Also writes as: Orende ; D. K. P.
Born: Established: 3 Aug 1904 Port Lincoln ; Died: 13 Aug 1992 Hove
Contact: Leonard Puckridge
Address: 58 Downing St
BAL FI was: WW; M/W; Miller; NLA
Doreen K. Puckridge was the daughter of Jessie Eleanor Ada (Owen), musician, and Frederick Benjamin Puckridge, engineer and boat-builder. The families of both her parents had been associated with South Australia from its earliest years and were among the first European settlers to go to the Port Lincoln District. Her maternal grandfather had been born on the Buffalo on its way to South Australia. The second of five children, she was born and lived in Port Lincoln, growing up on the shore of Boston Bay in a large two-storeyed home known locally as 'The Castle'. She was baptised Doreen Kathleen Maud, but omitted the 'Maud' from her early years. She attended the Port Lincoln public school and later, Adelaide High School. After studying at Muirden Business College she returned to Port Lincoln to work as office secretary in her father's firm, Puckridge & Ettridge. She taught at the Port Lincoln Primary School 1926-1928, but was retrenched during the Depression.
Although Puckridge had been an enthusiastic writer since childhood, it was at this time that she turned her attention seriously to writing. She had stories printed in the Sydney Triad and in the Adelaide Gossip, and became a regular contributor to the Express & Journal and the Chronicle. At a later date the New Idea and the Women's Weekly published her stories. She also had stories published in English journals.
In 1930 Puckridge married Leonard Bee Jenkin, a teacher, and they lived for a time in Kensington Gardens. Her first novel, King's Castle was published in 1931. A sequel to this, What's Next, Patricia? was accepted for publication but was not actually published. The Jenkins had two sons, born in 1935 and 1938 (one of whom, Graham Jenkin, also became a writer). They moved a number of times as Leonard Jenkin was transferred to different schools. They lived in Port Pirie, Wilmington, Brinkworth, Cummins, Port Pirie again and then Adelaide.
Puckridge herself returned to teaching in 1948, taking courses through the University of Adelaide and the State Library of South Australia, and becoming a qualified teacher-librarian. She retired in 1968 and her husband retired the following year. They began work on the research project that would eventually lead to Puckridge writing They Came With the Buffalo, a history of her own forebears. She completed the book, but in 1979, before it was published, she suffered a series of massive strokes which left her physically and mentally debilitated. She spent the last 10 years of her life at Oxford Nursing Home, Hove.