Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A dear daughter, wife and mother


(Top): LACW Mrs Ella E. Eldon, W.A.A.F.
[Accidentally killed whilst cycling at a Newark airfield]
(Bottom): Headstone of Ella Esterina Eldon (née Rossi)
[Whitehaven Cemetery, Cumbria]

For additional information click on 'Comments' below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

(a) Some biographical details

There are 102 Second World War service casualties commemorated in the 'Roll of Honour' of the West Cumbrian town of Cleator Moor, which includes two women. One of these two women was Leading Aircraftwoman Ella Esterina Eldon (née Rossi), Service No 2112312. Ella Eldon died on 11 April 1944 at the age of 27 (or 28 years old according to the CWGC citation).

Leading Aircraftwoman Ella Esterina Eldon was the daughter of Giovanni Rossi and Sarah Elizabeth Rossi (nee Hodgson). Mrs Eldon was the wife of Mr James J. Eldon of Cleator Moor, Cumberland (now Cumbria). They married in 1939 and lived for a time at 38 Birks Road, Cleator Moor. Mrs Eldon was also the mother of one son, John James Eldon (born 22 December 1940, according to a document written in 1947 by Mrs Rossi).

It is believed James Eldon went to work at a North West factory on essential war work and was living away from home. As many married women did in wartime, Mrs Eldon wanted to 'do her bit'. Consequently, she enlisted to the WAAF in March 1943 while Mrs Eldon's mother looked after James and Ella's young son. Sadly, James Eldon died of illness at Lancaster Royal Infirmary on 2 February 1944. His funeral service took place at St Mary's R.C. Church, Cleator, Cumberland on 7 February with Father Kevin McCann O.S.B. taking the service.

Only a few weeks later - on 11 April 1944 - LACW Eldon died as the result of an accident while cycling at the airfield to which she was attached at Newark, Nottinghamshire. Because Mrs Eldon's husband was deceased her parents would have become her next of kin. LACW Eldon was laid to rest in the Roman Catholic plot of Whitehaven Cemetery on Saturday 15 April (Grave Ref. 6 / L / 687). The interment was after a funeral service at St Begh's RC Church, Whitehaven (11.00 am).

The headstone citation chosen by Mrs Eldon's parents reads as follows:

"In loving memory of our dear daughter.
Always remembered.
Jesus have mercy on her".

(b) Mrs Eldon's CWGC citation:

Ella Esterina Eldon, Casualty Details

Name: ELDON, ELLA ESTERINA (née Rossi)
Initials: E E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Aircraftwoman 1st Class
Regiment/Service: Women's Auxiliary Air Force
Age: 28
Date of Death: 11/04/1944
Service No: 2112312
Additional information: Daughter of Giovanni and Sarah Elizabeth Rossi, of Whitehaven.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Ward 6. Sec. L. Grave 687.
Cemetery: WHITEHAVEN CEMETERY, Cumberland (UK)

Sunday, 30 October, 2011  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(c) In Remembrance

In 1947 the townsfolk of Whitehaven were asked to submit the names of the Fallen of the Second World War for inclusion in a 'Book of Remembrance'. Mrs Sarah E. Rossi submitted the name and details of her daughter to Whitehaven Borough Council.

According to Mrs Rossi's information her daughter had joined the WAAF in March 1943. Therefore, she had been serving in the Forces for just over a year at the time of her death in April 1944. The Borough of Whitehaven WW2 'Book of Remembrance' was completed in 1953. One copy of this is currently held by the Cumbria County Archives & Library Service (Whitehaven Records Office).

Despite her mother submitting Mrs Eldon's name and details to Whitehaven Borough Council - and on one of the printed forms for this purpose - the name of Ella Esterina Eldson was not included in the Remembrance Book of her home town. The writer only realised this when trying to match up the forms submitted by relatives with the names that actually appear in the Remembrance Book.

There had also been a proposal to have a trust fund for the Whitehaven children who had lost their parents in the war. This is printed on the form filled in by Mrs Eldon's mother. As Mrs Eldon's name did not get into the Remembrance Book it seems unlikely that her son ever received any money from the proposed fund either. One would like to think these ommissions were accidental.

What has happened in the past cannot be changed. For the future, the thing to note is that Mrs Eldon's sacrifice has not been totally forgotten. In addition to the CWGC citation LACW Ella E. Eldon is remembered by name on two church memorials: St Mary's R.C. Church, Cleator and St Begh's R.C. Church, Whitehaven. As stated above, she is also remembered on the 'Roll of Honour' of her adopted town of Cleator Moor, Cumbria.

(d) A dedication of remembrance.

LACW Ella Esterina Eldon (nee Rossi):

"Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad."

(Extract from 'Remember' by Christina Rosetti)

"May she rest in Eternal Peace!"


Cumbria County Archives & Library Service
(Whitehaven records Office)

'The Whitehaven News'

St Mary's R.C. Parish, Cleator, Cumbria

St Begh's R.C. Parish, Whitehaven, Cumbria

Sunday, 30 October, 2011  

Post a Comment

<< Home