VAD Esther Evelyn Graham

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Esther Evelyn Graham

Nursing, General Service

The entry showing Esther Evelyn Graham's baptism

Esther Evelyn Graham was born November 24th 1897 and baptised May 29th 1898 at St. Andrew’s Church in Keighley. Her parents were John James Graham, a farmer from Holy Rood in Scotland and Mary Amelia Graham nee Rishworth, of Earl Street, Keighley. She had an older sister, Eleanor Marion and older brother Eric Graham. She also had an older half-brother, William G who was born in Texas, USA. Her father had been widowed before marrying Mary, though I have not been able to establish the details of this marriage or why he was in the USA or returned.

For the first few years of their marriage, John and Mary lived with the Rishworth family, a corn milling family, at 4 Earl Street. I assume John worked for the family, as his occupation was corn miller’s clerk. By the time of Evelyn’s birth, they had moved to Calver Royd. In 1901 they lived and worked the farm there, and John’s brother William (retired farmer) lived with them. By 1911 they lived at Larkfield House, Riddlesden, and John’s occupation is described as a retired grazier (farmer). It’s not clear who was working the farm, as Eric’s occupation was a machine tool maker’s apprentice, Eleanor has no occupation listed and Evelyn was still at school. John’s older son William was not living with the family by this time.

From June 1916 Evelyn worked at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital in nursing, including some night duties. What she did for the next few years is not known.

In 1928 she was due to marry a journalist, Wyndham Whitney Rowland in the Parish of Hubberholme, a secluded village in the Yorkshire Dales. For some reason this wedding was cancelled before the third banns were read, though they must have married shortly after as the marriage was registered in the last quarter of that year in Skipton. They had a son, David Wyndham Rowland on February 2nd 1930.

Parish records show the wedding was cancelled before the third reading of banns

In 1939 Evelyn lived with her mother and son at Rotherwood, Skipton. Having researched this address, I have found a large property in Threshfield with this name. A housekeeper also lived with them at the time.

1939 Register entry for Evelyn Rowland

1939 Register entry for Evelyn Rowland

Again, the next few years are not clear. Sadly, Evelyn died at the age of 49 at High Royds Hospital in Menston on July 5th 1946. To add to the family's tragedy, her son David died the following year, the day after his 17th birthday, at The Pulmonary Hospital, Lancaster. Later that year Wyndham remarried in Manchester.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1891 England Census
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
1939 England & Wales Register
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Admistrations), 1858-1995

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