Constance Mark, also known as Connie, was born in Kingston, Jamaica on December 21 1923. Mark was 16-years-old when World War Two was declared. Aged 19, in 1943, she was recruited into the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). In this role, she served in Jamaica as a medical secretary to the assistant director of medical services in the British military hospital. Her duties included typing up the medical reports of the people who had been injured in the war, including documenting the horrific injuries they had received from bombings and combat. She said: “There was a mood of fear in Jamaica [during the war] – they put the fear of God in us.
She added: “We were definitely positively told that the Germans wanted us because we were a stepping-stone to the coast of America. So we were on our tenterhooks all the time.” When the war ended, Connie viewed it as a relief. “Everybody was happy, ‘cause as far as we were concerned, the war was finished”, she commented. Following the war, Mark married Stanley Goodridge, a young Jamaican fast bowler, in 1952. He won a contract to play cricket for Durham, in the UK, and she joined him in Britain in November 1954 with their baby daughter, Amru Elizabeth. Their son, Stanley, was born in 1957. The couple later separated and she married Michael Mark.
When settled in Britain, Connie worked as a medical secretary and got involved with several charitable, community and educational projects. These included the Mary Seacole Memorial Association, of which she was a founder member and president. She was also a member of the West Indian Ex-Servicemen and Women’s Association. Mark received a British Empire Medal for meritorious service in 1991 and a Member of the British Empire (MBE) award for her community service two years later. She died at the age of 83, in 2007. See obituary here.
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), Medical Secretary