Saturday, April 30, 2016

British Red Cross Volunteers

Over 90,000 people volunteered for the British Red Cross in Britain and overseas during the war.   Search for your family’s personnel records, and discover what Red Cross volunteers were doing in your local area 100 years ago.

Red Cross volunteers did a wide range of jobs, from the Voluntary Aid Detachments, pictured above, to nursing,  cooking, cleaning, searchers trying to discover the fate of missing men and so on, so the database includes men as well as women.

I find that if you pop 'Australia' into the location search box, it will bring up volunteers who gave an Australian bank as their address, or sometimes Australia in their address.  You can try other local names.  For instance, I found the following British Red Cross volunteer by putting 'Moonee Ponds' in the location:

Mrs Ivy Wilson Jenkins, nee Graham, is in the database, giving 2 Normanby St, Moonee Ponds, Australia as her address.  Ivy served from 01/09/1916  to  01/06/1918 as a VAD, engaged in Ward work, medical Surgical work, for twenty pounds per annum. She served at the following locations: Exeter War Hospitals Sept 1- 1916 - Aug 30; 1917 1st Southern General Hs Nov.5.1917 - June 7. 1918 Birmingham.

There are no Jenkins' at the Normanby St address in the Empire Called database, but further research may reveal more about Ivy Jenkins at a later date.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Sportsmen's Thousand recruit

Artist Will Dyson: 22nd Battalion men awaiting relief, near
Ville sur Ancre, 1918. (AWM ART 19603)
Benjamin Phillip James, a 40 year old labourer, was inspired to enlist in the Sportsman's Thousand in July 1917.    Rod Martin has taken up his pen again to relate the story of Private James from Broadmeadows to France.  Read Private James' story here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Irish Rising: 'A terrible beauty is born'

The State Library of Victoria has a free exhibition about the uprising which occurred in Dublin during Easter 1916.  See their website for associated events.

You can explore Stories from 1916   which is a Living History Project from Ireland.

Local boy Charlie Wright ended up in Dublin after being wounded in France in 1916, and wrote a postcard to his mother from the hospital.  He wasn't there during the uprising, but there must have been plenty of signs of it a few months afterwards.