The following notes come from the autobiography of Dorothy, Helen's daughter.
Helen was the eldest of four children of a working class but ‘genteel’ couple with church and musical interests. She left school at 14 and began work as a sleeve hand with a high class tailoring firm in Rochdale – Wolfendens. She took piano and singing lessons, financing the latter by taking pupils of her own. Ambitious and on bad terms with her sister 18 months younger – a nursing career was seen as a solution. Training in General and Psychiatric nursing was completed in York at “The Retreat’ which was under the patronage of the Quaker families of Rowntree and Cadbury fame. The challenge was enormous for someone with only an elementary education but success culminated in the awar of the ‘Tuke Medal”. The location offered a range of social and other activities – rowing, horse riding, dramatics and theatre. After qualification a move to Scotland (Glasgow) was made for TB specialization and then into the R.A.M.C as a nursing sister including active service in France in 1918.
In 1918 she was married by Special Licence in St Mark’s Church Fulwood Sheffield UK.
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