Project Description

OLIVE VIOLET ELNOR 1897–1979

PC_72_Alb6_64Guildford_War-hospital_nd-c1916

Guildford Military Hospital, previously Guildford workhouse, later St. Luke’s hospital

Born: 14th February 1897 in Radcliffe on Trent

Married: 1923 to Sidney Gething Sharp, Bingham district, Notts.

Children: two daughters Olive J. born 1925 and Florence born 1933

Died: 24th June, 1979

Before the First World War

Olive Violet Elnor was born in 1897 in Radcliffe on Trent, Notts. She was the daughter of Thomas and Annie Elnor. Thomas was a farmer at Lamcote Farm, employing three servants in 1901. The farmhouse, situated on the Lamcote estate, was large and had ten rooms. Olive had three sisters: Mary born 1896, Margaret born 1902, Adeline born 1904. There were no brothers so the family did not go through the experience of their men fighting in the war. In 1911, all the girls were at school.

During the war

The following information about Olive Elnor has been extracted from transcribed Red Cross V.A.D. records, available at www.redcross.org.uk .

In January 1915, Olive began her war service as a Red Cross nurse and worked until September at West Bridgford hospital, where she would have received training in first aid, nursing and hygiene. She was unpaid for her ward duties. At the time she began working she was a member of the Notts. 94th Voluntary Aid Detachment, the Radcliffe on Trent branch of the Red Cross which was organised by Claire Birkin. In October 1915, she transferred to Bagthorpe Isolation and Base Hospital in Nottingham, where she remained for two years. There is a gap in her record for the following year. On September 27th, 1918, she transferred again to Guildford War Hospital where she remained until February 23rd, 1919. Both Bagthorpe and Guildford War Hospital were housed in former workhouses and had space to accommodate over two hundred patients. The Union Workhouse, Guildford, operated as a workhouse until early 1916 when it was converted to a war hospital. Bagthorpe and Guildford war hospitals dealt with serious cases of wounded and sick servicemen which required skilled medical intervention. Over 7000 patients were treated at Guildford War Hospital and seventy died; they were buried at Stoughton cemetery following a military funeral.

Olive was earning £30 a year in 1919 when her service was terminated. Her salary shows that she had progressed beyond the more general duties of a Voluntary Aid Detachment Worker and had a higher status as a nurse.

After the war

Olive returned from Guildford to the Radcliffe on Trent area, where she married Sidney Gething Sharp in 1923. He was the son of William Sharp, a farmer who lived and worked at Abbey Farm, Aslockton. Olive and Sidney were living at The Red House Farm, Abbey Lane, Aslockton when Sidney died in 1936 at the age of thirty eight.  In 1939 Olive was still living at The Red House, Abbey Lane, Aslockton, Notts. with her mother Annie, now incapacitated, daughter Olive J. who was at school and one other person whose record is closed (presumably daughter Florence). Olive was a poultry keeper. Her mother died in 1952. Olive died in 1979, age 82. Her address was The Red House, Aslockton, at the time of her death.

Author: Rosie Collins

Olive Elnor Red cross 1

Olive Elnor Red Cross 2