Rosabel ALLAN (1864-1952)
Rosabel Allan (1864-1952) moved to Badsey in early 1916 when she came to be lady companion to Mrs Ashwin of Pool House. As a near neighbour of the Sladdens, she is mentioned in a number of letters.
Rosabel Allan was born in Birmingham in 1864, the youngest of three children of Matthew Gentle Allan, a woollen merchant, by his second wife, Louisa (née Kain); Rosabel also had three half siblings from her father’s first marriage. They lived at Kingsbrook, Rowington, in 1871. Rosabel’s father died in 1880 and, by 1881 they were living at Lapworth.
Rosabel had left home by 1891 and was living at Beech Lawn College, Leamington, where she was a teacher of music. In 1901 and 1911 she was living at 2 Woodland Road, Northfield, Worcestershire, with her older brother, Louis; no profession was given for Rosabel. Her brother died in November 1911.
Following the surprise, sudden marriage in September 1915 of Muriel Holmes, Mrs Ashwin of Pool House, Badsey, required a new lady’s companion and, by January 1916, Rosabel had come to take her place. She quickly became involved in village life, teaching in Sunday School, acting as accompanist or giving piano solos at village concerts, and was always ready to use her musical talent. Rosabel remained living in Badsey until the death of Mrs Ashwin in 1924.
She moved away from the village, lived abroad for a time but, according to the Parish Magazine of March 1952, she made long visits to Badsey from time to time, always seeing as many old friends as possible. Rosabel appears on the 1939 electoral roll as living at Seward House, but she was not there in September 1939 when the 1939 register was taken just after the outbreak of the Second World War.
Rosabel Allan died at Smiles Nursing Home, Maybury Hill, Woking, Surrey on 2nd February 1952, aged 88; her residential address was 6 Amesbury Road, Birmingham. The report in the Parish Magazine which gave news of her death, noted: “She retained her interest in news about Badsey church, the village and old friends there, until the end of her life.”