Do You Believe in General Wolfe?

I’ve recently been going though all 14,000-odd comments from the old blog, which got ‘lost’ when I moved to WordPress last year (now viewable only from the moderator’s dashboard in Blogger), to see if there’s a way I might be able to make the really excellent ones accessible again (there’s no way I’m individually putting every single one onto the new platform, so there. Especially the flaming. Oh, the flaming…)

I’ve been re-struck by just how many brilliant comments there are (even some of the flames are funny). I have 108 pages of the ones I’d like to do something with – that’s a good couple of thousand. Opinions, research where someone’s continued poking after I’ve part-dug-up something odd, a couple of hundred of the ‘I think you’ll find…’ variety and memories. Some fascinating, some illuminating, some revealing and some – well, some are just plain charming.

I want to start the Christmas week by sharing one of my favourites with you – a seasonal memory from Marion, who as a very small, frightened child worried about her father, who was a policeman in R (Greenwich) Division during the dark days of the Blitz.

One of his less-enjoyable duties was to stand overnight guard at Greenwich Observatory watching for Bad People, most, but not all of whom, involved the Luftwaffe. Apart from the constant danger of air raids, solitude and the sheer creepy, spookiness of Greenwich Park in the middle of the night, what bothered young Marion most was the weather her daddy would have to stand outside in – the icy wind, the freezing snow, the frosty air.

So, to put her mind at rest her dad told her how, on the coldest night of the year, when he was standing all alone at the top of the hill, General Wolfe clambered down from his plinth and said

“Here, Jack. It’s perishing cold. Take my cloak.”

Marion remembers that she utterly believed him.

And so do I…


the attachments to this post:

greenwich_observatory_in_the_snow
greenwich_observatory_in_the_snow

TGP + Observatory
TGP + Observatory


2 Comments to “Do You Believe in General Wolfe?”

  1. stonemuse says:

    Wonderful story, puts a smile on my face.

  2. Dazza says:

    … and a tear in my eye, as I remember the innocence of childhood.
    Many is the time that the story of me, as a child, being sent to the bottom of our garden to get the Toads for the Toad in the Hole we were to have for dinner…….
    Merry Xmas, dear Phantom and to all who continue to read and enjoy your wonderful Blog!!