WHITTON and RITCH -Surname Studies and people from the Island of GRAEMSAY, Orkney

Jessie Alice Stuart Ritch

Jessie Alice Stuart Ritch

Female 1896 - 1951  (55 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name Jessie Alice Stuart Ritch 
    Born 22 Jan 1896  Kings Norton, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 12 Feb 1951  Greenwich, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I2471  Ritch
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2019 

    Father William Thomson Ritch,   b. 22 Jun 1863, Deerness, Orkney Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Nov 1949, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Isabella Smith Dishon,   b. 1870, St Hyton, Northumberland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1941, Newcastle Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 1891  Newcastle, England 10b 232 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1046  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • at 1901 census at 92 South View West, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne with Grandparents John Souter and Alice Haddock
      at 1911 census at 6 New Mills Newcastle on Tyne with Grandparents
      1931-1936 2 Clere Cottage, Banstead with her cousin Millie Peterson
      1939-1952 Dutch Cottage, Banstead
      A Teacher travelled on the "Georgic" 29-8-1937 from Southampton to New York, travelling to Canada
      Arrived 1-10-1937 at Southampton on the "Empress of Britain"
      UK residence Millie Petersen born 13-april 1901 died EAstbourne 1991 Amelia Petersen her cousin Dutch Cottage, Banstead
      1939 at Dutch Cottage, Banstead a Teacher in Childrens Hospital
      1945 and 1947 address Marlesford Lodge 241 King Street, Hammersmith, London
      At death recorded as Late of Dutch Cottage, Banstead and Rosevale, Deerness. The Orcadian address of Rosevale ties her into the correct family as her Uncle John Ritch lived there.

      Quaker Testimony concerning Jessie Ritch (1896-1951):

      We do not forget that our Friend was not without her human foibles; these indeed endeared her to us all the more, as we realised that she was no plaster-saint but compounded of the same elements as ourselves. Her enthusiasms were sometimes short-lived, but even when, as sometimes happened, she asked to be relieved of some piece of service taken up under concern, the result was often that others were drawn to share what had been of her originating.

      Sutton Preparative Meeting, 1952
      Extracts from ¬ĎAn edition of 200 copies printed for private circulation in May
      was born on January 22nd, 1896. Her father was an Orcadian and her mother the daughter of an Orkney ship master. Jessie was very attached to the Orkney Islands and during the latter half of her life she made many visits to the old home in the far bleak North. From early childhood she lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.During this period she gained a first -hand knowledge of life and conditions in an industrial area. This eventually led to her desire for social work among children and young people, which was in one way or another to occupy so great a place in her life.
      At the age of twenty-four she began her training at the Rachel MacMillan Nursery School in Deptford. Here working under Margaret McMillan, the founder of the School, she studied for her Nursery School Diploma. Margaret McMillan later wrote of her great aptitude for the work and spoke highly both of her gifts and character. She shewed an especial gift for plastic art, while her joyous outlook on life and her concern for the welfare of the children created a happy atmosphere and won for her the affection of all.
      Quite apart from her work at the School its self, Jessie Ritch interested herself in the parents and in the home -life of the children, entering understandingly into their problems in a way which made her a friend whose advice was sought on many occasions.
      Even at this early stage of her career, her powers of organisation and the influence she exercised on the lives of older children and adolescents clearly indicated her fitness for responsible educational and social work.
      After four years at Deptford Jessie Ritch entered Salisbury
      where she took an advanced course in English and Geography, and also
      developed her natural gift for drawing.
      She became at this time much interested
      in Divinity and for her work in this subject she was presented with the
      Certificate. Her Principal said that her religious care for the subject, her power over language and her strong influence would single her out as
      a possible specialist in religious teaching. She was head student of her year
      with a strong and far - reaching influence for good.
      When she left college the Principal wrote to her a very warm and affectionate letter congratulating her on her brilliance as head student. At Salisbury as at Deptford many friendships were made which lasted throughout life.
      On leaving College Jessie Ritch
      took an appointment at a London County Council Open Air School for physically de
      fective children. She entered into the work with enthusiasm. As a result of her teaching, art and drama were developed with excellent results, outdoor plays becoming quite a feature of the School life. Many of these children she entertained in her own home at week -ends and holidays. The change from timid, under
      - nourished children to happy carefree youngsters as the result of the school facilities and her loving care and interest was most marked. When she left the Head Master
      said that much of the School's success and its happy atmosphere were due to
      her influence.
      Jessie Ritch next took an appointment as teacher at Queen Mary's Hospital at Carshalton. Tribute has been paid to "her exceptional power of getting into intimate and friendly contact with her pupils and extending her
      interest to their general welfare, taking on the voluntary responsibility for
      several girl's training and equipping them for posts and launching them in
      life." She had a natural gift for obtaining the maximum response from
      adolescents. This with her genius for smoothing out difficulties and
      establishing friendly relations between people, made a combination of efficiency,
      human kindliness and gaiety which are only too seldom found.
      After a good many years at Queen Mary's Hospital Jessie
      Ritch was called to undertake work among delinquent and maladjusted girls. This became the supreme work of her life. During these turbulent and difficult years, with the untiring help and companionship of those who worked with her, she cared
      unceasingly for these deprived and often unloved children.
      She gave so lovingly and generously the whole of herself, her
      time and her creative gifts. This was stressed in the many
      loving and heart - broken tributes that were
      given after her death.
      These last years of her life were not easy. The war and
      the resulting increase in crime and delinquency among the girls she
      worked for brought much pain and sadness. In spite of all the
      many setbacks, with all the forces of her dynamic creative and magnetic personality she brought into their starved broken lives a security and significance that was vital and necessary to their spiritual and physical well -being. Though there were many of the children who found the odds too great and failed to make normal contacts with life, there were others who settled down as happy human beings. Many there
      were who in spite of short or long lapses into delinquent ways never ceased to
      love and revere her. This was borne out by the fact that she often received letters from them after they had passed through her hands, telling of the good and bad, the trials and errors that beset them. Some sought her out in her home for comfort and help. In 1947 having recovered from a serious illness, Jessie Ritch
      returned for a time to Nursery School service, lecturing and training students for the work. Later there followed a time as Headmistress of the School at the Country
      Branch of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. It was a joy to
      her to be once again among little children. How she loved and talked about each one as if it held a great place in her heart as indeed it did. Her understanding of the individual psychology and need of each sick child was as always the outcome of her deep love for them. The last appointment Jessie Ritch held was that of Head mistress of the School at Queen Mary's Hospital, where she had spent many of her earlier years. It was a triumphant climax to her career and as far as could be foreseen promised many years of steady, happy work. Her time there, however, proved to be short, for while cycling one day to school, she met with an accident, and after some weeks died without regaining con
      That death should come in this way to one who possessed in so great a degree just those qualities of which the world stands so much in need is something quite beyond our understanding, but she herself, with sublime faith in the Divine ordering, would
      no doubt have said, "it is all part of the pattern in the web of time