Sunday, 10 July 2016

Dame Lucy Innes Branfoot (1863 - 1916) – British WW1 volunteer ‘Lady Helper’

Lucy Innes Carter was born in Madras in India on 19th November 1863.   Her parents were Henry Robert Pasley Carter, who was a Chief Engineer of the Madras Railway, and his wife Bessie, nee Hartrick.  Lucy had a sister called Ethel Margaret and a sister called Isabel.  Isabel apparently served as an Army nurse in Africa and Greece during WW1.

In 1886, Lucy married India’s Surgeon General, Colonel Sir Arthur Mudge Branfoot (1849 – 1914) in India and the couple had two children – Ruth and Dennis.  Lucy was Sir Arthur’s second wife, his first wife – Alice, nee Stewart, having died in childbirth.

They returned to Britain to live.  After the death of Sir Arthur in Folkestone in 1914, Lucy volunteered to go to France and help out at Lady Mabelle Egerton's Coffee Stall at Rouen St Sever railway station in France, near where there were many field hospitals.  It seems likely that the Branfoots and the Egertons knew each other.  Lucy died there of bronchitis on the 16th March 1916 aged only 52 years and is buried amongst many soldiers in St Sever Cemetery, France.

Information kindly supplied by Colin Branfoot Reeves.