Edith Margaret Omond

Wartime Role Assistant Nurse - Voluntary Aid Detachment
Date of Birth 15 March 1881
Age at Death 76
Date of Death c.1957
Merton Address White Cottage, Preshaw Crescent, Lower Green West, Mitcham
Local Memorial

Additional Information

Edith Margaret Omond was born on 15 March 1881 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edith was just one month old at the time of the 1881 Census, when her family, father George and mother Margaret, lived at 32 Royal Circus, Edinburgh with four servants. 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. By the time of the 1911 Census when Edith was 30 years of age, they had moved to Countess Cross, Colne Engaine, White Colne, Essex and the family now included her younger siblings Alice, Helen and brother John who was a Secretary for the Social Welfare Association for London.

Edith was already a member of the British Red Cross Society from 1911, but was mobilised in August 1914 as a VAD member. She initially worked near the family home at Earls Colne VAD Hospital, Essex as an Assistant Nurse from November 1914 until June 1915, then at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester until June 1916. At the outbreak of the First World War, the Essex County Hospital was initially designated as a British ‘Home Auxiliary Hospital’ receiving convalescing patients, but in 1915 a high-ranking military official was so impressed by the facilities at the hospital that it was ruled that it should receive wounded soldiers direct from the ambulance trains. Marquees in the grounds provided another 52 beds, and extra accommodation was provided by subscribers and friends, in the form of two wooden ‘Netley Huts’.

Her final appointment was at Holborn Military Hospital in Mitcham where she stayed until May 1919. Edith worked on a full time basis, and although the VAD’s work was usually voluntary, she appears to have received some pay - £20 rising to £30 on termination of her services.

During her service as a VAD, Edith was awarded two ‘Scarlet Efficiency Stripes’. It had been decided to award some mark of distinction to nursing members of Voluntary Aid detachments working in military hospital, in place of the white service bar. This distinction was given to nursing members after thirteen months' consecutive service in military hospitals by Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and the Territorial Force Nursing Service only. The efficiency stripe was a scarlet bar worn on the right arm, below the shoulder and on the indoor uniform only. On completion of a second year's service in these hospitals, a second scarlet stripe was granted on the same conditions, but no more than two stripes could be worn.

Edith’s address is recorded as White Cottage, Mitcham where she resided with her parents and her sister Alice. Edith married Ernest Gordon on 5 June 1926, at the Parish Church, Mitcham. Ernest was a Mining Engineer and at the time of their marriage their address was given as No. 2 St Mary’s Place, Penzance, Cornwall. The marriage was witnessed by Edith’s mother and her father was described as a ‘Gentleman’. Edith died in Surrey in 1957 at the age of 76. Her father George Omond died in 1929, her mother in 1932 and her brother John in 1967.

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


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