Winona Rosalie Armstrong was born on 25 September 1893 in Sligo. She was Marcus and Rosalie’s third child and second daughter. Winona enjoyed dancing and social outings but was much more of a home-bird than her sister Ione. She enjoyed nothing better than a quiet evening by the fireside, sewing or reading. She was a good cook and had a natural instinct for nursing and caring for others.
She was best known in the family for her great attachment to animals, particularly dogs. Although christened Winona, she was invariably known by all as Jess or Jessie. At the start of the war, she was living with her mother and two sisters in a boarding house at 14 Trinity Crescent, Folkestone.