Jimmy Rimmer  – employee of Moss Side Military Hospital

Jimmy Rimmer – employee of Moss Side Military Hospital


I took on the search for information about Jimmy Rimmer. I had no idea at the start, that Rimmer was such a common and long-standing surname in this area – the fact there is a Rimmer’s Bridge locally should have given me a clue! The search for information about Jimmy Rimmer, former employee of Moss Side hospital, Maghull, led me along many false trails before I was able to add a little more to the known information.

Jimmy Rimmer was married in 1921 aged 23. He was living in Green Lane, Maghull and according to his marriage certificate was employed as a hospital attendant. His birth certificate named his parents as Charles and Eliza Rimmer of Holly House Cottage, Aughton and his date of birth 29th December 1897.

Some years ago, when local historian Dr John Rowlands was researching Moss Side hospital, Rimmer’s daughter Ruth, wrote some details about her father’s life for him. Another letter, written by Captain Charles Squire of 9th Rifles Brigade, sent Rimmer greetings for Christmas 1917.

Unfortunately, despite using this and additional information from Dr Rowlands, it has not proved possible to trace James Rimmer’s official military record, but his daughter suggested Jimmy volunteered for the army underage and was in the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade.

In 1916, the 8th Battalion were in France seeing action in the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. Rimmer’s daughter wrote that her father had lost an arm on The Somme. Private James Rimmer, Rifles Brigade, was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

After discharge from the army, Ruth Rimmer wrote that in 1917, her father took up a post at Moss Side Hospital, Maghull. Searching the minute books of Moss Side, I did not find a record of Rimmer’s employment there. There were references to two Rimmers, both employed as charwomen, to whom he may have been be related. According to Ruth Rimmer, her father had worked at the hospital lodge. Historian, Dr Rowlands had heard that Rimmer was strict in his role working at Moss Side, checking who came into and left the hospital.

Jimmy Rimmer’s wife, Ailne Shaw was born in 1898, in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. Her unusual name, also written as Aline and Ailine in places, helped me trace the couple’s seven children, born between 1921 and 1934.

It was Jimmy’s fifth child, Lilian Ruth, known as Ruth, born in 1929, who wrote the background information about her father.  According to her notes, in 1932, Rimmer had been transferred from Moss Side to Mosley Hill Hospital in Liverpool. This adds up with Moss Side closing as a military hospital.In 1939, James and Ailne Rimmer moved to the Red Lion Bridge, Maghull, with Ailne working in the attached shop and describing herself as a grocery shopkeeper. Jimmy was then employed as a special duty orderly, presumably at Mossley Hill Hospital.

Jimmy continued to work at Mossley Hill, Ministry of Pensions Hospital until his sudden death in March 1943, aged 45. By that time he was employed there as a telephonist.

His death was registered by his sister, who was still living in Green Lane, Maghull.

Written by Clare Wright


Edited by Amy Walling, Manchester Metropolitan University









Posted on 22 June 2018 under Moss Side Military Hospital

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