Helen Adrienne Croockewit

Helen Adrienne Croockewit  1879 – 1966

Helen was born on 27th September 1879 to parents Jan Hendrik (also known as John Henry) and Fanny Mary Henrietta Ulsona (née Rapp), who originally came from the Netherlands. At her baptism in St James, Dover, on 2nd November that year, her father was described in the parish register as a merchant. 

To date, the family have not been found in the 1881 or 1891 Census records, however Helen was admitted to Bedford High School for Girls on 20th January 1894, leaving in 1897. The school fees were paid per term. In 1901, the family were living in Bedford and Jan is ‘living on own means’, indicating that at the age of 51, he no longer had to work for a living. By 1910, Jan had moved them to The Mount, Shepherdswell, however Helen was living at 3 Nottingham Place in Marylebone, London, and at the age of 30 was a nurse.

During the War, Helen joined the Territorial Force Nursing Service initially as a staff nurse and progressed upward as an acting sister and then sister. In 1917, she was admitted for 3 weeks to the 19th General Hospital and on discharge back to her unit, was transferred to the Khedivial Hotel.

On 3rd June 1919, she married Edmund John Warlow at Shepherdswell. He was 16 years her senior, a widower, and had been the Archdeacon in Lahore. Their reception was held in the vicarage in Shepherdswell, although by this time her parents were living in Dover. 

Helen and Edmund made their home in Bognor Regis, Sussex. Edmund died on the 17th June 1937, at their home at 22 Parklands Avenue, Bognor Regis. Helen was still there in 1939 and remained living there following her second marriage on 5th December 1944, to another widower, Reverend Waldegrave Mutrie Shepherd, a 74 year old, at the parish church in Felpham. Waldegrave died less than 3 years later. Helen died on the 30th May 1966 aged 87, still living at the same address, although her death took place at 16 Nyewood Lane, Bognor Regis. Having had no children, her probate was granted to her spinster sister Dorothy Eleanor.