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Hilda READ

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Surname: READ

Forename(s): Hilda

Place of Birth: Blackburn, Lancashire

Service No: ---

Rank: Nursing Member

Regiment / Corps / Service: Voluntary Aid Detachment

Battalion / Unit: 94th East Lancashire

Division: ---

Age: 31

Date of Death: 1920-01-18

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: ---

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: ---


Local War Memorial(s): Not Listed (View Names Not Listed on a Local War Memorial)

Additional Information:

Hilda Read (born 10 February 1888) was the daughter of Alfred and Mary Read, née Sellers. Alfred was born at Oswaldtwistle and Mary at Blackburn Lancashire.

1891 Blackburn, Lancashire Census: 4, Hazel Bank - Hilda Read, aged 3 years, born Blackburn, daughter of Alfred and Mary Read.

1901 Great Harwood, Lancashire Census: 40, St. Huberts Street - Hilda Read, aged 13 years, born Blackburn, Lancashire, daughter of Alfred and Mary Read.

Hilda served at the 2nd Western General (Military) Hospital, Manchester, from 16 September 1916 to 16 October 1917. Then at the 4th Southern (Military) Hospital, Plymouth, from 12 December 1917 to 31 March 1919.

Photograph of Voluntary Aid Detachment badge courtesy of Sally Bosley.

Photograph © IWM (WWC H2-180).

Data Source: Memorial Inscription on Family Gravestone


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


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Nursing Member Hilda READ

Nursing Member Hilda READ

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Voluntary Aid Detachment

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Voluntary Aid Detachment

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

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Died Date:

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Theatre of War:


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: Not commemorated by the CWGC.


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‘The Lancashire Daily Post’ (19 January 1920)


READ - On Sunday, the 18th inst., HILDA, third daughter of ALFRED and MARY READ, St. Hubert-street, Great Harwood. No flowers (by special request).

‘Blackburn Weekly Telegraph’ (24 January 1920)

The Late Miss Hilda Read

The sympathy of many friends is extended to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Read, of St. Hubert-street, Great Harwood, in the loss of their third daughter, Miss Hilda Read, who died on Sunday last. Born at Blackburn, where she received the earlier part of her education, she went to Germany when about 17, and spent five years at Bad Hartzburg and Hamburg. Returning then to England, she joined the staff of the Great Ormond-street Hospital for Sick Children, and while there received an offer from an American lady to become companion-governess to her two children. Miss Read travelled with them in France, and afterwards accompanied them to New York. She was in America when the war broke out, and it was not until October, 1915, that she reached home, after a somewhat adventurous passage in the s.s. Cassandra. Early in the following year she took up war work as a nursing member of the V.A.D., attached to the 94th (East Lancashire) detachment, of which Mrs. Aitken was Commandant. She was posted to Manchester, and the 4th Southern General Hospital at Plymouth, where she remained until demobilisation in the spring of last year, when she received from Lady Ampthill, President of the Joint Women's V.A.D. Committee, a letter expressing the committee's sincere thanks for the work she had given to the service of the sick and wounded–work "which has helped us to maintain the high standard which the V.A.D. have set during the war." Active work over, she returned home "demobilised on leave" until March of the present year. A girl of singularly bright and happy disposition, with a high sense of responsibility in her duty, her physical strength was perhaps not equal to her spirit; but it was not until her work was nearly at an end that she experienced a serious breakdown in health. She was laid to rest on Thursday in the little Churchyard at Grindleton, in which district she had spent in her childhood so many happy days. The funeral was attended by Mr. Alfred Read, Mr. H. H. Birtwistle (brother-in-law), Mr. T. Craven, and Mr. W. Gedney. The service was read by the Rev. F. G. Ackerley, vicar of the parish, and beautiful floral tributes were placed upon the grave from friends who will always hold Hilda Read in loving memory and affectionate regard.

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966


READ Hilda of 40 St. Hubert’s-street Great Harwood Lancashire spinster died 18 January 1920 at Cheadle Cheshire Administration London 25 May to Alfred Read solicitor. Effects £156 1s. 8d.

Grindleton War Memorial – Biographical Notes by Shirley Penman

Extra - St. Ambrose graveyard

HILDA READ, daughter of Alfred and Mary nee Sellars married 25-7-1882 St. Paul, Blackburn, had worked before the war at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. She was employed by an American lady as governess/companion to her two children. Thus she was in America when war broke out; in October 1915 she returned on “S.S. Cassandra” and early in 1916 took up war work attached to 94th (East Lancashire) Detachment (the Commandant of which was Mrs. Maud Aitken of Mytton House, Clitheroe). Hilda was posted to Manchester and then to 4th Southern General Hospital where she stayed until demobilised early in 1919 when her health, never robust, now seriously declined and ended in her death.

(Although technically not “of” Grindleton, the fact that she was interred in the graveyard on Thursday, 22nd January, 1920 - and her record of voluntary war work has earned her a place is this roll of honour.)

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Additional Photo(s) For Soldier Records

Hilda Read

Hilda Read

IWM Collections (EN1/3/DEA/003/116)

Memorial Card

Memorial Card

IWM Collections (EN1/3/DEA/003/116)

St Ambrose's Churchyard, Grindleton

St Ambrose's Churchyard, Grindleton

Family gravestone

St Ambrose's Churchyard, Grindleton

St Ambrose's Churchyard, Grindleton

Family gravestone - detail of memorial inscription



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