Pauline Fletcher, 93

Meet Abbeyfield resident Pauline Fletcher. Born an only child in Kempston, she went to school in the local convent. On Saturdays, she would go to the Kempston Barracks to offer help to the soldiers that were based there.

When war broke out, she joined the Junior Red Cross, where she developed a love for helping and caring for others. She later went on to study caretaking, and soon became a fully qualified Nurse.

A lover of rugby, Pauline would often watch games at the Bedford School. There she fell in love with Murray, the scrum half on the team and a cadet at the time, who was soon sent away to fight with the Royal Artillery in World War II. They didn’t see each other for over three years, only able to keep in touch by sending love letters back and forth. When he returned, they were engaged to be married after just a few weeks. Pauline Fletcher - Resident Real Story

Following the war, Pauline worked at the Bedford School with her husband, who joined the school as a French teacher after his time in the Army. They lived on campus for many happy years, working as the House Parents at the boarding facility there. At 60 years old, Pauline retired as one of the few women at the school who were actually employed at the time.

She has fond memories of spending part of her retirement living with Murray in Cornwall, just outside of Bude. Sadly, her beloved husband later passed away after suffering from a heart attack.

Pauline then came back to the Bedford area and developed a love of travelling. She enjoyed going on cruises and had a fantastic time exploring places like New York and the Caribbean. She loved the feeling of flying, and later went gliding across Dunstable Downs when she was in her 80s!

Life at Abbeyfield in Bedford

Pauline came to live with us at Darell Jefferys House in Bedford after health issues meant she was no longer comfortable living independently at home. Having nursed for a few years during her career, she has a lot of respect for those who care for her now.

Today, she enjoys spending time with her son, listening to music and going back to the Bedford School to watch a game of cricket. She recently celebrated her 93rd birthday. 

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