Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


SmallBridge Retirement Home
Circa 1940 -1945

Whils`t looking through some very old documents, I came across a copy of the 1945 Electors Roll.
This revealed a list of 25 of ladies names, who were resident at the Hall at that time
This raised the question, what were they doing there ?

The local Womens Institute for their New Years Party in 1942, record they invited billeted soldiers, evacuees and the nursing staff from Smallbridge Hall

An advertismnent in the Bury Free Press dated November 1940, revealed that Smallbridge was being used as a Retirement Home, as they were advertising for Staff.

So far research has been unable to accuratly determine, the date it opened and subsequently closed.
However, we do know that Smallbridge was under new management by 1947.

Francis Susan Ayton (1) Vera Chatar (3) Isabella Bowman (5) Marion Chapell
Alice Bowers(2) Elsie Cole Mary Daly Emily Durrant
Gertrude Faithfull (4) Ellen Freeman Adie Howell Evelyn Kent
Ethel Currie Legge Caroline Oats Amelia Parfitt Marion Agnes Robinson
Kate Saven (6) Emma Sinclair Miriam Smith Spriggs Emma Taylor
Amy Tymms Margaret Wimhurst Mary Yorke  

From a Search of the Internet, it was possible to locate information on six of these ladies.

(1) Francis Dorcas Ayton b1861- d 1948

Sister at the Workhouse Infirmary Birmingham 1901 - 1911
Francis d1948, so she would have been 84 whils`t at Smallbridge
(2)Alice Bowers could be possibly Miss Alice Maud Bowers of The Green, Bures who died at Walnuttree Hospital in Sudbury 8 Jan 1951.

(3)Vera Chater b1881
Sister at Sudbury, Bell Vue Red Cross Hospital,

(4.1.1916-14.7.1917 & 19.1.1918-7.7.1919)

Vera would have been only 65 in 1945, possibly too young to be in care.

I may be conceivable, that she was still carrying out her Nursing duties at that time.


Ref:- Great War British Home Hospitals

(4)Gwinnett (Gertrude) Faithfull "widow of 4 Hilary Road, Acton" ... died at the Hall on 11 Oct 1946.
Nee Green, she married James Smith Faithfull at All Saints, Clapham Park on 16 April 1885.

(5)Isabella Bowman, that name appears as a Nursing Sister in Egypt during WW1 (6)Kate Saven possibly Kate Elizabeth Saven who actually died at the Hall on 19 Nov 1945 Born 1870, buried Stebbing Chapel Cemetery

Research by Alan Beales
Acknowledgement to Heather Johnson for supplying additional information on the residents

Nurses invite:- "Bures, During the Second World War" publication
Updated 21/08/2021