Hannah Gertrude Sloane

Hannah was born on 13 August 1876, in Chester. Her parents were William and Marion. William was a white lead manufacturer. She was the eldest of six daughters – Eliza Constance b1879, Marion Jessie (Gipsy) b1880, Noel b 1882, Marguerita b1884 and Winifred b1895.

In 1881, the family lived in Guilden Sutton, near Chester, but had moved to Moore by the time of the 1891 census. They lived in ‘The Grove’, on Runcorn Road, moving to ‘the Beeches’ by the time of the 1911 census. William had his own white lead manufacturing company in Warrington.

Although she was 36 at the outbreak of war, Hannah appears to have had no employment up to that time. This was also true of her sisters. The Absent Voters’ register of 1919 records that she was a nurse at the Military Hospital in Italy. This counted as war service and she was awarded the usual medals.

Nurses at the Oaklands Hospital – is Hannah here?

In November 1914, Hannah joined the Cheshire 150 Voluntary Aid Detachment, working first at The Oaklands Hospital, Newton-by-Daresbury and then at Whitecross Military Hospital in Warrington. VAD’s carried out a range of voluntary positions including working in auxiliary hospitals. Hannah will have received training for the work that she did and may have taken exams in first aid. More information about the work of the VAD’s is available on the British Red Cross website.

Hospital 222 Menton

Hannah also went overseas, working at Hospital 222 in Menton, France, as well as hospitals in Rome and Verona. She was awarded the ‘”Il Nastrine di Campania”, but no further details of the award can be found.

After the war, Hannah returned home and became a director in her father’s company. The family continued to live at The Beeches until at least 1922, but by the time of the 1929 electoral register, Hannah and her mother were living in The Old Vicarage, Daresbury. Sometime in the 1930’s, Hannah moved to ‘Box Hedge’, Acton Bridge.

Hannah travelled the world, undertaking several long voyages –

22 December 1924, Liverpool to Cape Town aboard ‘Ulysees’.
18 December 1937, London to Sydney aboard ‘Oronsay’
25 January 1950, Birkenhead to Cape Town
7 December 1950, Southampton to Cape Town aboard ’Edinburgh Castle’
31 December 1951, Southampton to Madeira aboard ’Venus’
17 December 1952, Southampton to Madeira aboard ‘Venus’

SS Oronsay – sailed on the London – Australia route and saw service in WW2, evacuating troops and civilians

We can only guess at the reasons for her voyages and it may well have been that she wanted to escape to a warmer climate, whilst also having time for some ‘R&R’. She continued to be a company director throughout this time. She was 76 years old when she undertook her last recorded voyage.

Hannah died in 1968, aged 91 years.