Mary Ann Louisa Allen was a Londoner who married in the capital 1886 and had two children who both died by 1911. She was widowed in 1928 and later lived in Goodmayes. In May 1943 she was an elderly patient at the 270-bed New Hall Emergency Hospital in Boreham and was fatally injured that month during the 'Chelmsford Blitz' when the hospital was struck by German bombs. She died the same day in the Chelmsford and Essex Hospital.
Mary was born in the City of London in 1862, the daughter of Joseph Allen and Martha Allen.
On Christmas Day 1886 she married Benjamin Poulter at Holy Trinity Church, Mile End in London. At the time she was aged 24, two years older than her husband, who had been born at the Tower of London. The couple were living at 14 Lansen Road in Bow.
The 1891 census found the couple living alone at & Hainault Road in Leyton. Benjamin was a civil servant. A decade later they were living at 195 Grange Road in Ilford, with Benjamin working as a transcriber in the civil service.
Mary Ann Louisa POULTER (nee ALLEN), Civilian
Fatally injured in an air raid at Boreham, died at Chelmsford & Essex Hospital. Aged 81
The couple had two children, both of whom were dead when the 1911 census took place. That found Mary and her husband at 102 Balfour Road in Ilford. He was employed as a clerk in the Public Record's Office in Chancery Lane, London.
The couple were still living at 102 Balfour Road when Mary's husband died on 19th August 1928, leaving her an estate of £2,978 1s. 11d. Mary subsequently lived at 6 Abbotsford Road in Goodmayes.
By May 1943 she was a patient at New Hall Emergency Hospital in Boreham. The hospital had been set up there in the summer of 1940 when elderly patients were transferred there from Suttons Institution at Hornchurch after the latter's requisition by the Air Ministry.
On 14th May 1943 Chelmsford suffered its heaviest German air raid of the war. During the raid the 270 bed New Hall Emergency Hospital was targeted and two high explosive bombs scored direct hits on the building and caused at least eleven fatalities. Seven died at the hospital, four others died later, among them was 81 year-old Mary who succumbed to her injuries later in the day at the Chelmsford and Essex Hospital. The picture shows New Hall in September 1943 with evidence of the bomb damage yet to be repaired.