Helen Ebrey was born in 1911 into a large poor family who lived in the village of Myddle in Shropshire. She left in 1928 aged 17 for domestic service near Liverpool. Later, working in domestic service in Birmingham. She married in Harold Ivings 1937 and remained living in a city for the next 60 years. Helen died aged 86 in 1997 and is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Brown.