Molly Evans’ Telegram and VAD Resignation

This telegram is sent on 6 Sep 1916 to Molly Evans at Le Havre No 2 General Hospital, advising of her brother Wilmot’s death, her mother Florence Evans’ illness and the need to return home immediately.

The name “Downing” indicates that it was actually sent by a member of the Downing family, next door neighbours. This was almost certainly Mary Downing whose correspondence from Wilmot is preserved on this site.

Telegram to Molly Evans, 6 Sep 1916

Telegram to Molly Evans, 6 Sep 1916

This created something of a crisis as a serving member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment, as it becomes clear that the matron at first refused her permission. This triggered her resignation, her serving a notice period and returning to Hagley in late November 1916.

Resignation Notes of Molly Evans

Resignation notes of Molly Evans

This snippet of paper apparently shows the draft of her resignation letter (or possibly speech) and Molly’s dilemma and conflict of duty as a nurse and duty to her family.

Her future husband Noel Downing offers her full support in a letter dated 11 Nov 1916. Molly apparently did not want Mary to know that she had had to resign and later resumed her nursing in France with the Friends’ Ambulance Unit in Dunkirk in late 1917.

These two items are not part of Molly’s nursing scrapbook.

The letter below is and shows the official response from London to Molly’s dilemma

Official reply to Molly's resignation letter, No 2 General Hospital, Le Havre, 11 Nov 1916

Official reply to Molly’s resignation letter, No 2 General Hospital, Le Havre, 11 Nov 1916