Project Description

FLORENCE GERTRUDE HOLMES 1890–1956

Before the War

Florence was born in Jul-Sep 1890 and baptised at the same time as her sister Ethel Maud on 14th April 1891 at Horsham St Faith’s Parish Church, Norfolk. Their mother Julia Holmes is recorded as a single woman. In the 1891 census Florence (recorded as Gertrude), 8 months, was living in the Union House (workhouse) at Horsham St Faith with Newton St Faith with her mother Julia, 28, laundress, brother Arthur, 9, scholar, and sister Ethel, 3.

In 1901 Julia, 39, Florence, 11, her sister Ethel, 14, were still living in the Union Workhouse. Julia was a laundress. Two more children had been born and were living in the workhouse: Rosa, 8, and Herbert, 6.

In 1911 Florence, 20, was a domestic servant in the house of farmer William Reynolds, 79, at Wood Farm, St Faith’s, Norfolk. William’s sister Amelia, 69, was housekeeper and his nephew Frank, 40, was his assistant. Florence’s sister Ethel was a domestic servant in the household of Rosa Anderson and family at 56 Helena Road, Norwich. Their mother Julia was a housekeeper living at School Lane, Sprowston, Norfolk with her brother John Holmes, a farm worker. Florence’s brother Herbert was also living there.

During the War

The following information about Florence Gertrude Holmes has been extracted from transcribed Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment records, available at www.redcross.org.uk

When Florence was 28 she volunteered to serve as a V.A.D. in the Norfolk Reserve of the Red Cross. Her home address was given as School Lane, Old Catton, Norfolk. She served as an assistant cook with pay at the Notts County War Hospital, Radcliffe on Trent from 12th August 1918 and was still serving there when her Red Cross card was completed on 28th July 1919.

After the War

It has not been possible to trace her in the 1939 census or to determine her occupation in the post- war years.

Florence remained single and died on 25th March 1956 at the Isolation Hospital, Norwich, age 65. Probate to her sister Ethel Maud Holmes, spinster.

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