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Autograph Book World War One

The pictures below are from the collection of Margaret McKay McKenzie of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve whose autograph book is full of sketches and cartoons by the soldiers she cared for whilst nursing in a variety of locations including Malta, Salonica, Sorovitch with the 33rd Stationary Hospital, onboard hospital ships and Beaufort War Hospital. This was a common hobby amongst patients and nurses of the Great War.

Autograph Book World War One Nurses Soldiers

Below the sketches of the soldier and nurse is written:

Great Scott! Some Sister!
Drawn by H.N. Atwood (See further below for biography)
Ptes 5th North Staffs Reg

sketch hospital ship world war one

This wonderful sketch of a Hospital Ship has been signed by the illustrator W.E. Dean. (See further below for biography)

margaret mckay mckenzie qaimnsr working dress uniform

Though Margaret had a sister who was also a nurse, we are confident that this is Margaret in her QA working dress.

Queen-Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserves Medal WWI

A lovely example of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve Medal.

limestone carving plaque QAIMNSR Medal Malta 1917

This beautiful limestone carving is thought to have been made for Margaret McKay McKenzie when she was assigned to Malta IN 1917 during WWI.

This sweet entry demonstrates the esteem that her patients held for her:

poem written to nurse from patient world war one

It reads:

Margaret is her name
Single is her station.
Happy is the man
that makes the alteration.

G. Campbell
Beaufort 6.8.16

Other pages from within the book include:

The Cameronians Cap Badge and Poem Beaufort War Hospital Bristol

Drawing of a WWI Nurse Holding a Spoon

Other pages of interest:

Funny Nurse Cartoon Picture.

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PTSD assistance dog Lynne book

My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.

Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.

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The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:

"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."


Buy the Paperback.

QARANC Poppy Pin Badge Royal British Legion RBL
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.

For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.

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Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past which has a free trial.

Fiona Mitford, Ex-WO2, QARANC(V) of Heirs 2 U Research, kindly provided the following about Margaret and two of the contributors to her autograph book:

Margaret McKay McKenzie

Maggie, as she was affectionately known as by her family, was born on Tuesday, 21 March 1876, at 4.20 pm. She was a home delivery, which at the time was normal, at their home at 13 Elliot Street, Glasgow. She was the sixth of nine children born to Donald McKenzie, a Steam Ship Engineer, and his wife, Margaret Anne (nee Fraser). Two of her older siblings, Alexander (1863-1872) and Huntly Peter McKenzie (1869-1873), died when young, so in reality she only knew three older siblings, Mary (1867-), Alexander (1872-), William (1874-<1925), and her younger sisters, Dolina (1882-1931), Isabella (1885-) and Georgina Fyfe McKenzie (1885-1952). Her mother had been a House Servant to an Uncle, Archibald McDonald in 1851 at the tender age of eight, and a decade later as a clockmaker prior to her marriage.

By 1881 the family were living at 11 Yorkhill Street, Anderston, Glasgow, her father away working aboard a Ship travelling to South America.

Ten years later the family had moved to 228 Dumbarton Rd, Sandyford, Glasgow.

1876 Birth Registry Glasgow

Pictured above is Maggie's birth entry - Photo Credit: ScotlandsPeople

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On the 1901 census, Maggie was working as a Table Maid (Domestic), living as a visitor in the household of Angus McPhee an HMC Prison Warden at Peterhead Jail, Scotland.

Within the next decade, she had undertook nurse training, as the 1911 census shows, she was a hospital Nurse at the Reformatory School, Reigate, Surrey.

She enlisted into the QAIMNS Reserve, and worked in Malta, Salonica and onboard hospital ships, until serving in the 33rd Stationary Hospital providing six-hundred beds, stationed at Sorovich, Serbia, (now Amyntaion, Greece). RAMC reports at the time specified that the Salonika front “had three casualties of disease to every one casualty of enemy action,” with Malaria predominantly the most serious affliction of the British forces in the area. By the end of the war Maggie was working at Beaufort War Hospital, in Bristol.

One of her younger sisters, Gina, married Herbert Emil Schultz (1898-1966), on 29 July 1920, in Oneida, New York, USA, and had one daughter surviving from that union, Margaret Ann Schultz (1922-2013) before they divorced in the 1930's.

With little to tie her to the UK after the Great War, Maggie followed her sister to America, and worked at the local Hospital in Utica, Oneida. Dolina, another younger sister, joined them, and also found employment at the hospital.

