Dorothy Leeming was born at Ballechin, in Perthshire, on 9th March, 1916, during the middle of the First World War.
Her initial childhood was therefore remote and rural but in 1924 the family moved down to Skirsgill on the edge of Penrith.
Her father had hired a train and the whole household boarded at Pitlochry station with children, pets, ponies, horses, carpets and curtains and arrived half a day later to start a new life at Penrith.
The children soon made friends with those of the Rimington family of Tynefield House and one of their first employments was to line up with their backs to the Station yard and then walk south-east towards Eamont Bridge across fields and stiles and past Horseshoe Pond and the old racecourse, pushing partridges ahead of them.
Of course nearly all this land is now built over but then it was open countryside.
Shopping trips into Penrith were by horse and cart driven by her mother, and in town you tied the horse to a convenient lamp post and ‘hoped it was there when you came back’.
Sometimes the horse, especially if bored, would set off home on its own! Of particular note was the Butter Market where the best butter was sold by a farmer from Shap.
Other trips were to Patterdale for walking and picnics and also to the gardens at Lowther which were then still fully operational.
When the Second World War came, Dorothy trained as a nurse and helped look after the war wounded in Carlton Towers in Yorkshire, a huge (and rather cold) stately home converted into a hospital.
By coincidence, in the same place, (and equally cold), was Dorothy’s future sister-in-law Iris Tempest, mother of Antony.
After the war she went to London and joined the NHS when it was founded in 1948 and worked at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton and subsequently Westminster Hospital in London.
She specialised as an occupational therapist, a profession then in its infancy, caring for teenage and young adult patients.
She retired in 1976 (then compulsory at 60) though she very much wanted to stay on.
Returning to Cumbria she spent the later years of her life at Skirsgill and then in Temple Sowerby and much enjoyed the company of her friends and neighbours there.
In 2016 Dorothy celebrated her 100th birthday with a family gathering and 100 candles.
Last year she celebrated the 200th anniversary of her grandfather’s birth in 1817 and was the last of his 14 grandchildren.
Dorothy died peacefully at home on the 28th December.
She was a popular aunt, great-aunt, great-great aunt and great-great-great aunt to many.
Her wisdom and sense of humour will be much missed by her family and wonderful carers.