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Photo of Grace Emily Costin

Grace Emily Costin

Police Constable in the WPS
Birthplace Kent Folkestone Place of Death Devon Posbury Date of Birth: October 29, 1888


Research kindly shared by Nigel Crompton, who is conducting a research project on WPS.
Name: Grace Emily Costin
DoB: 29 October 1888
Place of birth: Folkestone, Kent
Parents: Thomas & Annie (nee Dawson) Thomas appears to have died and Annie remarried in 1882. Her new husband was William Parsons
Parental Home: 44 Braybrook Road, Hastings
Siblings: May Alice (1894-1971), Rose Annie (1896-1988) William Victor (1897-1983), Frederick Arthur (1899-1905) Lily Edith (1901-1902)
Spouse: Never married
Date of Wedding: Not applicable
Children : None identified
Marital home(s): Not applicable
Employment: Lady’s Nurse
1911 Census: The Edinburgh Hotel, St Leonards on Sea
Date of death: April 1979
Location: Posbury, Devon House of St Francis, Posbury, nr Crediton, Devon

Gretna details
Name: Grace Emily Costin
Clock No
Date joining: Not known (see notes)
Date leaving: March 1917
Addresses: Not known
Rank on start: PC
Promotion: Not known

Career after: City of Oxford Police, then social work, finally religious house as Mother Superior
1921 Census : Living at 5 Crieff Road, Wandsworth (see copy)
Addresses after Gretna
45 Silverlands Road, St Leonards on Sea
1935 – 5 Oakley Crescent, Islington
1939 to 1942 – House of St Francis, Kemming Road, Whitwell, Isle of Wight
1942 to 1979 – House of St Francis, Posbury, Devon

Additional information
Grace was born to Thomas & Annie Costin in October 1888. Whilst we know Thomas & Annie married in 1882, we can not confirm when or what happened to Thomas but by the 1901 census Annie has remarried and is living in Hastings not only with Grace, her new husband William but other children from the new marriage. In all they had five children but sadly, two died in infancy. Grace stayed in the Hastings, St Leonards on Sea area, becoming a nurse, working at the prestigious Edinburgh Hotel, Warrior Square. In 1914 she travelled to America, living in Boston but returned in 1916 being now employed as a governess. At some point she joined the WPS serving at Gretna until March 1917 when she was appointed to the City of Oxford Police commencing duties in April 1917. By September 1918, Grace had resigned choosing a career in social work. In 1935, she formed the Community of the Franciscan Servants of Jesus and Mary in Stepney, East London. She took the
title Mother Teresa after a service of . The community moved to Whitwell on the Isle of Wight setting up the House of St Francis, a building that remains to this day, where they undertook religious and social care including assisting at Parkhurst Prison. In 1942, due to the threat of invasion and bombing the order moved the nunnery to Posbury, a small hamlet near Crediton in Devon. Here they immersed in a life of prayer, social care and helping in the local communities. The Diocese of Exeter for many years used the new House of St Francis in Posbury for retreats, study and teaching. In was here in April 1979, Grace passed away and is buried in the communities own cemetery in the grounds. The House is still in use but with a very small number of nuns attached to the community.





Sources Consulted

Item consulted
Ancestry UK
English/ Welsh Census 1891, 1901,
1911, 1921, 1939 registration
Census, electoral registers
Births, Marriages, Deaths, Burial/ Cemetery records
Immigration and travel
British Newspaper Archive
Local, National & Scottish Newspapers
National Archives Kew
Ministry of Munitions & Women Police Service
National Archives Edinburgh
Gretna Police Area records
Devils Porridge Museum Archives
Valuation Roll for Gretna
Electoral Register 1918-1919
Dumfries Archives
Police & Court records
Births, Marriages, Deaths
Valuation Roll for Gretna
Court, prison and legal records
Bow Street Court and Holloway Prison
Oxford Museum
Early members of City of Oxford Police
Oxfordshire Museums Service
Early members of City of Oxford Police
Whitwell History (Isle of Wight)
House of St Francis
House of St Francis, Posbury, Devon
History of the Community

Related by Category

Related by City - Folkestone

Related by County - Kent

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