The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Edna Gray

Also known as: edna gray 1921 to2011 dick gray 1917 to 1996.

edna was my mum, she was the only child of ernest and caroline yates, her dad was in the gas trade, assistant to his father in shaftesbury, dorset, his mother was a member of the pryor family of st budeaux, plymouth, there is a book about her family several of whom were schoolmasters at st budeaux, mums mothers family were involved with the great western railway in swindon, her grandad working his way up from a signalman to station master. mum was a much loved daughter, neice, nan, great nan, wife, grandaughter and friend. she had a strict but happy childhood, her dad let her get away with things and she would accompany him to cricket, football and rugby matches. soon the family moved to Twekesbury, where mum started school, had 2 lovely white rabbits, she wheeled round in a pram and saw the elephants bathe in the river severn, when the circus came to town, her dad was manager of the gas works, soon they moved to princetown on dartmoor where her dad was manager of the prison gas works, she went to school in tavistock and to the school of housecraft in plymouth by train, she made lots of nice friends here and with her parents took part in church and village life. soon the second world war came along and she joined the land army training at seale hayne, near newton abbot and ending up working 12to18 hour days on pennycross farm near plymouth, milking cows and bottling and delivering milk in plymouth, whilst the blitz was on, this was ben jenkins farm, my grandfathers farm, where she also helped grow vegetables and harvest hay. during this time her cousin dick,who was also born and lived his whole life in shaftesbury was in the royal engineers in the thick of the war in north africa, south africa, italy and germany, they kept in touch by letter ,latter dick would marry doreen, sadley she died at quite a young age, at one time dick had his own taxis and would latter be a postman, well known for his many kindneses to the elderly and housebound on his round, he was also a great sportsman, playing football for dorset. mum married my father robert, ben jenkins son and in 1951 i was born, sadly the marraige failed and mum and me went to live with her parents who had just retired to dunstone a hamlet near plymouth, here mum worked in a garage, as a farm secretary and the job she really loved a school cook, she was also involved in running the local womens institute, pensioners club, foresters friendly society, liberals and methodist chapel, helping me with my homework, going to whist drives and old tyme dances. we had many holidays, staying with her friends in newquay, gloucester and southampton and of course with her cousin dick and his wife , in shaftesbury, we visited many castles and cathederals and cricket grounds, eatig many ice creams. when i got married, mum had the happiest day of her life when she married her beloved cousin dick, who was now a widower, they had many happy times together, holidays and trips, worshipping their grandaughter rosemary (dick had no children), mum had help to look after her dad , who died before she remarried, she would know look after her mum, who died in shaftesbury as did dick some 15 years ago. After his death mums friends rallied round and she took part in helping at the bell street chapel, hospital coffee mornings,taking an interest in the methodists work abroad, at election time with the liberals and carrying on dicks interest in the lifeboats (they visited every station in cornwall). as she got older and frail her chapple friends kept an eye on her, chis and next door nieghbour phylis in particular, when katelyn and chloe, her great grandchildren came along, she adored them. sadly she had to leave shaftesbury to come and live with me and my wife shirley, with whom she had a great bond, sadly we only looked after her for 6 months, before she died in torbay hospital, up till her last days mum was always happy, always on time for any appointments, with the information needed, always ready for a bit of legpulling, we are going to miss mum talking to our gold fish ,looking out for the birds on our bird table and saying good night to her favourite teddy,god bless you mum,now reunited with your beloved dick, god bless you both
philip, shiirley, rosemary, stuart, katelyn and chloe

Added by: philip jenkins on 23 May 2011.



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