LADY Doreen Harland has died aged 88. She had been married to Sir Reginald Harland for 69 years and had suffered with Parkinson’s Disease.
She was the daughter of a senior surgeon at St Thomas’s Hospital in London and her mother was a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
Lady Doreen met Sir Reginald at the age of 19 when she was nursing during the war and the couple married in 1942, 40 days before Sir Reginald, who was serving in the RAF, was posted overseas.
Doreen Harland, nee Romanis, joined the Red Cross in 1939 and worked in St Thomas’s Hospital in London during the war time bombing, firstly as a VAD member of staff before undertaking her nurse training.
She then moved to a hospital near Guildford before working at a convalescent home for Czechoslovakian officers and aircrew at Windsor Great Park in 1942. It was then that she met her husband at a dance in Godalming.
They became engaged and married at Godalming. Five weeks later, Sir Reginald was sent overseas for three years.
The couple travelled extensively with Lady Doreen providing support to her husband and acquiring a range of talents from Japanese flower arranging to Chinese painting. She also helped to set up the Singapore Red Cross in the 1960s.
She went into Risby Park Nursing Home before last Christmas and died peacefully in West Suffolk Hospital on Friday. Her husband said: “I feel extremely lucky and honoured to have met her and to have been married to her for so long.”
Lady Harland’s funeral is at West Suffolk Crematorium on Wednesday at midday followed by a memorial service at St Mary’s at 2.30pm
She was mother to five children, grandmother to 10 and great grandmother to eight.