Ethel Apps

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Ethel Apps, singer from Sissinghurst, Kent, 1884 - 1970.

Songs recorded by Francis Collinson, held at the School of Scottish Studies:

From obituary in the Kentish Express, Friday 12th June 1970:

Mrs. Ethel Apps, of Cleavers, who died in the West Kent hospital on Friday, aged 86, will be remembered in the village as a great character. She was the widow of a Metroploitan policeman. She loved entertaining, and some years ago she recorded 'The Gypsy's Lament', an old folk song, for the BBC. She received a royalty every time it was played. Probably her greatest characteristic was her unfailing cheerfulness, which continued th[r]ough her final stay in hospital."

'The Gypsy's Lament' remains a mystery, but the details in this brief notice allow us to identify Mrs Apps in the official records. She was born Ethel Rose(mary) Lambert, in Millwall, London, 4th Nov 1884. Her husband, Metropolitan Police Constable Henry Edmund Samuel Apps was born in Hastings, Sussex, in 1883. They married in Greenwich in 1907. At the time of the 1911 Census they were living in Peckham, and in 1921 in Deptford. They must have moved out of London in the following decade, as Henry is recorded as having died in 1930 in Cranbrook, Kent. Mrs Apps was living in Battle, Sussex, at the time of the 1939 Register. We don't have a date for Francis Collinson's recordings, made at Sissinghurst, but they were almost certainly made during the 1940s.