Thursday, 15 January 2015


Here's that picture of Neville again. H.I. went to his funeral in Bath Abbey today, and learnt a little more about him.

I always thought he was an old buffer who liked drawing and painting, but - of course - he was a lot more than that.

Who would have thought he was a Major in the SAS, having graduated from another brutal training course in the Paratroopers?

It just goes to show how one should never think lightly or make assumptions about small, old people.

Bless you Neville, and I wish I had sat down with you a little more and listened to a few stories.


  1. How we always wish that when someone is gone Tom …… keep telling your stories …. tell all !! XXXX

  2. Jackie is so right!
    RIP Neville.

  3. I know what you mean Tom. I think we have all met people who were frail, elderly and seemingly quite ordinary, only to find that they have been quite exceptional.

  4. That message has come to haunt me the past few weeks -- All kinds of things I never thought to ask my mother or my brother -- until it is now too late.

    God bless you, Neville.

  5. To a certain extent, we're all a bit like ships which pass in the night. Thank you for sharing this post Tom. Good Night Neville - may he rest in peace.

  6. Last Summer when I took this photo, I also talked to two of his fellow students, both women.

    One was a big, handsome, French woman - recently retired from Bath City Council - who had acted for the French Resistance during WW2, putting herself in extreme danger. She recounted several near-misses with SS officers and could remember them well.

    The other was a 'Weather Girl' for the RAF based in the Cotswolds, and she collated all the information useful for planning bomber raids.

    I wonder if any young person will be interested in how I was involved in the Summer of Revolution at the Art Schools of 1968, when I am a bit older?

    I used to - at the time - have elderly men come up to me and say, "I fought 2 world wars for you!" and I laughed in their faces. I am so ashamed of that now, but it's too late.

    1. My father was a quiet and reserved man and every now and again he would reveal episodes from his time fighting in WW2, things I could not contemplate as a 20 year old.
      1968. I was still in primary school and I remember we had a young temporary teacher. My friend told me she was a "student". I was aghast. My understanding of the term then was drawn solely from TV news images of rioters in Paris, Grosvenor Square, Berkeley and maybe even art colleges.

    2. Don't forget Guildford School of Art, where I was the second to last student to leave the occupied premises.

      I knew what Grosvenor Square was going to be like, so I stayed away. I entertained many Sorbonne students though.

      One day, I will sit you on my knee and tell you all about it.

  7. Well its interesting how things changed in one decade. in the late 70s when I was an undergraduate student the protest issues by students had moved from global justice and social oppression to hall of resident rent rises and, I remember, a keep off the grass campaign because of the hot dry summer.

  8. Hidden depths

    Not a bad epitaph

  9. In the olden days, when I demonstrated spinning thread, I often had old people stop and recount being a doffer in a silk factory in 1918, "During the war, you know," or unloading cotton cars from the railroad in the thirties, all the manual labor that kept the world turning. Their children would try to pry them away; I'd say no, leave them, come back. I want to hear.

  10. Never be too busy to talk and if you say " I will call another day " do so.

  11. I often think this when I hear kids shouting throwaway insults at the elderly... if only they knew.

  12. I'd like to respond to all your comments, but I have to rush off this morning in a rare moment of urgency. Thanks though!