Notts 94 Voluntary Aid Detachment

Before the War

Helena was born on 15th November 1898 in Nottingham. In 1901 she was living at 17 Herbert Street, St Augustine’s, Nottingham with her father Thomas Leman, chartered accountant, mother Helena (nee Mellers), brother Thomas Henry, 6, Clara Jewson, domestic nurse and Ellen Vickers, cook. Helena Mellers’ father was a lace manufacturer. Helena Doris, 12, was at school in 1911, and on the night of the census she was visiting lace manufacturer Percy Smith and family at Haddon House, The Park, Nottingham. Her father Thomas, mother Helena Maud and sister Phyllis Mary, 5, were staying in a boarding house on South Parade, Skegness. Thomas was a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. From the early 1900s he had an office at St. Peter’s Church Walk, Nottingham (Leman & Sons).

During the War

The following information about Helena Doris Leman has been extracted from transcribed Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment records, available at www.redcross.org.uk

Helena volunteered to serve as Red Cross V.A.D. during the war. She was a member of the Notts 94 detachment led by Commandant Claire Birkin of Lamcote House, Radcliffe on Trent. Helena served part time at Lamcote House Auxiliary Hospital for a total of 732 hours from 11th April 1918 to 10th January 1919. She was engaged in pantry and ward work. Her address was given as Drake House, Skegness on her Red Cross V.A.D. card.

Helena’s father Thomas died on 19th October 1918 at Mundesley-on-Sea, Norfolk. His home address at date of death was Fenimore, Bingham Road, Radcliffe on Trent. In Kelly’s 1916 directory this was the home of George Mather, lace manufacturer, of The Albert Wicker Manufacturing Co, but it has not been possible to determine whether George Mather was still living at Fenimore in 1918.

1921 Census

Address: 77 Forest Road, Nottm.

Employment: Governess

Household: mother Helena, sister Phyllis, domestic Martha Lineker.

After the War

Helena married John Deverill Walker in October quarter 1922 in Nottingham. They had two children: Thomas John D. born 1923 and Andrew W.M. born 1942. In 1921 Helena’s widowed mother was living at 77 Forest Road West, Nottingham. She moved to 50 Tavistock Drive, Mapperley by 1923 and lived there for the rest of her life. She died on 22nd November 1954 in Nottingham, age 85. Probate to Helena Doris’ son Thomas John Deverill Walker, medical practitioner.

In 1939 Helena and her husband were living at Wyn Hill, Keyworth Road, Wysall, Nottinghamshire. John’s occupation was that of dairy farmer. He was an A.R.P. (Air Raid Precaution) Warden for Bingham Rural District Council. Iris Adams, domestic servant, was also living in the household.

Helena’s husband John died in 1971 in Wantage, Berkshire. Helena died on 14th December 1975. Her address at date of death was The Old Vicarage, Oakhill, Bath.

H D Leman 1

H D Leman 2