Medals from the Rob Campbell Collection relating to Clevedon, Somerset

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Date of Auction: 5th December 2018

Sold for £300

Estimate: £300 - £400

A Great War A.R.R.C., Medal of the Order of the British Empire pair attributed to civilian nurse, Sister Gladys Westrope, for her courage in rescuing a helpless patient during the fire at Oaklands Auxiliary Hospital, Clevedon, 24/25 March 1917

Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class (A.R.R.C.), G.V.R., silver and enamel, unnamed as issued, on lady’s bow riband; Medal of the Order of the British Empire, (Civil), unnamed as issued, on lady’s bow riband, both mounted for display, with respective cases of issue, nearly extremely fine (2) £300-£400


A.R.R.C. London Gazette 24 October 1917, Miss Gladys Westrop [sic], Sister, Oaklands Aux. Hpl., Bristol.

Medal of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) London Gazette 15 January 1919, Westrope, Gladys, Nurse:

‘For courage and presence of mind on the occasion of a fire at Oaklands Hospital, Clevedon.’

Gladys Westrope was initially employed during the Great War as a Civilian Nurse at St. Augustine’s Hospital, Rickmansworth. She was posted as a Sister to Higham’s Military Hospital, Woodford Green, in February 1916, before being posted to Oaklands Auxiliary Hospital in March the following year.

The British Journal of Nursing gives the following additional details with regard to the actions for which Gladys Westrope was awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire:

‘As reported in the Daily Press, a fire occurred at Clevedon Red Cross Hospital, Somerset, on March 24th [1917]. The Matron in her report to Headquarters says, “Sister Gladys Westrope was on night duty, and it gives me great pleasure to inform you of the courage and coolness she displayed. Nothing could exceed the promptitude and ability she exhibited in a most difficult situation. Alone she carried a helpless patient to safety, and did everything possible to help.” It is understood that the Matron, Miss Waddell, and her whole staff acted in a most exemplary and heroic manner on this occasion.’

After the war Gladys Westrope resided at 3 St. Andrew’s Road, Shoeburyness. She was presented with the Medal of the Order of the British Empire by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex at Ilford Town Hall in May 1919; having been invested by the King with the A.R.R.C. at Bristol in November 1917. Gladys Westrope died in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, in February 1976.

Sold with copied research, and group photograph of the staff and patients of Oaklands Auxiliary Hospital.