Elsie Evelyn Hart
born 12 January 1897
in Gloucester, Gloucestershire
died very roughly 1958
Birth date from Reg Chamberlain.
1901 census: living at 28 Hopewell St, Gloucester, with parents and siblings. Age 4, born Gloucester.
In Service. Lived in Farnham, Surrey, and retired to Lewes, E. Sussex.
Donald: 'an assertive woman [...] insisted on being addressed by her full name and this was not always liked by her employers. [...] died of Bowel Cancer sometime in the late 50's?'
More from Donald: 'Aunt Elsie was Dad's sister - maybe the eldest and who died of bowel cancer. She was in service and worked in many houses over UK. She was a forthright woman who stood no nonsense and married a very good pro' gardener by the name of Collins. Aunt Elsie insisted she be called Ms Hart or Mrs Collins when in service, and never Elsie. I think she lost jobs because of that. She also used to embarrass us as children because she'd bargain for clothing and such when we were with her. As young children, we knew her at the time she lived in Farnham. Surrey. She and her husband lived in a lovely bungalow which was tied to the job and on the estate of her husband's employer, a retired Army Colonel. Dad used to take the whole family on his motorbike and sidecar to Aunt Elsie's for the occasional holiday. We could be sent as individuals for longer stays at Aunt Elsie's, which was posh because it had a bathroom, a fancy birdbath in the small garden and a dozen miniature apple trees. There were wonderful pine woods at the end of the road, set on sandy heath-land and with dozens of Red Squirrels racing around the land and trees, in what for us was splendid country for playing Cow Boys & Indians. Like Upstairs and Downstairs, Aunt Elsie had dozens of friends amongst the local servant population. [...] Aunt Elsie believed in the eating of raw vegetables and healthy foods [...] and of having one bowel movement a day [...]. The retired Colonel had a fancy underground war shelter built for his family before WWll and Collins's family had a smaller version just behind their bungalow. Sometime in the war years Elsie's husband - can't remember his first name - moved to the house in Ringmer which was situated right behind the village green. The house was occupied by US Army officers and Collins maintained the gardens and ponds while they were there and lived in a nice detached house on the estate. Collins also traveled to Woking where his employer also had a Tudor house ( genuine ) with fantastic gardens. Sometime after the war, the Collins family moved to Woking where Collins had his employment there at full time. The Collins had two children. Anne, the same age as me, and Roy, just a year or so younger than Roy Hart.'