Bracegirdle, Ellen S

Ellen Shortridge Bracegirdle, St John Ambulance Brigade Volunteer
Macclesfield Auxiliary Military Hospital, July 1916 to March 1919



Ellen Shortridge Bracegirdle was born on 5th December and baptised on 27th December 1885 at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield, the daughter of Ellen and William Bracegirdle, a joiner of Eastgate, Macclesfield. In 1891, five year old Ellen was living at 198 Buxton Road, Macclesfield with her parents and siblings John (17), William (15), Eliza (12), Thomas R and Philip (both aged 10), Annie (4) and Mary (1). Ten years later, the family had moved to 71 Waterloo Street, Macclesfield and included another child, two year old Fred. Ellen had left school by this time and was employed as a dressmaker.

By 1911, the family had moved again, this time to 19 Boden Street, Macclesfield. Ellen, then aged 25 and employed as a draper’s assistant, lived there with her parents and younger siblings Annie (24), Ada (19), Fred (12) and Leonard (8).

Ellen’s father died in 1915 and the family later moved to 29 James Street, Macclesfield, where they were still living at the start of the second world war in 1939. By then, Ellen had progressed to the position of drapery manageress.



Ellen Bracegirdle and her sister Ada both volunteered as VADs for the St John Ambulance Brigade. Ellen volunteered part-time as a nursing sister at Macclesfield Auxiliary Military Hospital for a total of 392 hours from the day the hospital opened, 27th July 1916, until the hospital closed on 10th March 1919.



Ellen never married, continuing to live with her family and work in the drapery business. She died in 1961 and was buried in a family grave in Macclesfield Cemetery (Grave Ref Z. 18584); the headstone has the following inscription:

In loving memory of William (1850-1915) and Ellen (1862-1947) Bracegirdle
also their son and daughters Ellen Shortridge (1885-1961) Leonard (1902-1962) Ada (1891-1965)


GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Deaths
FindMyPast: Diocese of Chester Parish Baptisms (St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield)
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
FindMyPast: The 1939 Register 
WW1 British Red Cross Volunteers Records
Family History Society of Cheshire: Macclesfield Area Monumental Inscriptions CD.


Bracegirdle, Ellen S — 2 Comments

  1. Thank-you for drawing attention to the voluntary service performed by my great great aunts Ada and Ellen S Bracegirdle during World War 1. May I point out, however, that (if my research is correct) the same recognition is also due to their sister Annie (born 11 Jan 1887). According to the VAD cards held by the British Red Cross, Annie (like her sisters) volunteered for the St John Ambulance Brigade, & worked part-time as a nursing sister at Macclesfield Auxiliary Military Hospital for a total of 584 hours from the day the hospital opened until the hospital closed on 10th March 1919.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. You are quite correct in saying that Annie also served; unfortunately I had to stop researching the Red Cross volunteers when the Red Cross VAD cards website was removed for about a year for redevelopment and I have not had time to restart the work since it was reinstated in September.