Jessie Aston

Author: Marg\ret Wheaton
Date published: 03/05/2021
© Margaret Wheaton - grandaughter of Jessie Aston

Jessie Aston née Harrold
Jessie Harrold was the youngest of the 5 daughters of Frederick and Elizabeth Mary Harrold.  She was born at ‘Kiu Kiang’, St Johns Road, Newbury on 23rd May 1890 and was only 7 year’s old when her father died.  
As was the case with well brought up young women at the time she did not work, however, In August 1914 when she was 24, she joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment in Newbury (VAD) as a nurse to help with the war effort. The VAD nurses were trained in basic first aid and assisted trained nurses in treating wounded soldiers returning from the front.  She worked in this role at Newbury District Hospital until she was discharged in May 1919.  During this time she met her future husband, Eli Aston, who worked for the Inland Revenue as a valuer for Probate and they married in 1921 in Newbury.  Jessie was 31 years of age.  
Eli came from a family of canal boat builders in Tipton in Staffordshire and after their marriage, they lived in Erdington in Birmingham.  He lost contact with his family after his marriage and never spoke about them.  They had one daughter, Mary, born in December 1925. 
After the death of Jessie’s Mother in 1933, the Harrold family home,‘Kiu Kiang’, St John’s Road, Newbury, was sold to pay off the debts that had accrued since the death of her Father and her only unmarried sister Floral, came to live with them.  Floral died in 1935 leaving her estate to Jessie which included many of the artifacts from the house.  
When WW2 broke out in 1939, Jessie helped in the Red Cross Canteen in Erdington, serving up meals to servicemen and women.  Eli Aston died in 1960 and Jessie suffered a stroke a few years later and died in 1967.  It was her wish to be buried in the family plot at Newtown Road Cemetery in Newbury with her Mother, Father and Sister Floral.

Sources:as above

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