Family history in making as five generations meet

The five generations of women in one family are Violet Elks, Sheila Stubbs, Shelley Stubbs, Laura Torn with Lily, 18 months, and Rebecca Torn, with four-year-old Evie.
The five generations of women in one family are Violet Elks, Sheila Stubbs, Shelley Stubbs, Laura Torn with Lily, 18 months, and Rebecca Torn, with four-year-old Evie.

MEET the great, great, great aunt who flew thousands of miles to spend time with five generations of her family in Thorne.

Dunscroft-born Violet Elks, 86, has been living in New Zealand for nearly a decade but took the chance of a trip back to the UK to visit her large gaggle of nieces and nephews.

The great-grandmother - whose maiden name was Hobson - enjoyed a fantastic meal out with her extended family at the Canal Tavern in Thorne.

It was the first time five generations of women had come together under one roof. At the party were Mrs Elks’ niece Sheila Stubbs, 67, of Grampian Way, Thorne, great niece Shelley, 45, also of Thorne, and her great, great nieces Laura, 22, and Rebecca, 25, and - fifth generation - great, great, great niece Evie, four.

Mrs Elks said: “This is family history in the making. Everyone talks about family trees and family ties but it’s great to be able to actually tell people about my life and pass on details for them to remember.

“It’s been six years since I was in the UK and it’s been fantastic. I’m not sure I’ll be here again but that’s exactly what I said last time I was here.”

Born in Dunscroft, Mrs Elks grew up in Stainforth and spent many years working on a net curtain stall on Doncaster Market, as well as working for Doncaster Council and when she was a teenager, she was involved in some top-secret work for the war effort.

“I was too young to be in the Land Army but we did go out and do work on the land that men would normally have been doing. We were taken to a warehouse where they were putting tanks together.

“We weren’t allowed to ask any questions but we helped assemble these tanks. They wouldn’t really tell us where they were taking them or what they were for and I don’t really know why they chose us to carry out the work.”

Back in 2008, the Labour Government moved to recognise those women who worked tirelessly in the Women’s Land Army, Mrs Elks was also presented with a certificate from then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to recognise her own contribution.

Her niece Sheila added: “It’s fascinating hearing all about aunty Violet’s time during the war. We thought it’d be great to get all the family together. We are a big family and Violet hadn’t met the younger ones before.”