15th November 1943

Did not sleep well owing to intense cold.  Woke at 6.30, pouring with rain but the rain stopped before 8.  Changed into my riding breeches for the first time for months.  Left rather late, and cycled slowly to Dedham, fearing my chain would break at any moment.

Left cycle at Cottee’s [the cycle repairers] and called on Sissons.  Went into Colchester on the bus, borrowed Poulter’s cycle, went home, collected letters.  Went to the Registrar’s Office, but half an hour late, so Marsh rudely refused to register the death.  Then on to Becket’s, the undertaker's.  He told me that Jones, the schoolmaster, is dead.  He was only 49, a huge Welshman, born at Tregavon, near Aberystwyth.  I liked him very much at school, and frequently met him at the Seymour’s.  I shall always remember his deep rumbling voice, kindly smile and short black hair “embrosse”.   He played the cornet very well.

Committee at Birch.  Nothing very much.  Went back to Dedham with Moorhouse, and collected a cycle.  Went to Sissons', and they again gave me supper, as much as I could eat.  Afterwards looking at Caldecott’s drawings, Weever’s funeral monuments, a 1st Edition of Sylvia Sylvarun etc. Seven Pillars.  Mrs. Sisson mentioned that the Lawrence’s father was an Irish baronet, who ran away with his daughter’s governess, a girl named Lawrence.  They went to live at Oxford, and adopted the name of Lawrence.  The former governess is still alive, a very fierce old lady interested in missionary work.

Left at 10, driving rain, and went over to Higham.  Searchlight not on tonight.


Robin King said...

According to Wikipedia, the "very fierce old lady" (T.E. Lawrence's mother) (quote) "lived into her late nineties, dying in 1959, on the Yangtze River, China." Strange histories!

E J Rudsdale said...

Thanks Robin, that's an interesting insight - she sounds like she was quite a character! Best wishes, CP