Detail of Eve Marriott from family group, Cotesbach Hall, ca 1914. She is wearing a waisted woollen or felt jacket, ankle length skirt, collar and tie. She glances at the photographer whilst busy doing some crochet work, her ball of wool safe in her left pocket.
Over the coming months and years, as we commemorate WW1, we will be releasing excerpts from Eve Marriott’s diaries, reflecting her life and life around her at the time. If you are interested in finding out more about Eve, your own history, or the work of The Cotesbach Educational Trust, please get in touch.
Eve Marriott was born in 1880, eldest child of Charles Marriott of Cotesbach Hall and his first wife Frances Marion ‘Kitty’ Fellowes who the following year gave birth to twins, Vi and Carl, then died when Eve was two years old during her third pregnancy.
Many of her childhood years were spent with cousins and aunts in Yorkshire or at Shotesham, Norfolk, where her mother’s family came from. In 1891 (when Eve was 11) her father remarried Mary Emily Peach (known by all as ‘Mother’) who produced eight children between 1892 and 1900: Jim, Esther, Fred and Digby (both who were killed in WWI), Owen (died aged 8 in 1906), Rowley (Sophy Newton’s grandfather) Patrick (d 1908) and Michael.
Eve was 34 in 1914 at the start of WW1. She was sociable and sporty, well educated, thoughtful and perceptive, read a great deal, and smoked. She learnt shorthand, and we know she went to the stationers, Bottrills in Lutterworth, to use their typewriter.
Eve’s diaries cover most of the years 1893-1915. During the First World War, Eve became a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and helped to tend the wounded servicemen sent to the Red Cross hospital set up at the Wesleyan Church in Lutterworth. Her half-sister Esther and her stepmother also nursed in the town, where they stayed for the duration of the war. Eve, however, embarked for Egypt on 26th October 1915, and the last part of her diary for that year gives a fascinating insight into life at the 19th General Hospital in Alexandria.
Eve remained a spinster all her life and died in London in 1972, aged 91.