Jean Anstruther -  Miss Pears Soap - 1930s

 
 

 

 

* Philip Noel Anstruther D.S.O. (1916) M.C. - (1891-1960). - # He married secondly (1937) Mrs. Mary Were, daughter of Edwin Edwards of Matamata, N.Z. (Marriage dissolved 1951). Val was Mary's son.

 

Jean achieved a B.Sc. in Veterinary Science in 1948. She was later elected a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. In the same year, 1948, she became engaged to Dicky - who did not, in fact, complete his B.Sc. - but instead looked towards farming as a career.

 

 

 

Jean Drew-Smythe - The Living Years

Part 2 - Jean Dionis
Drew-Smythe
BiograPhyle ®
Jean Dionis Anstruther
Born 1927 - Married 1949 Richard David Somerset Drew-Smythe - Died 1961

Jean Anstruther was born on September 3rd 1927. She was the only child of Douglas Anstruther and Babs, his second wife - née Evelyn Mabel Wormald - the youngest daughter of Sir John Wormald, K.B.E. and Lady (Mab) Mabel Wormald.

By her father's first marriage, to Enid Campbell - the 2nd daughter of Lord George Granville Campbell, a son of the 8th Duke of Argyll, Jean had a half- brother - Ian Anstruther - and a half-sister - Finetta. Another half-brother from that marriage, the eldest boy, Fagus, died in 1932 as the result of a riding accident. He was 15.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

Pictured at Greyfriars, in March 1935.

 

Greyfriars - Redbourn - Hertfordshire

She went to a boarding school, becoming a teenager during the difficult years of the Second World War. Her father, a Major, was a leading figure in the local area Home Guard - familiarly known as 'Dad's Army' and - it is said - had a style about him reminiscent of a popular British television series by the same name.

Greyfriars was the home where Jean grew up and it remained her home throughout the Second World War. During that time it was a frequent refuge for evacuees from London (both family and official) and visitors from all walks of life were prone to drop by.

(Click on this image of Greyfriars for further details.)

Her parents turned over a lot of the available land to market gardening and concentrated on vegetable growing.

At Easter in 1941, when Jean was 13 years old, she attended a Pioneer Corps dinner. On the reverse of her souvenir menu - in later, adult hand, she reflected thus:

"Dance held near Dunmow - went with * Philip, [Anstruther] # Mary [Anstruther] and Val [Were]. We were guests of honour - quite good fun except that Val trod on my toes the whole time, not so good as I had to dance with him most of the evening! My toes the next morning weren't worth talking about!"

A 21st Birthday Dinner was held for Jean at the Ship Hotel, near Bristol on September 3rd., 1948. It was also something of a celebratory "engagement" dinner. Present on that occasion were Dicky and her future parents-in-law ("Pop" and "Mummy") also Johnny and Pam (née Swiney) Drew-Smythe, her future brother- and sister-in-law, and a family friend, Hilda.

The menu card together with the comments of the family remains and whilst some of the comments written on the card are amusing - and typical of 'family' banter - in hindsight they are particularly poignant. See below.

The Old Court House - Whitchurch, Bucks.

 

Jean Dionis AnstrutherAs an infant, Jean lived at 'The Old Court House' at Whitchurch in Buckinghamshire. In 1929 her parents moved to 'Greyfriars' at Redbourn in Hertfordshire. They took possession of the house on September 3rd, her father making a note in the house Guest Book, "It was Squirrel's birthday". She was two years old.

Squirrel' - or sometimes 'Squilloo' - was a pet name given to her by her parents. The name derived from her squirrel-like manner of eating as a very small child and the name followed her through life - even into adulthood. Many of her ornaments were engraved with that name and she later adopted the Red Squirrel as her personal mascot.

Jean was introduced to horses and dogs from an early age and could sit on a horse almost before she could walk. It was a rare thing for her not to ride out at least once a day during the school holidays. As she grew older, she had a series of ponies - her favourite being "Tatty Bogle".

She hunted, attended shows and gymkhanas and was a successful young competitor.

She adored dogs and in her teens was very attached to one in particular - Spocket, a Dachshund - bred by neighbours of her parents, the Huxley family - of whom, Aldous Huxley, the writer, was one.

Her parents continued to keep livestock, including horses and cattle. In the family archive (unpublished here) there is a thick note book which records almost every animal that Douglas Anstruther bought and sold between 1921 and 1944, complete with accounts, veterinary certificates and numerous photographs and notes.

In the early 1940s Jean herself helped to maintain these records. In fact, the family maintained a reasonable business at Greyfriars until 1948 when the house was sold and they moved to 'Chipping Croft' at Tetbury in Gloucestershire.

By this time Jean was a student at the Royal Veterinary College in Edinburgh, entering at the age of 17. Here she met her future husband, Richard (Dicky) Drew-Smythe who had arrived back in England from Burma in 1946 after serving in the Second World War.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jean Dionis Anstruther

Dicky and Jean (5th/6th back row rt.) Edinburgh - Royal (Dick) Vet School - History

Dicky and Jean (5th/6th back row rt.) Edinburgh

Click below for Royal (Dick) - History

http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/vet