Margaret Ann Ashton was born in 1859 on Milton Street, Doncaster. She was the daughter of Daniel Atton, a Stonemason who died in 1901 and who executed some of the gargoyles and the weather vane for the Parish Church when it was rebuilt after its destruction by fire. Margaret was always very proud of the fact that two pieces of sculpture above the choir were her father’s work and by a special privilege there were carvings of both himself and his wife.
During the First World War Margaret was a nurse at the Arnold Auxiliary Hospital on Thorne Road. By 1914 she was living at 78 Chequer Road, Doncaster. Margaret’s Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) card says that she spent 2901 hours volunteering at the hospital throughout the War.
Margaret was a life governor of Doncaster Royal Infirmary and a well known worker for many charities up to the age of 74 years; she was also involved in the temperance movement and was vice-president of the Doncaster Town branch of the B.W.T.A.U. where she was formerly Literature Secretary ; she also did much good work as an official for the now-defunct Racecourse Mission and was an active worker at the Spring Gardens Church.
Her only son died during the war as a result of wounds received when a steam oven exploded while he was in the Army Service Corps and her daughter Maud, born 1887, also volunteered as a nurse at the Arnold Hospital.
Her husband, George Ashton had died in 1917 having spent 32 years as the manager for Mr T E Parkin, House Furnisher and had also been a trustee of the Spring Gardens Methodist Church.
Margaret died in 1939 having been seriously ill. Shortly before she passed away a SOS broadcast and been announced to try and find one of her daughters, a Mrs Maud Harris who she had not heard from in 20 years when she had left the area to take up a civil service position in London. Sadly the broadcast and been left unanswered.
Margaret Ann’s great-granddaughter Margaret Groome, provided the information and photographs. Margaret still lives in Doncaster today and shared the story along with an article that had been published in the Doncaster Gazette dated 24th August 1939.