Born in 1933, Jeanne Franks lived through conflict and peacetime. We spoke to her daughter, Ann, to discover how her mother’s experiences led to her leaving a gift in her Will.
Evacuated during World War Two, Jeanne lost a much-loved step brother during the war and learnt from just how precious life and family were.
On leaving school Jeanne became a typist at the De Havilland aircraft factory. It was there she met her future husband, George:
“Dad completed his National Service with the Fleet Air Arm and Mum enjoyed hearing of his adventures. I think this personal link led to Mum’s interest in Help for Heroes.”
The couple had three children and lived happily together until George passed away at the age of 51. Jeanne worked hard to maintain a normal family life, always putting the children first.
After retiring, Jeanne researched her family history and discovered an Armed Forces connection. George’s father had served in the Air Flying Corps in WWI, and her older stepbrothers had joined the Army during WWII:
“It was around this time Mum first encountered Help for Heroes. She enjoyed chatting to Servicemen and women when they were collecting. She recognised the dangers Service Personnel face and the sacrifices they make for others. As a mother and grandmother, she imagined how she might have felt if one of her children had been injured, and she knew first-hand what it was like to bring up a family alone.”
Aged 82, Jeanne moved to be nearer her daughter. Even after breaking her hip she remained cheerful, but while recovering in hospital her life came to a gentle close:
“Mum was very independent and never wanted to be a burden. She recognised that injured Servicemen and women also want and deserve their independence and dignity.”
Following a lifetime of caring for others, Jeanne provided for her family and favourite causes one last time. By leaving a gift in her Will to support our vital recovery and outreach services, she continues to help Veterans and families who need our support today:
“Mum left her legacy in recognition of the sacrifice our Veterans make so that others can live safely and happily.”