Sadly, Maggie died from pneumonia on 13 Oct 1925 in the hospital where she had worked, and Dolina died there just six years later. Gina outlived Dolina by twenty-one years, as Keeper of a successful Utica restaurant, and raising her daughter in Oneida.

Their brother William died before 1925, possibly as a soldier in the Great War, but not proved yet. Isa, their youngest sister, and their oldest surviving brother, Alexander, remained in Scotland until their deaths.

Maggie owed her middle name to her paternal grandmother, Margaret McKay (1816-1901), who was born in Strathpeffer, Ross-shire, and married her grandfather Huntley McKenzie, a Shoemaker, on 23 August 1841 in Inverness.

Harry Nicholas Attwood

Harry was born on Boxing Day,1882, in Skipton, Yorkshire, the only surviving son of John William Attwood (1851-1925), a Railway Signalman, and Margaretta Warren Carbines (1848-1923). He grew up in Skipton with an older sister, Margaretta Hannah (1878-1971).

Harry was a Cotton Weaver in 1901, living in the family home at 41 Westmorland Street, Skipton. He married fellow native of Skipton, Emily Darnwood (1886-1946), in the summer of 1910, and by 1911, they were living at 17 Keighley Road, Skipton, with his occupation again given as Cotton Weaver. No children appear to have been forthcoming.

He joined the Royal Engineers as 2/Cpl, 157494, later in the Waterways and Railways, as Corporal, RE, army number WR/255166. He was awarded the Victory and British medals, indicating he did not enter an overseas posting until 1916 or later.

In Maggie McKenzie's autograph book he identified himself as serving as a private with the 5th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment. The 5th Battalion saw action in Wulverghem near Ypres in April 1915, Hooge and Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915, and the following month were ordered to Egypt, but returned to France in late January 1916. They next saw action on 1 July 1916 at Gommecourt, and the following year took part in Operations at Ancre, Gommecourt, Rettemoy Graben, Germany's retreat to the Hindeburg Line, Lievin and Hill 70. In 1918 the North Staffs were active in the Battles of St Quentin, Beaurevoir, Cambria, Selle and Sambre.

Emily died in 1946, and he married Martha Watts (1893-1983), in 1949 at Staincliffe, Yorkshire, they subsequently retired to Wilmslow Court, 174 Scalby Road, Scarborough.

Harry died on 5 October 1974, and Martha in 1983, both registered in Scarborough.

William Edwin James Dean

In Maggie MCKenzie's autograph book he signed his illustration as W. E. Dean, and he took a considerable effort to find, utilising various search engines, he was eventually found to be the above named man who was a celebrated Royal Crown Derby artist, and painted chinaware, whilst mastering his superior skills marine and seascape watercolours, that appear to have been his passion.

He was born on Thursday, 12 March 1874, in Derby, to James Dean (1846-1924), an Elastic Web Manufacturer, by Sarah Tunaley (1845-1879). He had two younger sisters, Agnes Adele (1875-1949) and Ida Georgina Dean (1877-unknown) before his mother's early death aged thirty-four.

The most likely William E Dean joined the Bedfordshire Regiment as a Private, and was promoted to Corporal while there, regimental number: 12533. He transferred to the Nottingham & Derbyshire (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment as Serjeant 103451, having entered France on 30 July 1915.

Possessing such extraordinary artistic skills, he was likely utilised by the Army in some form of drawing or sketching capacity.

If he was this man, then he was awarded the Military Medal whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Sherwood Foresters; he would also have received the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

A Google search turns up numerous hits, however he is often mis-recorded as ‘William Edward;' his birth was registered as William Edwin, the 1911 census clearly states the same, as does an entry in the National Probate Register. He was likely given his middle-names after Edwin, one of his paternal uncles, and James after his father. Some of his marine scenes are recorded dated in the late 1890's, so he continued with Royal Crown Derby, probably until after 1939.

William married Catherine Homer (1879-1940) in Christ Church, Derby on 4 January 1919, however they had no issue.

On 9 September 1939 they were recorded in the England & Wales Register at 20 Sherwood Street, Derby, William's occupation given as a China Painter.

Catherine predeceased him, and William continued living at Sherwood Street, until he was admitted to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, London Road, where he died on 6 January 1947, in his home town.

His sister Agnes had Doris Isabella (1901-1970), and William Frederick (1904-1996), who both married and had issue. His youngest sister, Ida, did not marry, and possibly emigrated.

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This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.

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