The daughter of Henry Rose and Harriet Barnett, Ethel was born in Dudley in 1884. In 1901 she was a visitor in the home of Sarah Woodall in London. By 1911 she was living with her parents at 19 Copthorne Road, Wolverhampton, along with her brothers Henry, Aubrey and William. Ethel was working as a cookery teacher for Staffordshire County Council.
Ethel put her cookery skills to good use during the First World War, becoming Head Cook with the British Red Cross, supervising and cooking patients and staff food from 2 April 1915 until December 1918. During this period she served as follows:
- From Apr 1915 to Sep 1915: With the University & Public Schools Battalion at Epsom with Surrey 28 Commandant the Lady Margaret Ryder. Then on with the Brigade to Clipston Camp, Mansfield under the Northern Command.
- Oct 3 1915 to Jan 1916: At Bidborough Court Hospital – Kent 74 Commandant Miss Ka Pott Holidays at Clipston 1916 to relieve Cook etc.
- July & all Aug 1916 – at Gifford House Roehampton – Com: Miss Porlock Dobson.
- Dec Holidays 1918 Neville Park Hosp: Tunbridge Wells. Late Bidborough Court.
Ethel died in Wolverhampton in 1967.