Society Meeting: Friday 25 November 2022

Speakers: Hazel Pullen and Sharon Beddard from the Isle of Wight Family History Society on The Voluntary Aid Detachment on the Isle of Wight, 1914-1918
The meeting will be in the Yarborough Masonic Hall on Grove Road, 7,30-9 pm.
All welcome  (attendance is free for members and £2 for non-members.
Members please note: As there is no meeting in December, we will be taking 2023 membership renewals at the meeting (a formal renewal e-mail will go out in early December).

The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)

Founded in 1909  this was made up of Volunteers who treated wounded soldiers in both field hospitals and other medical facilities. Initially trained in providing meals and nursing the wounded, their numbers grew during WW1 to 40,000 members, working as nursing assistants, ambulance drivers, chefs and in administration roles. On the Isle of Wight in WW1 there were eight VAD hospitals for wounded soldiers from the front. The photograph here was taken at the Underwath Hospital in St Lawrence in 1916.

The vast majority of VADs were female. As volunteers, they worked without pay, meaning their backgrounds primarily consisted of middle-class or upper-class patriotic women.

Some famous names who were VADs:
Agatha Christie
Enid Bagnold (Author of ‘National Velvet’)
Vera Brittain (Author of ‘Testament of Youth’)
The actress Hattie Jacques (her mother Mary served as a VAD in the previous war)
E.M Delafield (Author of ‘Diary of a Provincial Lady’ )