VAD Jessie Henderson

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Jessie Henderson
Surgical Nursing Duties

Jessie Blossom Henderson was born on 10th October 1898 in Shipley, the oldest child of John and Lilian May Henderson nee Blossom. John was a wool merchant from Clackmannanshire in Scotland, Lilian was from Liverpool. She was baptised on 27th November at Saltaire Church.

In 1901 the family lived at 37 Hall Royd in Shipley and Jessie had a younger brother, William Beckett and a servant named Elizabeth Parker from Halifax lived with them. By 1911 they had moved to 3 Sleningford Road in Saltaire, and had been joined by two younger sisters, Bessie May and Lilian Mary. Their servant, Elizabeth Parker, still lived with them.

Jessie volunteered for service, working full time from April 1918 until May 1919 at the War Hospital, undertaking surgical nursing duties.

At some point after the war, the family moved to Ravenshaw on Carla Beck Lane in Carleton, Skipton. The 1939 Register shows that Jessie went on to work with the Women's Voluntary Services as an evacuation officer.

The 1939 Register

Jessie appears to have stayed at this address until she married on 18th October 1946 to John William Coulthurst MA and JP, the great grandson of one of the founders of the internationally known firm of bankers, Messrs Coutts and Co. He had grown up in Langcliffe, Settle, as the son of the vicar. Jessie was 28  years his junior, and his second wife, his first wife having died in 1938. Their marriage was registered in Chelsea, London, though they lived at Gargrave House.

John died in 1949 and The Coulthurst Trust was set up by Jessie for general charitable purposes. Over many years the Trust provided funds to build Gargrave Village Hall (1959) and Sandylands Sports Centre in Skipton and in 1955 paid for the restoration of the Alms House in Carleton, originally built in 1692. It also paid towards Craven Museum, the Petyt Library and the North Craven Heritage Trust. In 1957 Jessie made a donation to the Royal College of Surgeons which paid for a reading room in their library, named the Coulthurst Room, and paid for its upkeep, provision of books and a publication called 'The Lives of The Fellows'. A few years later, in 1963, she provided further funds to build a rare book room and she was made a member of the Court of Patrons, and some years later was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the College. She was also awarded an OBE in 1967.

Jessie Coulthurst nee Henderson at the opening of Gargrave Village Hall in 1959. Photo courtesy of the Craven Herald

Jessie passed away on 13th March 1985,aged 86. Her funeral was held at St. Andrew's Church in Gargrave, where she was then interred.

England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
1939 England and Wales Register
West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962
England and Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
England and Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
Sixty years of Gargrave Village Hall is celebrated in style | Craven Herald
From the archives | Craven Herald
Pick of the past | Craven Herald
Local History - CarletonWeb - Carleton In Craven
Coulthurst, Jessie Blossom (1898 - 1985) (

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