Jeanette ‘Ginny’ Carr
18 August 1941 – 28 June 2023
Jeanette grew up in the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire countryside. She joined the WRENS in the summer of 1959, three months before her 18th birthday. The time that she spent in the WRENS was undoubtedly some of the happiest days of her life. Following basic training she was posted to Arbroath in Scotland. She remained good friends with a group of the young WRENS that she had met in her basic training throughout her life. Following Arbroath, she was then posted to Culdrose where she trained as an air mechanic. She was trained initially on Hiller helicopters before moving on to the larger Gannets. Once she had finished her training she was sent to Station Flight where, as part of a team she serviced visiting aircraft including re-fuelling them, checking the oil and doing all that was required to keep them operational.
Tall and blessed with a good figure and with money in her pocket for the first time in her life, she bought fashionable clothes that were the envy of her three sisters when she would return to North Yorkshire on leave. As the sixties arrived she turned up the blonde in her naturally fair hair which further enhanced her green eyes. She loved to go to parties and socialise and as a young WREN there were plenty of opportunities to do just that.
Next she was posted to Yeovilton and after six months she was posted to Malta which was exciting for her since, up to this point in her life, she had never been abroad. Whilst in Malta she went to Cyprus on a six-week detachment and on leave to Tripoli, Sicily and day trips to Athens.
During her time in the WRENS Jeanette obtained her glider pilots licence, her dinghy sailing helmsman’s certificate and would often volunteer to be one of the bodies dumped in a cold sea as part of training operations for the Naval helicopter Search and Rescue teams. No doubt she enjoyed the experience of being rescued and winched up into the helicopter! In due course she married Able Seaman Tony Evans who went on to take a commission and train as a helicopter pilot in the Navy. They had three children.
After getting married Jeanette had to leave the WRENS because, in the sixties, the rule was that you could not be married and serve. She left in about 1963. In later life she would reflect upon how much she would have liked to have continued as a WREN and made it her career. She stayed in touch for some 60 years with many of her WREN friends and loved attending reunions organised by the WRENS Association. Those were her true friends who stuck by her and supported her when times were difficult.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Jeanette had her own business dealing in antiques and specialising in silver. She would buy and sell at auction, hold a stall at local antique markets and she also had a shop that was attached to the family home in Queen Camel, Somerset. She gained an extensive knowledge of antiques. Throughout her life she had an interest in history and was well read on the subject.
Following her divorce in 1984, she returned to North Yorkshire and developed her interest in horse racing. She obtained a permit from the Jockey Club and trained her horse Military Crown to victory in a number of races. She also rode in races herself and was accurately described by one of her friends as “fearless in the saddle”. In the 1990’s and having returned to live in Somerset she developed her interest in race-horse breeding which she managed to do on a shoe-string budget. A number of horses that she bred went on to have success, in particular the chaser, Thomas Crapper. Most recently, in 2021 a horse that she had bred and owned had a successful season over hurdles with two seconds, a third and a win. In later years when she was no longer able to ride she liked nothing better than helping out at the stables where she kept her horses. Although her horses took up a lot of her time, she always had time for family and friends and whilst she never embraced new technology, she was a prolific writer of letters.
Having not had the best of educations, Jeanette was determined that her children would not suffer the same and made significant sacrifices to ensure that they did not. She leaves behind three children, Sally, a teacher, Susan a Judge and Roger an intellectual property lawyer as well as seven grandchildren. Fiercely independent and never ruled by convention she lived her life her way. She was loved by family and friends and will be hugely missed.
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