KP/JK - Jessie Kenney
By 1920 Jessie, too, had withdrawn from active political campaigning, and trained as a
wireless telegraph (W/T) operator. She had a talent for the work and it was her ambition
to work as a W/T operator on board ship, but she was thwarted in this aim and settled for
work as a stewardess. During the 1930s she worked variously for the Furness and Orient
lines. Aboard ship she read voraciously, and began to write. On the outbreak of World War II she was obliged to remain in Britain, vacating her London flat in 1940 to reside temporarily with her sister Annie and brother-in-law James Taylor in Letchworth. After the war, and unsuccessful in her efforts to follow a career as a writer, she worked as a school secretary and welfare assistant at Battersea County Secondary School.
After her retirement Jessie remained in London until 1965, when failing health precluded
wholly independent living. For a while she appears to have resided in various hotels and
pensions. In 1969 she took up residence in St Francis' Nursing Home, Braintree, and remained there, in the care of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters, until her death in 1985.
Having briefly been a Theosophist, Jessie was persuaded by Annie Kenney to join the
Rosicrucian Order. She was active for some years in one of the Order's London Chapters, but was drawn towards Catholicism in her last years in Braintree; she was received into the Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Day 1973.