Biddulph & District Genealogy & Historical Society Biddulph Grange

Biddulph and the Great War

'There Shall Be In That Rich Earth A Richer Dust Concealed'

'We Will Remember Them'

VAD Nurse Sarah Ann Wiggin

VAD Nurse in the RMC died November 2nd 1918 Age 30


Sarah Ann Wiggin was born in December 1887 at ‘Brindley Ford, Wedgwood’, one of about eight children born to Joseph Wiggin and his wife Lucy Emma, née Onions. Her parents had married at St. Anne’s, Brown Edge in 1871 and in 1881 they were living in Tunstall Road, Brindley Ford. Lucy died, aged 41, when Sarah was not quite 15 months old. The family were still together in 1891.

Sarah could not be traced in 1901 but she could have gone into service although she would only have been about 12 years old. The rest of the family seem to have been scattered throughout Brindley Ford. In 1911 Sarah Ann was working as a domestic servant for Nathan and Harriett Storey at 54, West Bond Street, Macclesfield. Apparently he was the Town Missionary and his wife was the Deaconess. It is possible that they were members of the Salvation Army and that Sarah also became a member. ‘Sister’ on the War Memorial could refer to a nursing sister or a member of the Salvation Army.

At some time during the course of the War Sarah became a VAD nurse. British Legion records indicate she served with the RMC (Royal Medical Corps). It is not known if she served abroad. She died on November 2nd 1918 at the Military Auxiliary Hospital, Moor Park, Preston, Lancs. In her will she left the money she had saved to her married sister Hannah, who had married Thomas William Goodwin in 1896. In 1911 Thomas was listed as being a farmer and butcher and they lived at 37, High Street, Brindley Ford next to the Methodist Chapel and School Rooms.

It is not known where Sarah Ann is buried, probably Preston, but she is remembered on the Brindley Ford War Memorial. Apparently her father Joseph was a poppy seller after the war until his death in December 1921.

Elaine Bryan.

Additional information on Sarah Ann Wiggin was given to the Society in April 2017 by Rosie Rowley who is the Macclesfield Projects Administrator for the Family History Society of Cheshire presently working on the Macclesfield Reflects WW1 Project

In 1901, 13 year old Sarah was a servant in the household of Jabez Hancock, a baker who lived at 17 King Street, Tunstall. The 1911 census shows that Nathan and Harriet Storey were members of the Manchester City Mission, a branch of which was located in Mill Street, Macclesfield. A war memorial for the Macclesfield Mill Street Mission included Sarah’s name, but unfortunately this memorial is now lost. We have obtained the details from a newspaper report of the unveiling in 1919.

Sarah is named on the family gravestone in the churchyard at St James’ Church, Newchapel, Staffordshire, not far from the family home in Brindley Ford. I don’t know whether she was actually buried there. A photo of the gravestone can be seen online here.

An article about Sarah was published in the Macclesfield Indepedent Newspaper when a memorial plaque from the Mill Street Methodist Church was found in Macclesfield Silk Museum. The article can be read here and the plaque can also be viewed in the memorial section.

Sarah has an entry on “Lives of the First World War” at here.

Her photograph, and a covering letter from her sister, can be found on the “Imperial War Museum website” here.

The World War One work of the “Macclesfield Reflects WW1 Project” can be found here.

A list of all the medals awarded to the men of the Biddulph area has been compiled and can be viewed here.


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