First World War VADs in Southam

Dr Val Brodie has conducted extensive research into the VAD Hospital that was established in Southam from 1917 to 1919 to care for soldiers wounded on the battle fields of  World War 1. This research focused heavily on the women of Southam who staffed the hospital during the two years it was open and cared for 1,000 troops.

As a result of the research Val was able to develop a number of successful exhibitions which were displayed at the Southam Heritage Collection and which focused on a variety of aspects of life both at home and in the trenches. Although some of the early exhibitions have now closed further ones are planned for the remaining years of the Centenary period and a number of talks have been developed. Val would be delighted to respond to queries about these talks which cover the lives of the women who volunteered and also how the soldiers and their relatives coped with some of the horrors of war.

The paper “Dairymaids and shop girls, mothers and nuns: First World War VADs in Southam, a rural Warwickshire town”, which can be accessed by clicking on the link opposite, was prepared by Val for a conference held at the University of Worcester by the Women’s History Network in November 2015. The paper is based on Val’s research and includes items from the Heritage Collection and also from local families who have helped Val in her research by providing access to personal archive material. The research work is on-going as part of the Heritage Collection’s Centenary Archive project and Val would be delighted to hear from other local families who may have stories, however small, to tell and add to our collective history.

Click on the picture opposite to read the paper.