Edna was born on the 17th August 1911, at 13 Cromwell Terrace, Queens Road Royston,
She was born to Bertie & Florence Emily Blows, They lived here until the birth of the their third child
Ronald Bertie Blows in 1918 .
The Family then moved to Arlesey, where Bertie worked at the Gasworks (they lived on site), and at Waterloo Farm (also lived on site).
They then moved to No 2 House Lane , After a while the family moved again for the last time, just down the road, to No 48 House Lane, Arlesey.
In 1927/28 young Edna met and started going out with a young man from Arlesey,
The relationship flourished and as love blossomed Edna found her self pregnant, Unfortunately Edna’s partner did not want to know her or the unborn child, He refused to believe the child was his.
As a young girl “In The Family Way” she was ostracised by the village, times and attitudes were very different in the 1920's, no council houses or big benefits packages then, shame and disgrace was scorned upon poor Edna.
This was so unfair as the lad who made her pregnant was left to freely go about his daily business without any remorse or guilt.
On September 28th 1928 along came baby Rita, unfortunately Edna's Liaison still refused to have anything to do with her or the new born little girl.
Nine months after baby Rita was born, Edna entered employment at Three Counties Hospital , She started on the 28 July 1929, aged 17,
she was employed as a 2nd in Charge Nurse, on a rate of £7.18 shillings and 6 pence per every four weeks.
That’s approximatly £265.00 in today’s money.
Life for the young Edna and her parents was very hard, Edna’s Mother Florence and Bertie were bringing up young Rita, Florence would look after the baby while Edna and her Father Bertie worked during the day.
Edna worked hard and long hours in a very stressful and demanding job, unfortunately life started to take its toll.
Edna may have been suffering from what we now call post natal depression,
She was suffering the pain of lost love and rejection, she started to not eat, lose weight and her condition continued to get worse.
Maybe these days we would put her condition down to anorexia, bought on by feelings of depression and low self esteem.
Edna was eventually taken in to Three Counties Hospital as a patient, We can assume she was given the best care by her friends and colleagues but they could not bring her out of the despair she was suffering .
Very sadly Edna Florence Blows died at Three Counties Hospital on the 12th May 1932 at the tender age of 20
Her Mother was with her when she died.
She was buried at St Peters Church in Arlesey. (see below for the news paper article).
On her death certificate it states that Edna died from malnutrition, pneumonia and cardiac failure,
Her family state to this day that she really died of a lost love, and a broken heart.
My Grandmother Dora Page looked after baby Rita on the day of Edna’s funeral
The young Rita continued to be bought up by her Nan and Granddad Bertie and Florence,
she grew up and got married and had a family of her own……Rita still lives in the
These fantastic photographs are from Edna Blows own collection and were taken while she worked at the Three Counties Asylum circa 1920, thank you to Liam Cornes for telling us Edna’s story and supplying us with these very rare glimpses into TCA and his family’s past.
The Sad Case Of
Three Counties Hospital Nurse
Nurse Edna Florence Blows (far right) poses with a group of her Nursing friends
A very grand view taken by Edna inside TCH circa 1929
This is a very important photograph
we believe it is the only known view of the inside of TCH from that time
How Nurse Edna’s death was reported in the local paper
A copy of Edna’s death certificate.
Baby Edna Blows (left)
Sister Gladys (right)
Gladys also became a Nurse at TCA
Photo taken at 13 Cromwell Terrace, Queens Road Royston Herts
Edna on the right this time
Gladys on the left
The two sisters now with children of their own
Gladys with Rita (right)
Edna with Barbara (left)
Photo taken at 48 house Lane Arlesey circa 1930
Nurse Gladys continued to work at the Hospital for many years
She died in 1991
Rita as she is today (November 2014)
Rita has just celebrated her 86th Birthday
She is seen here with Granddaughter Heather Thompson
A special Thank you to Heather Thompson and Liam Cornes for all their help with the story of Edna Blows
These fantastic photo’s were taken at Three Counties Hospital circa 1929
They were taken by Edna
A group of patients pose for Edna’s camera