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Queenie ?

Biographical Details

Queenie (surname unknown) was born in June 1897.  She worked as a maid at Seward House from May 1914 to April 1915.  Eugénie Sladden described her as “short, but quite neat looking and wears rather decent caps”.  She was inexperienced, so needed a lot of teaching and looking after.  When workmen were in the house in June, May Sladden noted:  “It is necessary to keep a pretty strict eye on Queenie, with workmen about; in these cases, as Ethel says, their true vulgarity comes out!”

At the beginning of April 1915, Ivy, a fellow maid at Seward House, left.  Juliet Sladden, home from boarding school for the school holidays, wrote:  “Queenie is rather pleased with herself at having the whole show to herself – it won’t last long but it is pleasant while it does.  She needs similar spurs frequently to keep her at all up to the mark, doesn’t she?”  And as Julius Sladden wrote to his wife on 9th April:  “Queenie has been quite good, according to her lights, but she is not powerful as regards initiative!”

By 20th April, Queenie was feeling sick and Juliet reported:  “Queenie is also laid up, she had ‘a temperature’ yesterday - I have not heard how she is today.”  A few days later, Queenie, too, had decided to leave, which she did at the end of April.

By July, news had filtered through to Badsey of Queenie’s movements.  As Julius Sladden told his wife:  “It seems Queenie has left her place and spent part of her fortune in travelling down to see Ivy, now she appears to have gone to her sister’s at Chatham; these silly girls seem to court disaster and are as a moth to a candle.”  And May Sladden concluded by saying:  “I am afraid that is the end of poor Queenie.”

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