VAD nurse Louisa Larkins

Discover more about voluntary aid detachement nurse Louisa Larkins

Project volunteer Kay Coleman

Louisa Larkins

Louisa was a nursing member and masseuse at South Hill Wood VAD hospital.

Early life

Louisa was born in 1859 in Bengal, India, her father William Larkins having been a Lieutenant Colonel in the Bengal Army.

The family first appeared in Bromley in the 1891 census, living at Bayfield, 257 Oakland Road, Bromley. By 1901 Louisa is living at 7 Blyth Road with her father, by now a widower, and her nephew. Her father is listed as blind and there is also listed a ‘sick nurse’ and another nurse.

By 1911 Louisa is still living at ‘Gerta’ Blyth Road with her sister Emily. Again several visitors are listed, two of whom are nurses. In the 1913 Kellys directory for Bromley, 7 Blyth Road is described as a Nursing Home run by Louisa Larkins, similarly in 1918.

Medical background

The 1911 census lists her occupation as a Masseuse and Medical Electrician, an early form of physiotherapy. Louisa came from a medical family as her maternal grandfather, Henry Herbert Southey MD (1783-1865) was a very distinguished Harley Street doctor. Henry was appointed as Physician in Ordinary to King George IV in 1823 and in 1823 to Queen Adelaide.

During the First World War

Louisa served from October 1914 to December 1918. She is recorded as working for 10031 hours.

After the war

After the war Louisa moved to Montague Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth and is described in the phone book as ‘Dowsing treatment, electricity’. She died on 21st November 1934 in Bournemouth.


This page was added by Ian Grant on 08/07/2016.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.