A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF CONSTANCE SPRY Constance Spry, née Fletcher, was born in 1886 in Derby, England, but grew up in Ireland. Her father had ambitions to move up in the Civil Service and accepted a transfer there, where Constance was encouraged to study hard in school. After school she spent one year at college studying Nursing, including Physiology and Hygiene, and the became the first full-time paid lecturer of the Women’s National Health Association. In 1910 she married her first husband, James Heppell Marr. They moved to a remote house in the countryside of Ireland, at Coolbawn, but many miles from any village. It was here she started to garden, motivated by the need to grow produce due to the isolated nature of the house. She did develop an interest in growing flowers at this time, and developed a life-long passion for gardening. When WW1 broke out in 1914, Constance became secretary of the Dublin Red Cross. She gave birth to a son, Anthony Marr, but the marriage itself became increasingly unhappy, and the relationship deteriorated to a point whereby Constance felt she had no choice but to leave. In 1916 she moved to back to England with her son, joining the war effort, working as Director of Women’s Staff at the Aircraft Production Unit. It was at this time she came to know the department’s Head of Personnel, Henry “Shav” Spry, a man she was to later marry.