Mary Lucinda Belle Jaffray

This page is about my mother and her antecedants, who can be seen on the sub-pages to this one.

In brief: 1920-Mary Jaffray, b. 31.07.1920 in London; d. 13.07.1999 in Chichester.. (Full name Mary Lucinda Bell Jaffray).

Father, Robert Jaffray , Mother Elizabeth Anne Jaffray, née Bell. She had a sister, Frances Ann Elizabeth, who was born in 1924 and died in 2000. I was very fond of my Aunt Ann, or Fanny as she liked to be known).

  My mother was very artistic. As a child she lived in Whyteleafe and Sanderstead (Surrey). She attended Eothan School in Caterham, and later trained as a commercial artist, but just as her career would have begun, World War II broke out. Instead of pursuing a glittering career in advertising, she worked at the Ministry of Information throughout the War. (Her pay wasn't bad though, at the end of the war she was earning £268 a year. That sounds a ludicrously low amount to modern ears, but it really wasn't bad for 1945!). 

  She stayed in or near London throughout the Blitz and the long dreary years of the war. The windows of her apartment were regularly blown out, but fortunately she was never actually bombed out.

  On 14th March 1942 she married my father, Dennis Evans (see the Evans family page). Weddings during the war were fairly low-key affairs. .

  They had a short honeymoon at the Dorchester, then it was back to the services for Dad, and work for Mum. It was not until late 1945 that they were able to live a proper married life. When her children started arriving life was pretty tough. Having lost the time when she should have had fun - her early twenties - to the war, she now had three growing children in the nineteen fifties, with no mod cons, and no car.

  We lived in a small village called Chaldon, a mile and a half from the nearest shopping parade in Caterham. She was a full time house-wife, unable to exercise her artistic talent except through dress-making, so in many ways she was very frustrated, although she was a terrific Mum to us.

  In later years, once we were off her hands, she was able to expand. She taught dress-making for a few years, and she painted in oil a great deal. Her paintings are still on the walls around the family.
  But her main achievement was the work she did for the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS). She became area organiser for the entire county of Surrey, and was invited to one of the Queen's garden parties in recognition of her work. Alongside is a picture of her and Dad, off to see the Queen.