James Paul Moody

Oct 14, 2003
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I understand being restless very well! James wouldn't have felt the need to be restless, travelling around like he did. Still, maybe he wanted to get off of the ships sometimes and wander a bit. Margaret was lucky, didn't have to work and could travel pretty much wherever she wanted - now that's the life!

John must have been pretty affected by the war if he went as young as he did. I kinda forget that there were other wars as there is so much focus on WW1 and WW2. It wouldn't have been conscription would it? Otherwise his father would have had to go too...sorry, I'm not very up to scratch with the Boer War.

I'm all in for the quiz night! Yea! I had a Titanic quiz with my best friend's sister once. It went for ages as we kept asking questions until the other person couldn't answer. Those were the days! (Or am I too young to be saying that!?!?
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Inger Sheil

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Poor Margaret did have to work as a financial necessity - it was the one thing her brother said he regretted (he also said he had no regrets that he and his brothers had to work). She was in the nursing profession originally, however, so was somewhat in demand!

Both John and Christopher joined a Grimsby unit in WWI...I've often wondered if, had James lived, he would have joined up with his brothers or gone into the RNR (by that time there's it's a fair bet he would have held an RNR commission). John went willingly to the war...it's interesting, but I came across a photo of my great-grandfather in his Boer War uniform the other day. I rescued it from a decaying from, put it in a new one and placed it with the family portraits. He also went on to fight in WWI.

I've seen the odd Titanic quiz game, but other than the one played on this board have never really played it (we had a few games at the last BTS Convention that had little to do with Big Ships!). With the right elements and questions, it has the potential to be good fun!
 
Oct 14, 2003
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But wouldn't she have been able to quit when she got married? I thought that if you were in the middle or upper classes the women were safe from working (not that it's a danger!). Mind you, not everyone gets married nowadays do they? Hmm...a thing to ponder...

Lucky you on finding the picture of your great grandfather! Just think, you could have lost it forever (my mum and i are big on genealogy).

Did John and Christopher Moody survive the War/s? Maybe John went to the Boer war willingly as a reaction to his mother's death...wait a minute! That's me embellishing again! Maybe he just liked the army. You know, toy soldiers and all that.
 

Inger Sheil

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You're right that conditions did change for women when they were married, Christa...particularly if they had children, of course!

Both brothers survived the war (and probably for interesting reasons I'll discuss with you one day). I don't really know why John went to the Boer war, but so many young men in the Commonwealth did march off with enthusiasm...until the shocks started setting in with unexpected defeats and a drawn out conflict. I remember L.E.G. Oates' early letters - he was concerned that the 'show' would be over before he could get there. He got there alright - and nearly lost his life and suffered a permanant injury as a result.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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*Both brothers survived the war (and probably for interesting reasons I'll discuss with you one day).*

Now that sounds like an interesting story!

Aha! A mixing of two interests for you! Titanic and L.E.G. Oates.

How interesting it would have been to live through the early 20th century. Things must have seemed pretty much alright before the Boer War, Titanic disaster, and then being hit with WW1 (which was the beginning of wars with things like barb wire - Ouch!). They must have felt like they were entering a whole new ball game there.

A lot of heart ache though. And we always complain about what happens to us...
 

Inger Sheil

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Thank you for putting the link up, Kritina.

Hallo Hanna -

I do have some photos of James Moody's family, but am hesitant to publish them online as they tend to get 'nabbed' and distributed without permission. As these are from the private collection of Moody's family, I would hate to see this happen. If we happen to meet up, say at a BTS convention, I would be more than happy to share some of these images with you.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Hey,

Just thought I'd bring this to the surface again. I was reading through it and questions were popping up that I hadn't thought to ask originally. Mainly, it was stated that John and Christopher Moody joined the Grimsby unit in WW1 but it was also mentioned that Margaret Moody was a nurse. Would she have gone to war too? I was wondering if women nurses were based mainly on the homefront or on ships like Violet Jessop. Or did they actually go to the war zones? (This question popped up after A LOT of watching MASH!)

Christa.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I was wondering if women nurses were based mainly on the homefront or on ships like Violet Jessop. Or did they actually go to the war zones?<<

They did all three, even in the Great War, albit seldom on the front lines, you could find nurses in hospitals in the rear areas.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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During the Great War in Britain two kinds of nurses were employed. There were the fully trained professional army nurses, and a quickly-recruited army of VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurses, most of whom had only a rudimentary training but learned much more 'on the job'. The well-known photo of Violet Jessop shows her in a VAD uniform. Initially the VAD nurses served only in hospitals on the home front, but within a year they were working in all areas and often under the most harrowing of conditions very close to the front lines. You can read about some of their experiences (in their own words) here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWnurses.htm
 

Inger Sheil

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Hallo Christa -

Working from memory here - and mine is certainly not infallible - but I do recall that Margaret served during WWI as a nurse with injured soldiers. I seem to remember that this was overseas, but won't stake my life on it (she certainly worked overseas at other points in her career).
 
Oct 14, 2003
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Hey Michael, Bob, and Inger.

