VAD Dorothy Jowitt

Voluntary Aid Detachment page

Red Cross, St John Ambulance Brigade and Royal Army Medical Corpsbadges

Dorothy Jowitt

Surgical Nursing Duties

Early life:
Helen Dorothea Benson was born in Cardinal, Ontario, Canada on 12th January of either 1867 or 1868. Her parents were W.T. (I believe William Thomas) and Helen Benson nee Wilson who were both originally from England. She had one brother, two years her junior, named George.

In the 1871 and 1881 census of Canada the family lived in Edwardsburg, Grenville South, in Ontario. Her father was described as a manufacturer, then a 'gentleman'. I assume the family were wealthy as they had several servants.

On 30th January 1889 Helen married Charles Cowan Grant Hope, a wine merchant descended from Scottish parents. Both are described as residents of Montreal and lived in St. Antoine ward at the time of the 1891 Canadian census. They do not appear to have had any children, and Charles died on 15th June 1898. He was buried in St. Paul, Montreal.

The handwritten record of the first marriage of Helen Dorothea Benson to Charles Cowan Grant Hope

Just over two years later, on 22nd August 1900 in her home town of Cardinal, Ontario, Helen married for a second time, to Frederick McCullock Jowitt. He was an English wool manufacturer, of Robert Jowitt and Sons Limited in Bradford.

The marriage record of Helen Dorothea Hope nee Benson, to Frederick McCullock Jowitt

In 1901 Helen and Frederick lived in Potter Newton, Leeds with four servants.

The 1901 Census

By 1911 they had moved to Hollins Hall in the village of Hampsthwaite, near Harrogate. They had three sons - William Thomas Benson, Robert Benson McCullock and Richard McCullock Benson Jowitt.

Hollins Hall - photo kindly provided by Shaun Wilson of Hampsthwaite Village

War service:
Dorothy worked at Spencer Street Auxiliary Hospital from November 1917 until March 1919 (though this is not clear as the date has been crossed out), undertaking surgical nursing duties.

Later life:
Frederick died on 19th September 1921 at Hollins Hall. Dorothy continued to live there until at least 1939 where she can be seen on the 1939 Register. She lived until the age of 85 or 86, passing away on 12th October 1952.

1871 Census of Canada
1881 Census of Canada
1891 Census of Canada
Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968
Montreal, Canada, non-Catholic Marriage Index, 1766-1899
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
1939 England and Wales Register
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995
Hampsthwaite Village website

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