Postland nurse’s death, as surely in action as any soldier at the Front

Nurse Alice Woodham.
Nurse Alice Woodham.
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One of the most moving stories unearthed by local historian Cheryl Arnold was that of 19-year-old Madge Grundy.

Madge, who lived with her family at Postland, left her post at Spalding Red Cross Depot and volunteered as a VAD nurse at Brighton.

She was one of the large number of staff at the hospital to become ill with influenza. In her case, pneumonia developed and she died swiftly.

She was given full military honours at her funeral in Whaplode Drove at the request of the authorities.

A report of her death in these newspapers said: “It is doubtful whether any tragedy of the war has so profoundly moved the people of Spalding or drawn so spontaneous an outburst of sympathy as the death, as surely in action as any soldier at the Front, of Miss Madge Grundy.

“It was a tragedy which reached a climax of poignancy in the churchyard at Whaplode Drove yesterday afternoon, when her comrades in arms in the war fired a parting salute over her grave, and the soldier’s requiem, The Last Post, was sounded.”

Madge was one of many nurses to volunteer to do their bit for the war.