Road officially named after Wakefield nurse who died at Passchendaele

Renaming of the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road to Nellie Spindler Drive, she was a WW1 Nurse. Pictured are her family Margaret Truelove, George Spindler and Julia Duffield and Cllr Peter Box.
Renaming of the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road to Nellie Spindler Drive, she was a WW1 Nurse. Pictured are her family Margaret Truelove, George Spindler and Julia Duffield and Cllr Peter Box.

Relatives of a war heroine gathered this week to officially unveil the name of a new road in her honour.

Nellie Spindler, who died at Passchendaele in 1917, has had part of the Wakefield Eastern Relief Road re-christened Nellie Spindler Drive following a public vote.

15 Nov 2017........Wakefield Civic Society unveil a blue plaque to WW1 nurse Nellie Spindler on the site of her former home on Stanley Road in Wakefield. ++COLLECT OF NELLIE++

15 Nov 2017........Wakefield Civic Society unveil a blue plaque to WW1 nurse Nellie Spindler on the site of her former home on Stanley Road in Wakefield. ++COLLECT OF NELLIE++

It was among the favourite choices, alongside Neil Fox Way in honour of Wakefield Trinity legend Neil Fox MBE.

This week Nellie’s relatives gathered at the section of road that links up with Ferry Lane in Stanley for the official unveiling and were joined by Wakefield Council leader, Peter Box.

Her niece, Margaret Truelove, who is 83, said: “I’m proud and I’m thankful for the people who took the time to vote, it’s become a real topic of conversation.

“It’s a great way to remember Nellie’s legacy and at a key time as it’s the 100th anniversary of the Passchendaele.

“It is very moving. I hope it will encourage more people to learn about her incredibly inspiring story.”

Nellie Spindler was born in Wakefield in 1891. Training as a nurse, she worked at St James’ Hospital in Leeds before volunteering to ‘do her bit’ for king and country with the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service.

She found herself working close to enemy lines during the bloody Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

She was mortally injured by shrapnel from a German shell that landed close to the field hospital where she had been working to save wounded men.

She is the only woman to be buried with full military honours, in a cemetery of 10,000 men.

Last year a wreath was laid at the war memorial in Wakefield on August 21 to mark the day she died, while a blue plaque was unveiled on Stanley Road, where she once lived.

Coun Box said: “Nellie Spindler is a true inspiration, she didn’t have to go to war, but answered the call for volunteer nurses so she could help others.

“She showed great compassion, dedication and bravery.

“I’m proud she is from Wakefield and is being honoured in this way so that her legacy is remembered for many generations to come.”