Resident Focus: Yvonne Bray at Peverel court care

Yvonne Bray - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

Following on from our recent post on the life of Bartlett’s resident Nigel Dyckhoff, we explore the globetrotting life of Stone House resident Yvonne Bray.

 

Yvonne Bray, a resident at Stone House, recently celebrated her 95th birthday. However, as we discover, she had already seen so much of the world by the time she turned 30.

Born on 23rd January 1925 in Westcliff-on-Sea, close to Southend, Essex, Yvonne was an only child. At the age of 3, she moved with her parents to Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), where they would remain for 8 years. Yvonne returned to England to attend boarding school at the age of 8.

 

Yvonne Bray - Child - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

World War II

In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, Yvonne was evacuated to Devon. She was aged just 14 at the time. In 1940, she travelled to India on a troopship, where she had to combine duties of keeping a lookout for German submarines with training as a shorthand typist. In 1943, to avoid the approaching Japanese army, Yvonne returned to the UK.

She spent time as a spotter on London rooftops, providing an early warning of approaching German aircraft, in the midst of barrage balloons and doodle bugs. Yvonne then worked for the Ministry of Information, before training to become a Voluntary Aid Detachment at Westminster Hospital, providing nursing care for injured military personnel.

In 1944, Yvonne met her future husband while working at the Masonic. One of her patients was Captain John Bray of the Royal Artillery, and they married 6 weeks later at St John’s Church in Surrey. Their wedding took place two weeks before D Day, on 20th May 1944, and Yvonne wore a blue dress, because there were no wedding dresses available.

 

Yvonne Bray - Wedding to Captain John Bray of the Royal Artillery - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

Family life

After the war, John would frequently travel around the world for work. Yvonne would initially stay in England, and then go out to join him a few months later. The couple welcomed their first child in 1947, quickly followed by a second born in 1948. Both were born in Croydon, England.

In April 1949, the family travelled to Uganda by flying boat, where they remained for 5 years, and where Yvonne worked as a shorthand typist. While living in Kampala, Uganda in 1951, Yvonne and John had their youngest child. During that time, Yvonne used to nurse another baby along with her own, due to its own mother not producing enough milk.

In 1954, the family travelled to Hong Kong by boat, and they stayed there for 21 years. In later years, Yvonne ran a women’s hostel as a volunteer; helping women who arrived in Hong Kong from other countries to establish lives there.

Yvonne was a huge fan of Sir Lawrence Olivier and sent him birthday cards each year, which he acknowledged.

 

Yvonne Bray - Nurse - Peverel Court Care Stone House Nursing Care Home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

 

Retirement

Yvonne retired to Pulborough, West Sussex in 1975, and came to Stone House Nursing Care Home in September 2019. She has a very cheeky personality and is constantly having a laugh and a joke. She loves to sing and always joins in with our entertainers. She also enjoys going for country drives with her daughter Pauline, and sons Peter and Robert, and adores getting her hair and nails done.

It’s such a pleasure for all of us at Stone House to be able to care for a lady who has brought so much light to so many lives around the world. And at 95, Yvonne is still making us all smile every day.

 

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business, providing personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

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