Anne Neish was the daughter of William and Jane Neishe, of “Elem”, Pilford Heath, Wimbourne, Dorset. She volunteered as a Red Cross V.A.D nurse: V stands for Voluntary, as they were not paid, A for aid/help, and D for Detachment, as they were dispatched anywhere they were needed to help. Even before WW1 people were worried that there would not be enough doctors and nurses, so VADs were formed. The VAD motto was “‘In the service of humankind wherever it is, whoever it is”.
Annie was posted at Reading War Hospital No 1, Battle Hospital, which coordinated medical activity and with the RBH (Royal Berks Hospital) did the surgical operations. There were 6 War hospitals in Reading.
Annie died of sepsis on 18th October 1918 after nursing a soldier who had septic pneumonia. She was 32. VAD nurses also worked very hard and for long hours, in a compromised state of health they frequently succumbed to illness. There was also a serious influenza epidemic at the time.
More information about Annie and her family can be found at the War Graves in Reading Old Cemetery website. The site also states that Annie’s grave is a registered war grave with a private memorial. She is buried with her mother but the headstone bears a commemoration to her brother and father.
Buried in Section 58, Row C, Plot 7