Ash was born as Eileen May Whelan in Highbury, London on 3o October 1911. She was the eldest child of Irish-born James Joseph Whelan and his wife, Charlotte Mercy George. She had two younger brothers, Jack and Kenneth, the latter of whom died in World War II.
Ash played Test cricket both before and after World War II, making her debut against Australia at Northampton in June 1937 and playing her last game against New Zealand in Auckland in March 1949. A specialist bowler, she took 10 Test wickets at 23 runs apiece. She also played representative cricket for the Civil Service, Middlesex and South of England.
At the start of World War II, Ash worked as a telephonist at her local post office. Outside of playing cricket, she was employed by the Civil Service from the age of 18. She was seconded to MI6 during the war, and went on to work with the organisation for 11 years.
Ash married her husband, Wilfrid Sidney Ash, in 1950. The couple had no children, and later retired to Norwich. Ash took up golf in later life, continuing to play until the age of 98. She was widowed in 2004.
Ash was still driving aged 105, and did yoga regularly at 107. She stated that her most prized possessions included her test cap and a cricket bat signed for her by Sir Donald Bradman at a French restaurant in Sydney in 1949. Her secret to longevity was “Being happy and smiling a lot, red wine, and keeping fit with yoga!“
In December 2020 and January 2021, Ash received her two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, making her one of its oldest recipients. She died on 3 December 2021 at the age of 110 years, 34 days.
Biography partially sourced from Gerontology Wiki