Elsie was born in 1896. Her family lived in St. Martins, Oswestry.
Elsie was a member of the Shropshire Reserve VAD and in April 1918 was sent to Beaufort Military Hospital, Fishponds, Bristol as a nurse. In June she transferred to 2nd Southern General Hospital, Southmead Section, Bristol. Elsie was awarded 3 scarlet stripes, indicating her high level of ability and good conduct. She was paid £20 per year during her time in Bristol.
Sapper 29462 Bernard Joseph McDermott wrote in a letter about arriving to Beaufort Military hospital:
“We certainly didn’t expect any fuss to be made of us at that hour [2AM] of the morning, so you can imagine our glad surprise to see a bright array of Red Cross sisters and smart looking Ambulance Corps. The cheery, animated scene, with the red and white of the sisters and the dark blue and silver of the ambulance men, looked picturesque, spectacular — like a theatre scene.”