Nurse Margaret Birkett
Nurse Birkett was a member of Kent 60 VAD (Chislehurst) who nursed at Abbey Lodge.
Nurse Margaret Jansen Birkett died doing her job on December 16th 1914.
She started out on night duty at Brooklyn, her knowledge of French was helpful and she was apparently a great favourite with the soldiers. She then moved on to day duty at Abbey Lodge and having worked a full shift on Monday 14th she was taken ill the next day and died on Wednesday 16th, aged only 25.
The funeral took place at St Nicholas Church on 18th December 1914, all of Chislehurst was said to be in mourning.
Nurses, stretcher bearers and all who could walk attended the service; the path through the lichgate was lined with nurses.
Two Belgian soldiers in uniform stepped towards the grave and saluting, lowered two wreaths which were tied with the Belgian colours. The dedication read
‘Hommage affecteux a notre nurse. Les soldats Belges, Brooklyn.’
Story courtesy of Yvonne Auld, author of For King and Country.