Regiment: V.A.D Hospital Budleigh Salterton
St Peter's Church War Memorial, Budleigh Salterton War Memorial, St Peter's Burial Ground
Born in Bengal, India, to Ashton Milnes Brandreth and Catharine (Medlicott) Harriet was living with them in Worthing, Sussex in 1871.
The next record of her in England is at Serai, Budleigh Salterton in 1911 with her husband Maurice Charles Barton. They were married in Bengal in 1887.
Harriet Barton was appointed Commandant of the 38th Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD) at Green Bushes, Budleigh Salterton in December 1914 and continued in office until she died in March 1919. King George V conferred the honour of M.B.E. to Harriet and she received the decoration from His Majesty in London in the spring of 1918.
A wide variety of Budleigh Salterton residents worked at Green Bushes, all assisting in their own way. The Exmouth Journal of 8 March 1919 reported:
"Death of Mrs Barton - Budleigh Salterton. Deep and widespread sorrow was felt at Budleigh Salterton when it became known that Mrs Barton wife of Colonel Barton had passed away after a very short illness. Colonel and Mrs Barton gave up their house for use as a V.A.D. hospital in December 1914, and it has only been closed a few weeks. Mrs Barton was Commandant the whole of the time and was much beloved by the 'boys' and the staff as she was so kind and thoughtful for others and had a smile and a cheery word for all. The King conferred on deceased the honour of M.B.E. and she received the decoration from His Majesty in London in the spring of 1918. Mrs Barton formed the Detachment of the V.A.D. in Budleigh Salterton many years ago bringing people together and working very hard in securing proficiency. It was affiliated to the R.H.C.S. in 1911 and ever since Mrs Barton's interest has never flagged and culminated in her giving her whole time to the V.A.D. since the outbreak of war. The heartfelt sympathy of the townspeople is with Colonel Barton in his sudden and irreparable loss."
Harriet Barton is remembered on the Budleigh Salterton War Memorial and the brass plaque in St Peter’s Church, as well as in St Peter’s Cemetery.
See here for more on the work of the VAD in the war.
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