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Ellen ?

Biographical Details

Ellen (surname unknown) worked as a maid at Seward House from April 1915 to June 1915.

“Ellen arrived yesterday,” explained Eugénie Sladden in a letter to her daughter, Juliet, on 27th April 1915.  “She looks so much bigger than I thought her, such a contrast to Queenie; she is a bit rough and a character, of course it will take a little while to see how she gets on.”

Mela Brown Constable felt that “the new maid, Ellen, appears to be too thorough from all accounts!  I believe she is a rough diamond and given a fair chance may turn out quite a useful servant.”  Writing again the next day, Mela said:  “Ellen, the new maid, is slowly but surely getting into things.  She has one excellent point which atones for many other failings, she is scrupulously clean and woe betide anyone who untidies her kitchen once she has got it straight.  She is quite a character and not one of the present-day giddy girls, she can just read and write but has had no other kind of education owing to having been ill most of her childhood.  She has two brothers on active service, one has had to have his leg amputated and her young man is abroad too.  To look at her, you cannot imagine her the embodiment of all that a young man would fancy!  But evidently he knows her stolid work!”

Juliet Sladden, who was away at school when Ellen arrived at Seward House, enquired on 13th June: “How is Ellen getting along?  Will she last out till I come home?”

In the event, Juliet never did get to meet Ellen who only lasted two months in total.  “There was a grand shindy here on Sunday and Ellen was dismissed,” wrote Eugénie Sladden on 25th June.  “We did let her sleep in the house till Wednesday morning, but not do any work, so we are our own servants, and have Louisa in when she can come; we feel really happier, though of course it gives the girls a lot to do and I do as much as I can.”

Letters mentioning this person: