Florence Rose and Lillie Richardson Squirrell - Warneford House Nursing Home

Spennells Directory, 1909.
Available to consult at the Warwickshire County Record Office.

Florence Rose was the Rev. Squirrell’s eldest daughter, being born in Croydon in 1865. She was married to James Ward in 1893, when if the ages given on the census returns are correct, she was 28 and he was 61! She was highly respected in the nursing profession, opening a nursing home in Warneford House from around 1902. This soon expanded into neighbouring Gower House , before she opened another home in the town at 37, Clarendon Square.

She also opened nurse’s hostels in Church Street, Plymouth Place and Russell Terrace, plus another one in Nuneaton. During the First World War she took charge of a Red Cross Hospital somewhere in the south of England. Always known as a disciplinarian, she was also very fair, so her staff were usually very loyal. It was also the case that many of her patients travelled considerable distances to be looked after in one of her homes. Unfortunately, ill health meant she had to give up her day to day involvement with the homes, but did manage to continue with her popular lectures on home nursing and hygiene.

She passed away at Gower House on 11th March 1945.

Lillie Richardson Squirrell

Lillie Richardson was the third of Rev. Squirrell’s daughters, being born in Southend on 6 th January 1871. Unfortunately, unlike her father and her sister, there is no obituary in the local newspaper, so the information I have on her is rather sketchy in places. However, as you will see, some of what I have found out tells us things we don’t know about other members of the family.

She became a nurse like her sister Florence whom she helped run the Warnford House Nursing Home. She is also listed in the directories of 1907 and 1908 as running a boarding house, with her sister in Church Street.

Although I can find no death notice or obituary, I have found a short report that says her death was recorded as misadventure by the Coroner, following an inquest. It tells us that she died in Warwick hospital on 26th September 1954, following a fall at her home on 17th. She broke her wrist in the fall which is thought to have been as a result of her having inadvertently turned off the light on the stairs due to the confusion of old age. Plus she may still have been feeling shaky following a fall in High Street a few days earlier. She was cremated at Canley crematorium.

I also know something of her appearance due to the fact that she travelled to America in August 1911. The ship was the SS Celtic and her passenger list tells us that Lillie was 5’1½” tall; she had a fair completion with dark hair and blue eyes. So unlike the other members of the Squirrell family, we have a fairly good idea of what Lillie looked like. Plus we also know from the inquest report that she was a very determined lady.

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