LOOKING BACK - December 6, 2018 edition

Ada Faulkner is sitting second from the left on the front row
Ada Faulkner is sitting second from the left on the front row

Ada Faulkner 1890 - November 11, 1918

A poignant story for you this week of a nurse from Rugby, Ada Faulkner, who died on Armistice day in 1918 at the age of 28. She was one of the victims of the influenza pandemic which had taken hold at that time and we have mentioned its severity previously in our 100 years ago archive.

Thank you to Lorraine Hardiman - her great niece - for sharing it with us. Readers may remember Lorraine and her late father George Faulkner have been regular Memory Lane contributors in recent years.

Ada Faulkner was born in Rugby in 1890, at 27 Russell Street. She was the fifth of six surviving children of George and Alice Faulkner and one of four daughters.

From the 1911 Census Lorraine knows that Ada was a housemaid for a Mrs Ellen Stone of 5 Sandown Road in Leicester.

Lorraine explained:“We have to assume at the outbreak of WWl she chose, like many girls of her age, to go into nursing, and by November 1918 was nursing at the Birmingham General Hospital.

“She was young and healthy, typical of thousands of influenza victims. It is well known that the virus spread through that age-group very rapidly.”

Ada’s brother, George, who was head master of Knowle School near Solihull, was present at her death and family records show that unlike her parents and siblings who are interred in the Lower Hillmorton Road Cemetery, she was interred at Knowle, where eventually George was buried as well.

George had been a pupil teacher at Elborow School in Rugby, went on to Saltley training college, then to teach in Wolverhampton, before returning to Rugby to teach at Murray School before his role at Knowle.

Lorraine added: “It was ironic that Ada’s brother, Frank, survived trench warfare and returned to Russell Street to raise his family, but poor Ada died on the very day that peace was declared.”

The photograph was taken at Frank’s wedding to his bride Mary on June 2, 1914. They were Lorraine’s grandparents.

Ada is sitting second from the left on the front row.

On the end, next to her is Grandma Faulkner (in black) who, although she looks rather elderly, would only have been 58 at that time.

That little group comprises the siblings and youngest sister Clara is a bridesmaid seated the other side of Ada. Her brother George, who registered her death and is named on the certificate, is standing behind Clara and next to Frank, as he was best man.