Author Topic: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification  (Read 8188 times)

Offline murton

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Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« on: Saturday 26 January 13 10:39 GMT (UK) »
This photograph of a Voluntary Aid Detachment was taken at least 100 years ago and my research suggests that it was taken circa 1911-1913.
 
This is not an ‘off the cuff’ group photo, this is a professionally arranged group of nurses all in pristine new uniforms and I consider that it has important relevance to the history of the Scottish Red Cross who were unable to offer any assistance or identify the location.
 
The background to my research is that in 1909 the Government launched a scheme for the organisation of Voluntary Aid in England and Wales for the British Red Cross Society to assist the Government by providing Voluntary Aid to the Territorial Medical Service to meet the needs of war. This scheme was adopted by Scotland in December 1909.
 
The only positive identification so far is the young officer on the Matron’s left. He was Captain James Johnstone Dykes, King’s Own Scottish Borderers who was killed in action in Gallipoli on 12th July 1915. Why he was an Infantry officer was probably his personal choice as he was a qualified Doctor and Dentist which is relevant to my query.
 
Regarding the Elder officer on the other side, I enlarged his image to identify his decorations and he is wearing a Neck Badge that is almost certainly a Knight Commander of the Bath. I also checked the medal ribbons on his left breast and the first one that appears black has a small image in the centre which, if this was a colour photo, would obviously appear Maroon with a small Bronze Cross in the centre indicating a Victoria Cross. I am therefore 100% sure that this is Field Marshal, Lord Roberts.
 
I may well be wrong but I have chosen Lanarkshire as the location for the following reasons.  BRCS Archives have advised me that in the Lanarkshire Branch between 1911 and 1916 a Mrs W.A. Dykes was Vice-President at Hamilton Detachment and Mrs Lee Dykes was Vice-President of East Kilbride Detachment. Also Captain Dykes’ hometown was Westfield, Dumfries. Whether there was a family connection in unknown but they were certainly within comfortable travelling distance.
 
So were these two ladies responsible for the formation of a Voluntary Aid Detachment in Lanarkshire and was Captain Dykes, a qualified Doctor, responsible for the medical supervision of the training of the VAD Volunteers? More importantly, was this the first Voluntary Aid Detachment formed in Scotland and the reason for the presence of Lord Roberts whose mother incidentally was born in Edinburgh?
 
I am sure that there must be at least one more copy of this photo in Scotland from which a family descendent can identify any of the nurses? This would almost certainly confirm the location and the purpose of the photo.
 
I would be most grateful for any suggestions that may solve this problem particularly as the WWI Centenary Commemoration is on the horizon.
 
Tony

Offline murton

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 26 January 13 10:41 GMT (UK) »
Sorry about the quality of the photo the original is much clearer
 
Tony

Offline ev

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 26 January 13 11:18 GMT (UK) »
Hi Tony ,
 
I think this topic would be better on the Scotland General(was on Perthshire) board.
Also added link with further information -
 
http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic1411.html
 
ev
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Offline scrimnet

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 26 January 13 13:34 GMT (UK) »
A better scan of the x2 men would really help in any ID....when blown up I cannot make anything out at all...Esp faces etc...Would be nice to see if it is "Bobs" on the pic...
One more charge and then be dumb,
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        May the victors when they come
            Find my body near the wall.

Offline ev

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 26 January 13 13:46 GMT (UK) »
From the link -
 
ev
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Offline scrimnet

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 26 January 13 14:10 GMT (UK) »
Sadly this is not "Bobs" it is the wrong uniform for a Field Marshall, and he appears to be of field rank by his hat...I would say a Lt Col, but he could be a Capt...ergo this could well be Capt Dykes he is wearing the post 1902 frock coat...and he is wearing the distinctions of a 7th (City of London) Royal Fusiliers...Do we know more of the history of this VAD Superintendent???


It does make sense if the chap the other side is his KOSB son...

The neck badge could just as easily be the Order of St John given the surroundings... :)
One more charge and then be dumb,
            When the forts of Folly fall,
        May the victors when they come
            Find my body near the wall.

Offline scrimnet

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 26 January 13 14:30 GMT (UK) »
The Order Of St John also has an emblem on the medal ribbon....Usually when worn alone....

One more charge and then be dumb,
            When the forts of Folly fall,
        May the victors when they come
            Find my body near the wall.

Online MonicaL

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 26 January 13 15:19 GMT (UK) »

I may well be wrong but I have chosen Lanarkshire as the location for the following reasons.  BRCS Archives have advised me that in the Lanarkshire Branch between 1911 and 1916 a Mrs W.A. Dykes was Vice-President at Hamilton Detachment and Mrs Lee Dykes was Vice-President of East Kilbride Detachment. Also Captain Dykes’ hometown was Westfield, Dumfries. Whether there was a family connection in unknown but they were certainly within comfortable travelling distance.

So were these two ladies responsible for the formation of a Voluntary Aid Detachment in Lanarkshire and was Captain Dykes, a qualified Doctor, responsible for the medical supervision of the training of the VAD Volunteers? More importantly, was this the first Voluntary Aid Detachment formed in Scotland and the reason for the presence of Lord Roberts whose mother incidentally was born in Edinburgh?


Just some thoughts. Likely the W. A. in the name fo Mrs Dykes could be her husband's initials, as was custom in those days?

There is a Will & Testament entry on www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk which includes the folowing entry:

William Alston Dykes. Dated 5 Feb. 1917. The Orchard, Hamilton, died 27 Nov. 1911. Original confirmation granted on 2 Feb. 1912. EIK to Confirmation ad non executa granted 12 April 1932. Hamilton Sheriff Court Wills - ref. SC37/43/14

He is referred to here, www.saxonlodge.net/getperson.php?personID=I2452&tree=Tatham  Apart from Writer (to the Signet), he is also showing as Deputy Lieutenant, Lanark. Could he be the gentleman in the photo I wonder? His wife, as VP for Hamilton, maybe in the photo?

See here regarding 'The Orchards' www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/sc-34478-auchingramont-road-19-the-orchard-/photos (pity no photo on there).


This W A Dykes died late 1911. So if it was him in the photo, might help with dating.

Monica

Added: Details of Mr & Mrs WA Dykes' son, Alfred McNair Dykes here http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic6177.html Looks to have been in the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) 1st Bn. See also here www.kingsownmuseum.plus.com/ko2654.htm
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Offline scrimnet

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Re: Voluntary Aid Detachment - Identification
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 26 January 13 15:31 GMT (UK) »
I dont think that is his son....


This is more likely to be him....


http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/600864/DYKES,%20JAMES%20JOHNSTONE


That gives us Thomas and Elizabeth Haining Dykes as his parents....and from Westfield, Maxwelltown, Dumfries.


Fits with his uniform too...KOSB being a Lowland Regt wore trews....
One more charge and then be dumb,
            When the forts of Folly fall,
        May the victors when they come
            Find my body near the wall.