Thanks for replying so soon and I'm sorry I took my time in getting back to you. My sister is on crutches at the moment and I am pulling double duty and time is a valuable commodity!

That website was great Bob, although it was mentioned more than once that VAD nurses didn't do it for the money. Does that mean that they didn't get paid or that it was very little? Wouldn't this restrict this occupation to those who had enough money to support themselves?

Inger, you said that Margaret served overseas, do you have any idea if VAD nurses and normal nurses worked together?

Christa.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Christa, the VAD nurses working in military hospitals were paid, according to length of service, up to a maximum of £30 per year (for comparison, a White Star stewardess earned around £40 per year plus tips). But many of the volunteers did come from middle and upper class backgrounds so they didn't need to work for money and were encouraged to donate their pay to the Red Cross. They could also claim a uniform allowance and were provided with (First Class) rail warrants for travelling between hospitals.

The young volunteer who recalled that she had never before done any cleaning work or made a cup of tea ("All that had been left to the servants") was typical of many, but not universal. My great grandmother, who was the wife of a cab driver, became a VAD nurse at the age of 44. She was motivated by patriotism and by the fact that her husband and several of her sons were serving 'at the front', but her own circumstances were such that she could not have done the work unpaid.

My great grandmother was a trained nurse who had formerly left the army medical corps to concentrate on raising nine children, but in most cases the VAD volunteers had minimal training and little or no experience and were technically not nurses but 'nursing members'. According to regulations:

They will be required to work under fully trained Nurses, and will be under the direct control of the Officer in charge and the Matron of the Hospital in which employed. Their duties will be similar to those carried out by probationers in Civil Hospitals. These include sweeping, dusting, polishing of brasses, cleaning of ward tables and patients' lockers, cleaning of ward sinks and ward utensils, washing of patients' crockery and sorting of linen. These, and any nursing duties which they are considered qualified to perform, will be allotted to them by the Matron of the Hospital.

In practice, those VAD members who served near the front lines, where the medical services were overwhelmed by casualties, were very soon "considered qualified to perform" just about any duties that necessity demanded of them.
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Dec 2, 2000
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>>In practice, those VAD members who served near the front lines, where the medical services were overwhelmed by casualties, were very soon "considered qualified to perform" just about any duties that necessity demanded of them.<<

I'll just bet they were. After all, if somebody is bleeding several buckets a minute, you can either pretend you don't see it or you can learn to do something about it so the poor sod under your care doesn't get sent home in a box.

That £30 had to be more symbolic then anything else. You can't pay somebody enough to deal with the horrors of a battlefield then or now, but then to these people, this was a calling, not a job.
 

Bob Godfrey

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The pay was symbolic, perhaps, for those who didn't need to earn a living, but nevertheless it was the going rate for the job, and a necessity for women like Violet Jessop and Annie Beard (my great grandmother). In Britain we've always exploited our hospital staff by under-paying them, but £30 per annum doesn't seem quite so bad when you consider that young women in domestic service, who were doing essentially the same type of work as had been intended for the VAD volunteers, earned much less - about half that amount on average.
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By restricting the occupation, I suppose, hearing about your great grandmother, Bob, that also meant those without young children or those who had other family to look after the kids.

I was trying to work out payment on a monthly basis, as 30 pounds a year doesn't seem like an awful lot to me (although I guess it would compared to domestic servants). As far down the line I could get was 5 pounds every 2 months, then you get into shillings and stuff, don't you? Are there 12 or 20 shillings in a pound?

But you also said they were paid according to length of service, meaning there were increments?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I was trying to work out payment on a monthly basis, as 30 pounds a year doesn't seem like an awful lot to me<<

To our eyes it wouldn't but then inflation has a not so funny way of turning one's cash to trash. Back in 1912, a pound sterling had a lot more purchasing power then it does now. While people who earned £30 a year were scarcely living high off the hog, they weren't exactly starving either, and in a lot of families, a single person wasn't always the sole source of income. Even the kids started working at a fairly early age.

You may find the article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pound_sterling to be useful in explaining the history of this currency.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Christa, there were 20 shillings to the pound (and 12 pennies to the shilling). VAD members signed up initially for a probationary period of one month, during which they were paid at the rate of just £20 per annum (approx £1 13s for the month). If, after that first month, they were judged to be capable they could sign up for a further 6 months (renewable), or for 'the duration' (of the war). From that point they were paid at the rate of £22 10s per annum, with an increment (equivalent to an extra £2 10s per annum) every 6 months till they reached the maximum of £30 per annum. That was £2 10s per month. Whatever their rate of pay, each member received a uniform allowance of £2 10s every 6 months.

In terms of the modern spending power of the pound, imagine yourself having to live on around £150 per month. Not so bad if you bear in mind that (like domestic servants and ship's crew) the VAD members were provided with 'bed & board' at their employer's expense.

VAD nurses could have no family commitments as they were required to 'live in' at the hospital where they were employed, and were allowed only 7 days leave during their first six months' service, and 14 days per six months thereafter. In practice this could be taken only when convenient to the medical authorities, which at times might mean not at all.
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