My Great Aunt, Margaret Box went, via France, Italy and Greece to what was then Serbia, in 1918/19 towards the end of the First World War. She was a nurse, working for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals, and wrote a number of letters and diaries describing her her experiences, indexed here.
During her travels she encounters a number of people, some more more frequently than others, and this article is intended to help keep track of them, and also, in some cases, add some extra information, as many of them were women, and in 1918, during a war, it was only people of an adventurous spirit who would travel to a remote part of the world (as it was in those days) to help people close to where a war was being fought.
Gave Margaret a ride in his car on 14th October 1918. I am not sure which of the various Colonel Baileys he might have been
He was not Frederick Marshman Bailey, who forged the documents of a Serbian Colonel in 1918, but was a temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, in Taskent at the time (as a British spy)
Margaret’s father, my Great Grandfather, he was a nurseryman, and has his own page here.
Box, Leonard Arthur (1886-1967)
My Grandfather, and Margaret’s brother. He was a solicitor, possibly working for his uncle – William Williams Box.
Box, Margaret Ada (1890-1986)
Box, Edith Mary (1894-1959)
Box, Norah Constance (1898-1987)
Box, Rosina (Rose)
Chesney, Lilian (1869-1935)
Dr Chesney was the head of the hospital Margaret was attached to, where she did most of her nursing in Serbia. As the hospital moved around many of the letters simply use the address “c/o Dr Chesney”
She had served in the Serbia and London units of the SWH, and then moved to the Elsie Inglis Unit in early 1918. She was inspected with that unit by the King and Queen at Buckingham palace on 18th February 1918.
She is mentioned in the books
- Cambridge Women and the Struggle for the Vote
- The Great War and Scottish Nurses’ Diaries: “A World of Distant Rumbling”
Apart from being the address where Margaret can be reached she appears in the letters of
- 29th Oct 1918 – where (in the notes), she commends Margaret’s initiative in staying to nurse the M.T. unit on 21st October, and sends North in a car to fetch Margaret on 27th October.
- 16th Nov 1918 – where she is away from the unit but due back soon. She had joked with Margaret about fur coats.
- 24th Nov 1918 – where she has gone on ahead of her unit
Danby, Gertrude Elizabeth
Fooks, Idaberga Mabel. (1880 – )
Her father, Edward John Fooks, was born in Langton House, which was apparently the childhood home of Robert Baden-Powell. I thinks Idaberaga was also born there. Mr Fooks was a partner in the London law firm, Messrs Fooks, Chadwick, Arnold & Chadwick, and clearly spoke good French as he provided for the Courier newspaper the translation of an account of the experiences of one of the Belgian refugees from Herent, near Louvain. He was for 20 years Legal Adviser to the R.C. Diocese of Southwark. This is from https://belgiansrtw.wordpress.com/claytons-farmhouse/ which also says that “Their daughter Idaberga Mabel FOOKS was a VAD nurse for the duration of the war, at Bidborough Court (Kent 74) and for two years on secondment to the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in Russia and Serbia.”
I suspect that Idaberga was known to the Box family through her father knowing William Williams or Leonard Box.
She is mentioned in the letters of
Gwynn, Margaret Katherine
Secretary to the unit. There is a reference to a letter from her
Howard, Lilian Maud
She is a chauffeur in the London Unit
Jones, Gladys Margaret Powell
Known as ‘Taffy’ as she is Welsh, she is a chauffeur.
Murdoch, Bessie Bannerman
North, Augusta Louisa
I think she may be been Dr. Chesney’s driver.
She appears in the letter of
- 29th October 1918 – where on 27th October she fetches Margaret from the M.T. Camp, where Margaret has, on her own initiative, been nursing flu patients.