Edith Marion Peat

Wartime Role Nurse - Voluntary Aid Detatchment
Date of Birth c.1894
Age at Death 64
Date of Death 15 April 1958
Merton Address Cranmer, Mitcham
Local Memorial

Additional Information

Edith Marion Peat was born in Wimbledon – records show that she was baptised in 1894. According to the 1901 Census, her family lived at Cranmer, a substantial 25 roomed house in Mitcham which was on the site of the present Wilson Hospital. Her father was Alfred Edward Peat, and her mother Ellen and brother Edward completed the family.

The family shared the house with her uncle James Ernest Peat who was recorded as the Head of the household, along with his wife Constance, son James and daughter Marjorie. The brothers’ wives, Constance and Ellen were sisters and their grandfather was James Hartley, one of the founding directors of the P&O shipping line. As would be expected for such a large property, the rest of the household included a Cook, Nurse, Ladies Maid and Housekeeper.

James Snr. and Alfred together with another brother Arthur, were Colonial Brokers and partners in a Company named Lewis & Peat. By the time of the 1911 census, Alfred was recorded as the Head of the Household, possibly because James was on business overseas, where the firm had tea and rubber plantations. Their brother Arthur was now recorded as living at the property. Edith now had two sisters, Kathleen Cecile aged 6 and Cicely aged 1.

On 18 March 1915 Edith was engaged as a Nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment. Although she worked full time she received no pay, as the VADs work was voluntary, but they usually received expenses for board and lodging. She had various postings – firstly at Gifford House Auxiliary Hospital, Roehampton. Gifford House was lent by the John Charrington (of the brewery family) to care for convalescent servicemen. Initially it had 80 beds which were increased to 210 by 1916, and was staffed by members of the VAD.

In September 1916, Edith transferred to the Prince Henry of Battenburg Hospital for Officers, Hill Street, Mayfair where she stayed until the beginning of 1917 when she transferred to Theodore Hospital, 53 Mount Street, Mayfair, until June 1918. The Theodore Hospital was lent by Mrs Zarifi, a Greek lady who also acted as Commandant. It was equipped and financed with the aid of a War Office grant until November 1917 when the War Office took over. It had 20 beds for convalescent officers transferred from Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital.

It appears that Edith never married. According to Passenger Lists, we know that she went to Tangier in 1930, and spent some time in Beira, Mozambique (via Mombasa, Kenya) from 29 October 1949, returning to England on 19 May 1950. She died aged 64 on 15 April 1958, whilst residing at Oldlands Hall, Uckfield, Sussex and probate records show that she left part of the substantial sum of £13,927 to her brother Edward Peat.

Note: Edith’s cousin Marjorie was a Nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, and her story is also recorded on this website.


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