Thursday, 26 July 2018

Woman Ambulance Driver Receives Military Medal

Miss Hilda May Dickinson and Great Dane [Luton News, 1st August 1918]

Friday 26th July 1918: News has reached Leighton Buzzard that Miss Hilda May Dickinson, whose widowed mother Adeline lives at Heath Cottage in Heath Road, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery. Miss Dickinson went out to Belgium as a nurse at the beginning of the war, where she helped the wounded during the fighting at Antwerp and was decorated by the Belgians for her work there. She then spent six months nursing in a French hospital. After returning to England she worked at Woolwich for eleven months before joining the Military Transport in London. She was sent back to France on Christmas Eve last year and is now serving as an ambulance worker in the First Army Nursing Yeomanry. General Plummer’s notification states that the Military Medal was awarded:

“For conspicuous devotion to duty during the hostile air-raid, on the night of May 18th, 1918. This lady was out with her car during the raid, picking up and in every way assisting the wounded and injured, showing great bravery and coolness, and was an example to all ranks.”

Before the war Miss Dickinson was an enthusiastic breeder of Great Danes, and was a familiar sight in the town with her animals. One champion dog has accompanied her throughout her travels; she says it is a great protection to her when the enemy gets at close quarters. We reported in January 1916 on the adventures of Miss Dickinson’s sister Edith, who escaped from Serbia in a hazardous trek across the mountains following the fall of Belgrade, where she had been serving as a hospital chauffeur orderly.

Source: Luton News, 1st August 1918

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