THE WORK OF THE VOLUNTARY AID DETACHMENT (VAD) IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Portrait photograph of Vera Henzell, Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) member.
Vera Henzell received her certificate in Home Nursing from the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England, Ambulance Department (as part of the Red Cross Organisation of the British Empire) in September 1914.
Mrs Clarke (née Henzell) received a medal in recognition of her service at the 1st Northumbrian Field Ambulance, RAMC, where she served between 1914 1915 prior to her departure to France.
The Royal Army Medical Corps was supplemented by the efforts of several voluntary organisations. In 1909-1910 the War Office requested that County Associations, British Red Cross Society and the Ambulance Department of the Order of St John Of Jerusalem were asked to co-operate. The VAD movement was administered by the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John.
The majority of Voluntary Aid Detachments were women but men could also join. Male Detachments were given odd numbers and composed of: one Commandant; one medical officer; one quartermaster; one pharmacist; four section leaders and forty eight men while the female detachments were given even numbers and composed of: one Commandant (male or female); one quartermaster (male or female) one Lady Superintendent (preferably a trained nurse) and 20 women, four of whom would be section leaders and four would be qualified cooks.