trained nurses and acting as probationers in Military Hospitals. Under the new scheme they will be employed in the room of male orderlies, acting as dispensers, clerks, storekeepers, and cooks, and it is hoped that thousands of men may thus be set free for active service. Women can also apply for general duty, as masseuses, motor car drivers, vegetable maids, and in other capacities for which they may be fitted.
Women thus engaged in Military Hospitals need not have the first-aid or nursing certificates, but must belong to a Voluntary Aid Detachment. The age limit also does not affect them. Their salaries will be: Dispensers (who must be qualified), £1 10s. a week; head clerks, £1 15s.; clerks, £1 6s.; head cooks, £1 15s. (and three meals a day); cooks, £1 (and three meals a day). These terms do not include food, except for cooks, nor quarters. The clerks will not necessarily be required to know shorthand or typewriting, but must be willing to do hard routine work, keeping diet sheets, etc. It is hoped that the women will be able to run hostels for themselves and arrange for board and lodgings at about 18s. a week.
Lists are already being prepared for a possible immediate call on the V.A.D. (Voluntary Aid Detachment), as directions have been sent out to commanding officers from the War Office to see in what directions the scheme can be put into immediate operation.
All those in the Guildford Division wishing for further particulars should send their names either to the Commandant of a Detachment or to the Vice-President, Lady Rowley, Eastfield Lodge, who will arrange for instruction for those wishing to become clerks or storekeepers.
St Saviour’s Guildford, Parish Magazine, October 1915, SHC Ref: 1946 Box 10.