Although the VAD was formed in 1909, when war broke out five years later it expanded hugely. Of 74,000 VAD members in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls. One was Nurse Evelyn Gaimes who was based in Kent.
A photo album that provided an extensive record of her work and the operation of Quarry Hill House Hospital, Tonbridge, was the main draw of a “very substantial record with some 200 postcards, photographs and items of ephemera” offered at Kent auction house C&T (22% buyer’s premium) on January 19. Estimated at £300-500, it sold online for £1200.
The album featured “excellent and well captioned postcards and photographs showing British as well as French, Belgian and Canadian patients. Among them Kent Cyclists, Indian troops etc.”
Other items included details and photographs relating to Gaimes’ brother Jack (Lt Comdr John Gaimes RN) who was awarded a DSO for services in submarines (entering and mining the harbour of Heligoland).