Sonata and Smitonius today:
We are having a real family week-end, as Sonata is over in London, and we went grave hunting (the way you do). Having discovered that Sonata's great-grandparents were buried in Twickenham Cemetery.
It was an easy grave to find, being close to the entrance, but the grave was in pieces and we needed to re-arrange it to take this picture.
We are hoping, if it doesn't prove too expensive, to have it re-assembled and made secure. The inscription said: "In loving memory of Peter, beloved husband of Dora O'Donnell, died the 8th of June 1916, aged 63 years and their granddaughter May. Darling child of Percy and Anne O'Donnell died 18th June 1918 aged 9 1/2 years. "Until the day dawns". Dora, as it happens, is there too though she has no inscription, having died at the start of the War when people had other priorities. Here is Dora on a British seaside holiday:
But she started life in Kamptee (India) in 1862, the daughter of a military man. And then married a splendid looking Irish bandmaster who took her all over the Empire (as it was). With them, is little Gladys May, their grand-daughter, born in Muree Hills (India), in 1908 and brought up eventually in England by them. Poor little mite had lost her mother, and her father was at war. So it was particularly fitting that the birds circling the trees overhead were, to our surprise, green parakeets. You can see one flying in this photo:
We also received in time for this visit a copy of "The poetry of P.A.T O'Donnell", edited by Robin Gilbert (who also wrote a biographical sketch). Robin was one of his pupils, also a poet, who has worked hard to bring the poems and sketches back into print. P.A.T. was, of course, another descendant of Peter and Dora.
Here is one of his poems, which is quite seasonal:
Furled fall, lemon and rust, in shoals to sleep
in the sun's pools, the legions of the leaves.
False, this deciduous peace.
Autumnal consummation, like a sigh
shaping the heart for rest, an amber draught,
solves the sharp thoughts that tease.
4 days ago