We are pleased to have organised a memorial to a local nurse who served throughout the war on the hundredth anniversary of her death during the influenza pandemic. Bridget Aurea Teresa Lambarde (known as Aurea), is buried in a wargrave with a private memorial in the churchyard at St Mary’s Riverhead.
Aurea had served with the Kent Reserve Voluntary Aid Detachment and was commandant at St John’s VAD Hospital from October 1914 until July 1915.
Aurea was born in 1889 in Ireland and was the elder daughter of Major William Gore Lambarde. William Lambarde was the last owner of Bradbourne House and estate in Sevenoaks, whic was sold in 1927. Lambarde Road in Sevenoaks is named after the family.
She died from pneumonia whilst serving at the Royal Naval Hospital, Portland in Dorset. The inscription on her grave reads
‘In loving memory of Bridget Aurea Teresa Lambarde, elder daughter of William Gore and Florence Lambarde of Bradbourne Hall, Riverhead, who died March 5th A.D. 1919 aged 29 years’.
As a commandant at one of the town’s VAD hospitals Aurea oversaw arrangements for the arrival of the first wounded men and Belgian refugees who began to arrive in Kent from October 1914. She would have been well known locally and often wrote to the Sevenoaks Chronicle to appeal for funds and support for the hospital and her efforts.
Aurea died in the influenza epidemic that had begun in late 1918.
The short service to remember Aura will take place on the centenary fo her death at 10.00 on Tuesday 5 March and those attending are asked to arrive for 9.50.
Sevenoaks Mayor, Cllr Roderick Hogarth, will be attending along with Riverhead Parish Councillor, Martin Denton.
Prayers will be offered by Daphne Harrison of St Mary’s church.
We hope that local residents will be able to join us to rememebr Aurea and all women who served with the local Voluntary Aid Detachment and British Red Cross during the Great War.