Day after Day 28 - part 2
On behalf of the solicitors practicing in the court, Mr. Tree expressed concurrence. Only 7 weeks ago that day he had the pleasure of supporting a vote of thanks then accorded to the
ex-Mayor on the termination of his year of office as Chief Magistrate, and it was now certainly difficult to realise that they would never see him on the Bench again. It was also a pleasure, said
Mr. Tree, to attend the Court when Mr. King was presiding, for his administration of justice was characterised by at least three admirable judicial attributes - dignity, courtesy and impartiality.
They would remember him as one who occupied a very prominent and honourable position in the business life of the city; everything in his public life was actuated by desire to serve his fellow citizens. The solicitors deeply deplored the loss of the city had sustained and sympathised with the widow and daughter in their bereavement, but he thought their feelings would be to some extent mitigated if they could fully realise the inspiring words of a great poet.
"This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
Whose portals we call death."
Then we went to the graveyard for the burial service. The grave is in a nice spot close to some huge spruce trees. Close enough to the path for it to be easy for Mother to get to it, if she ever feels up to going there. I was pleased when I saw that one of the neighbouring tombs was the resting place of two of H. H. Lines' daughters. Do you remember that time when Father and I went shopping for pictures - and he wanted me to help choose them as they will one day be mine? He was so keen to get some pictures by H. H. Lines. In the end we got two of them, but I don't think either of us
liked the one of the old lady in the church yard much - but it was just that it was painted by our local man. Charlotte's father used to talk about how Mr. Lines had his small shop just along Broad Street,
and how he was poor and a struggling beginner then, and nobody would buy his pictures. He was almost giving them away in those days, but now they are worth a great deal of money. His daughters both died without marrying. They were listed as H.H. Line's daughters as if their only claim to fame was that he begot them. How sad. Surely there was something to be said for their lives other than that they had a father.
The tombstone which we have ordered is a large stone cross, very plain. On the plinth will be the words:
Loving Memory of
George Williams King
Who Entered His Reward
Christmas Eve 1907
Maybe we should have said whose son he was. Or who his wife and daughter were. Mother will probably be buried there with him some day - perhaps sooner rather than later with the way she is
neglecting herself. But as for me, I fear I will be buried in foreign soil. Soon Harold will be home, and we will be married, and I will be leaving this country, my grieving mother, my father's grave, my good
friends. I am so frightened of going. Sometimes when I think of how few hours I have actually spent with Harold over the last 6 years, and how I really only know him through our letters - which often are
more like articles from magazines than letters.
I wish you would be able to come for the wedding, but I know how busy you are with your son Tom. I am pleased I managed to get over last summer to meet him. I hope that our children, if we have any, will be friends with him and with your children. I wish I could see into the future and see what paths lie ahead for us.
All I know is that Harold is on his way and will be here by the end of January, and that we will be married in Holy Trinity Church at 12 noon on February 13th, with as little fuss as is possible, and that the next day we will board a ship in South Hampton to take us to the other end of the world.
I don't know how mother will cope without me. Thank goodness your mother is close and such a good friend, and has gone through this before so she will understand and know how to help.
I am pleased that the Days moved into number 6 too, as Mrs. Day is very pleasant and I'm sure will make an effort to help mother get through her difficult times. She is soon to be my mother-in-law, as
she is yours, and we will be sisters-in-law and our children will be cousins. Going back to the Queen's Memorial Service, do you remember how we first met your John on that day, and how I declared that I was going to marry him. I was so sure of myself. I never for a moment
thought that you would end up with him, and that I would be the one marrying his younger brother.
Remember all those quests I talked about. Most of them pretty much came to nothing. I wanted to find my royal ancestors - but never did, although I greatly enjoyed the history lesson I gave myself in trying. I wanted to get my great grandmother's poetry published but I never did. I wanted to get women the right to vote, and nothing came of it - except a committee set up to talk about it.
I suppose in a way I can feel that I helped my father get elected through encouraging women to vote who might not have otherwise done so. Maybe if he had lost that election, he would be alive today.
Maybe all my quests are doomed to failure. What about the quest to marry Mr. Day? Please God that that one will come to fruition and that in years to come I will be remembered for having made some sort of mark on the world.
Dearest May, please pray for me in these difficult times ahead. And thank you for being my friend.
Muriel and Harold did get married, and spent four years in Malaya and another two in South Africa. Then they came back to Worcester, and Harold joined the army during the First World War. Their first child was conceived on the ship out, but died shortly after birth. However, they kept his ashes, and he was buried back in Worcester, in the tomb with his grandfather. Their second son, John King, was my husband's father. They had 3 other children. After the War, Harold suffered badly from shell shock, and was no longer able to do a mining job. He owned a chicken farm until he retired. He was still alive when I married my husband, but I never met him. Muriel had died some years previously.
John and May Day had three children, and one of their grandchildren is now a published author of some importance - Andrew Lycett, having written biographies about Ian Fleming, Rudyard Kipling and Dyland Thomas.