JANE CARR         (1909 - 1957)

Jane Carr was the stage name of  Dorothy Henrietta Brunstrom, the first wife of John Donaldson-Hudson

She was born on the 1st August 1909 at 23 South Parade, Whitley Bay,  Tynemouth and was educated at Harrogate Ladies College.

She first performed on stage in 1930.

Jane Carr appeared in a BBC television broadcast on the 15th November 1932, with high contrast make-up for the 30-line television. Her face was whitened and blue black is applied to eyebrows, eyelashes, side of nose and lips. Heavy white was applied between eyebrows and eyelids.

In the images shown above, the pictures on the left and right were taken from TV images, whilst the central image was a direct photograph.

She could be seen in a performance shown on You Tube at which shows her performing in a music hall or in this short excerpt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnXclHKWHfA and also in the 1935 film"The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes" which can also be seen on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAUv7LYyNu8  She can also be seen in this trailer from the 1934 film "A Church Mouse".

She was married to John Donaldson-Hudson on the 7th January 1943, at the Register office, Westminster,  and is recorded in Bernard Lazarus' book, as having played in a cricket match at Cheswardine Hall,  in the summer of 1943. The picture that appears below was given to Arthur Wall and his family by Jane Carr and is signed by her.


John Donaldson-Hudson was a director of John Logie Baird Ltd., along with Jack Buchanan, the singer, dancer and actor, and two other gentleman from late 1944. John Donaldson-Hudson provided financial backing for the company. The two other directors were Norman Letts, an accountant who knew about running companies, and Kew Shelley, a barrister experienced in patent law. Kew Shelley had changed his name from Krishto Kumar Edwin Bonnerjee, being from an Anglophile Indian family.

John and his wife had a daughter, Charlotte Donaldson-Hudson born at Cheswardine Hall on the 17th December 1944 who is recorded as having sat on Noel Coward's knee in her mother's flat in London, at the time he wrote the song 'Festival of Britain'. Charlotte recently passed on the following information via a blog:-

"Noel Coward was a frequent visitor to our flat in South Audley Street, Mayfair,where my mother, a well known actress at the time, Jane Carr, had two Bluthner grand pianos in our drawing room. Noel wrote the song "The Festival of Britain" there, and my mother, who at the time was a pianist and singer at Quaglino's and the Savoy, sang it regularly. It may have been frivolous, but was in my opinion immensely amusing, starting with a stanza I can't quite entirely remember. If anyone could help me I should be grateful. I only learnt it sitting on his knee 60 years ago!:-

Don't make fun of the Festival
Don't make fun of the Fair
We downtrodden British must learn to be skittish
and give an impression of Devil May Care
to this wide, wide world.
Let's sing God for Harry
And, if it turns out all right,knight Gerald Barry.
Scrub the National debts my lads, every one of us counts;
Grab the travellers' cheques, my lads, and pray that none of them bounce!
Face the future undismayed
Pray for further martial aid
Have the tune from Cavalcade drastically rewritten.
Peace and dignity we may lack
But we'll wave a jolly Trades Union Jack
Hooray for the Festival of Britain!

Thanks for the memory."


Jane Carr was divorced from John Donaldson-Hudson before September 1947, when he married Dorothy Elizabeth Freemantle.

Jane Carr subsequently married Henry John Robert Stent, the managing director of Trust House Hotels in 1955, but sadly she contracted cancer and died on the 29th September 1957 at the Middlesex Hospital, London, although she was buried at Mendham, Norfolk, in an unmarked grave.

© Michael Hendry