Agnes Mary Witts


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Agnes Mary Witts

Agnes Mary Witts gave her next of kin as a Mrs W B Taylor from Cheshire. We have searched on Ancestry.com but can no firm evidence of her birth, marriage or death. We do however have her service record from The National Archives.

Agnes Witts is particularly interesting to this project as we have used her autograph book  ( The British Red Cross Archives) has been extremely helpful and important for our research.

She began her nursing career at the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital Northfields on the 24th May 1915 where she signed on for a one year contract,  One year later she sought permission to leave for a civil posting. We do not know where she went for this year, but by November 1916 she wrote a letter requesting to re-enlist in the Queen Alexandra Imperial Nursing Service (QAIMNS).

Since leaving the Birmingham Military Hospital I have been doing ward sisters duties but I feel that I ought to be doing military work as there is such a great need for nurses.

She was accepted back into the service,  and on the 12th December she writes a letter regarding her uniform. This is a poignant document which lists the uniform still in her possession,  and the bits and pieces she needed to buy.

Caps, aprons, collars and cuffs are still in very good condition, also the three print dresses except a little worn at the cuffs. The grey hat (straw) is rather shabby except the band which will do quite well….

Miss Witts worked as a staff nurse at The Beaufort from December 1916 until the end of the war. She was demobilised in May 1919, and by September, like other nurses we have researched, Agnes Witts was finding it very difficult to find a job:

Dear Sir, Pardon me for taking up your valuable time by writing to you, but I should be grateful if you would advise me what to do in the following difficulty…..since being demobilised I have experienced great difficulty in obtaining a post and I have spent considerable time and money on applications and I cannot understand it.

There is no reply to this letter in her service file, and we do not know the end of the story of Miss Agnes Mary Witts, but her autograph book survives with some sweet sentiments from her colleagues,  patients at the Birmingham Military Hospital, and of course from the Beaufort.

ABRAHAM BERTRAM