Friday, 10 March 2017

Mabel Edith Blencowe (1879 – 1917) – British

Mabel was born in Oxford in 1879, the third child of eleven born to John George Blencowe (1839 – 1992) and his wife Emma Blencowe, nee Young (1855 – 1938), six of whom survived.   John Blencowe was a master baker, pastry cook, confectioner and grocer.  After their marriage in December 1885, John and Emma ran a grocer’s shop in Oxford.  After the death of her husband, Emma Blencowe ran the business with the help of family members, adding a post office in 1899.   Mabel Edith and her sister Florence Blencowe trained as nurses. Florence worked at Northampton General Hospital in 1911.
In WW1, Mabel Edith joined the Territorial Force Nursing Service and after working as a Staff Nurse at Northampton General Hospital for nine months, she was sent to France where she died in the 7th General Hospital, St. Omer, France on 10th March 1917.   Mabel was buried in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, and is also commemorated on the nurses’ window in the north transept of York Minster and on her parents’ grave in the Cemetery of St. Sepulchre, Oxford.
You can see a photo of Mabel’s grave in France on Tanya Mortiner Birney’s website -

Note:  The Territorial Force was the name of the Territorial Army at the time of the First World War.  The Territorial Force Nursing Service was formed in 1909 by an act of Parliament as a sister organisation to the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service.   Members were civilian nurses who worked in hospitals in peacetime.

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