The Red Cross have now scanned all their enlistment cards for World War I. Unlike the published military records, this allows us to see better the role of women in the war. Four women from Hartley served in the Red Cross, generally they were more middle class. I imagine poorer women wouldn't be able to spare the time, especially if they had children or work on the farm / smallholding.
Two neighbours from Castle Hill worked at the Higham Hermitage VAD hospital. They were Augusta Welch of Dalesford and Fanny Beck from Culvy Down. Together they put in 783 hours of voluntary work as Linen Room Orderlies.
Different work was undertaken by Beatrice Bourdillon of June Hill (now Aldingham), Manor Drive. She took a paid job in the Red Cross Prisoners of War Department.
Gladys Greenwood, aged 23, of Copthorne, Ash Road, joined as a full time VAD nurse in October 1915. For 2½ years she worked at the 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester, a massive hospital spread over many sites with 16,000 beds. It was there she was awarded a scarlet efficiency stripe in 1917. In 1918 she moved to a hospital in Chatham and later the military hospital in Colchester.
The Red Cross have published a leaflet on nursing in the First World War.