The Rillington VAD nurses.


From the late 1890s until the 1930s, the Rillington doctor was Australian born Alexander Adams. In 1897 he married Annie Chisholm, a teacher from Inverness. They had just two children and Annie seems to have decided to throw herself into her role as doctor’s wife.


In 1912 Annie, with the backing of Mrs St Quintin, was instrumental in raising a detachment of VAD nurses for the Red Cross ahead of the coming conflict. During the war she taught and organised the VAD nurses and regularly volunteered at the voluntary hospitals in Eddlethorp and Brompton where she was ‘invaluable in surgery’. She ended the war with two stripes and the rank of Quartermaster.

We have a picture of a group of nurses which may be the group she recruited.


A bit more research and I have found other VAD nurses with links to Rillington and the surrounding villages. Most are recorded as working in the Brompton and Eddlethorpe voluntary hospitals, although two saw service in France.

Eva (or Eveline) Evans was the daughter of the St Quintin’s butler, Henry Evans and sister of Dorothy Evans who would later be a teacher at Scampston School.

I’d love to hear if anyone knows more!


Maggie Barker of Scagglethorpe, nursing member, 1915-1919

Emily Feashy of Scampston, nursing member, 1917-1919, awarded 2 stripes.

Constance Grenside of The Rectory, Thorpe Bassett (sister-in-law of vicar). 1915-1919. Lady Superintendent of Rillington VAD detachment, awarded 3 stripes.

Dorothy Hawson of Rillington, nursing member 1915-1918, awarded 3 stripes.

Zina Ryder of Scampston. Recruited 1918, General service, 72 General Hospital, BEF, France.

Eva Evans of Scampston, from 1914. Nurse in ward, St. John’s VAD hospital. Hull, then Hydro Convalescent Hospital, Bridlington.

Nina Ryder of Scampston. From 1918. Pantrymaid. 72 General Hospital BEF France, then Catterick Camp Military Hospital.

Ethel Newby of Scampston, from 1915, nursing member. Worked at Brompton and Eddlethorpe voluntary hospital, then St John’s hospital, Hull. Awarded 1 stripe.

Margaret Huffington (c/o Mrs Adams) Nursed at Brompton Vol. Hospital and Brooklands Hospital Hull. Awarded 2 stripes.