Ada Hodgkinson

Willie Hodgkinson’s Sister Ada V.A.D. Nurse at Leeswood Hall Auxiliary Hospital

After the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, The British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John, joined forces to form ‘The Joint War Committee’. This Committee organised Voluntary Aid Detachments (V.A.Ds). Members were all trained in first aid and others undertook training in cookery, hygene, sanitation or nursing. Ada Hodgkinson chose to do nursing. Throughout the war VAD nurses worked in hospitals, convalescent homes and resting stations.

‘The Joint War Committee’ secured many buildings in the UK to use as temporary hospitals. These included town halls, schools and private houses. Leeswood Hall in Flintshire was used for this purpose. Auxiliary Hospitals were attached to central military hospitals. They were usually staffed by a Commandant, a Quartermaster, a Matron, Professional nursing staff and members of the local V.A.D. In many cases ladies in the neighbourhood, volunteered on a part time basis. Ada Hodgkinson was such a lady.

Patients at these hospitals were generally less seriously wounded or in need of convalescence. Servicemen preferred the auxiliary hospitals where the discipline was not so strict as in the military hospitals. Conditions were less crowded and generally more homely.

The  Hodgkinson family has loaned us a number of mementos from Ada’s time at Leeswood Hall and we reproduce them below. Perhaps the most special of these is her autograph book. Ada’s brother John gave her the book as a birthday present. She asked many people to write or draw in her book including the patients at the hospital. We have scanned a selection of the pages from this wonderful book.

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Ada Hodgkinson VAD Nurse and her brother John

 

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Members of staff at Leeswood Hall Hospital. Ada is standing on the left in the back row – without a hat or cap.

 

Leeswood Hall Hospital

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A post card chosen especially for Ada by her brother John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A birthday card for Ada

 

 

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The autograph book birthday present from John to Ada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ada’s own rhyme to start her book off

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Drawing by Ada’s brother, John Hodgkinson who was in the Machine Gun Corps RWF

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Pte 3128 W J Gracey 2/5th Btn RWF Machine Gun Section

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Corporal Joe Shepherd 60th Rifles

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Corporal S Dixon 8th Yorkshire Regiment

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L P Boden

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Pte J Crannes 11 Middlesex Regiment

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Corporal J C Smaker Grenadier Guards

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Pte S Clark 5040 1st R. W. Kent Wounded at High Wood

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Pte J Teare 18th KLR

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Pte P Donaldson 2nd K.O.S. Brs

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Sgt Osborne 18th Hussar’s

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Sgt J Sherret Glasgow Highlanders

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Sgt J Sherret Glasgow Highlanders

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Cpl Joe Shepherd 60th Rifles

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Pte Bill Porteous (Military Medal) 9th Royal Scots

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Pte O Kirkpatrick

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W Mason

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J Mc Naughton 5th South Lancs

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Ada

 Link to Ada’s brother’s page William T Hodgkinson

Many thanks to Mary Marrow and Robert Hodgkinson for these lovely family archives.