Alice Frances Omond

Wartime Role Cook - Voluntary Aid Detatchment
Date of Birth 7 June 1886
Age at Death 92
Date of Death c.1979
Merton Address White Cottage, Preshaw Crescent, Lower Green West, Mitcham
Local Memorial

Additional Information

Alice Frances Omond was born on 7 June 1886 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The earliest record we have for her is the 1911 Census when she was 24 years of age. The family home was in Countess Cross, Colne Engaine, White Colne, Essex where she lived with her mother Margaret and father George William Thomson Omond. According to Wikipedia, George had a number of strings to his bow which included lawyer, advocate, author, historian and biographer. He was a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was created Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium) for his books on that country. The family also included Alice’s elder siblings, Edith, Helen and brother John who was a Secretary for the Social Welfare Association for London. The substantial family home also supported servants - a cook and a housemaid.

At the beginning of the Great War, Alice joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment as a full time Cook, although it appears she was a member of the Red Cross Society from 1911. She carried out unpaid work at various Red Cross hospitals between August 1914 and April 1916, including Earls Colne VAD Hospital, Essex. At the outbreak of WW1, the village hall was converted into a Voluntary Aid Detachment auxiliary hospital – run by the British Red Cross. During the war the hospital treated 1,228 patients from Britain, Belgium, Canada and Australia. There were no patient deaths at the hospital during the war up to its closure in 1919. As the hospital was near the family home, we can assume Alice was still residing there.

The family moved to White Cottage, Mitcham (Lower Green West) around 1916 where her parents lived until at least 1922 when the Electoral Roll records them still living there.

On her VAD record card she made the following statement: “Although still a member of the BRCS I have not worked for the society since April 1916. From then until the present day I have held appointments at the War Office & the Ministry of Pensions.“

Alice married Frank A. Barrett between October and December 1919. She died in 1979 at the grand old age of 92 while still living in the Surrey area. Alice’s father George died in 1929, her mother in 1932 and her brother John in 1967.

Note: Alice’s sister Edith was a VAD nurse and her story also appears on this website.


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