Edith Kathleen Venables was born on 28th April 1886, daughter of Rowland George (1846), a Barrister and Gertrude (1849).
The 1911 census shows us that she lived in a 22-roomed house, known as ‘Oakhurst’ – Oswestry’s own Downton Abbey!
Edith’s siblings were Gilbert Rowland (1881), Barrister, Arthur George (1887), Lt. Commander in the Royal Navy, Olive Mary (1885) and Gertrude Beatrice (1890).
The family had a number of household servants:
Susan Gregory, Ladies maid
John Foreman, Footman
Emily Powell, Housemaid
Rose Higgins, Housemaid
Christine Dunnan, Kitchen maid
Mary Bailey, Scullery maid
Agnes Tranter, Ladies maid
Emily Edwards, Cook
A Gardener and groom also lived on the estate.
Edith’s War Years
During the war, Edith worked in a number of roles – as nurse, parlour maid, housemaid and cook. From November to December 1914 we know that she was based at the Winchester Auxiliary hospital, but by 1915 she was back in Shropshire, working at Ellesmere Auxiliary Hospital.
Edith joined the Shropshire 40 VAD on 27th June 1916 and served until 26th January 1916. She was paid £20 a year for her contribution. It is known that she also served at Pentre Pant, though the exact dates are not clear.
Edith then served at a Military Hospital in France (the exact hospital is not specified), where she worked alongside the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS). There were about 10,000 regular and reserve QAs serving in countries such as France, India, East Africa, Italy, Palestine, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Salonika and Russia.
Edith was awarded a British War Medal and Victory Medal in 1920, for her service.
She died in February 1926, leaving more than £7,000 to her brother Arthur.