About Me – Jeanne Flann
Jeanne Flann was born in Liverpool, England in 1924, to John and Eileen Harlow. Due to family discord that came from her parents sharing many characteristics, long time Liverpool families, Roman Catholic faith, and Irish heritage, but differing in the culture of the home, Jeanne’s early childhood was meager, unhappy and plagued with ill health. Her uncle John Sullivan on her mother’s side did much to alleviate this through paying for secondary school education at Belrive Convent where Jeanne learned a lot about the what its nuns thought a young Catholic girl should learn, and excelled at sports. The convent also served as an impetus for Jeanne to want to change her life, which she had the opportunity to do with the advent of World War Two in September 1939, and her plan to join the Women’s Land Army and become with others, Land Girls.
Assisted again by her Uncle John, she got the farming training necessary to become a Land Girl at the Lancashire College of Agriculture. Thus equipped, she served at three farms over the course of the war, her favorite being Marshaw in the Trough of Bowland.
Being made happy and healthy through meaningful work she returned equipped for life in Liverpool once again at the end of the War. Meeting a young man who was working a surveyor for British Rail in Liverpool at a dance one evening, a romance started that was to culminate in marriage in 1955. And thus began a marriage where Jeanne put all the housekeeping and mothering skills she learned from her time in the Land Army and Marshaw to use with her new family, for surely she could not use any learned at her childhood home.
Through a series of moves around first Lancashire and then Kent, Jeanne looked after family as John her husband moved with with the Civil Service as a surveyor. Her home emptied with her son Christopher leaving first to go to the University of Southampton, then her son Nicholas leaving for Coventry Polytechnic. After a period of enjoying Tunbridge Wells on their own, Jeanne and John had some choices to make with John’s retirement in 1990.