Sunday, 18 September 2022

'Gone from us but not forgotten'

 With impeccable timing, these two mourning cards for King George V fell out of one of my books (in the course of Mrs N's shelf-tidying) the other day. Someone back in 1936 must have slipped them in as a bookmark (or two). The verse is boilerplate stuff, but it does the job. 
George V was sent on his way by his physician, who injected morphia and cocaine to speed his death, thereby ensuring that it would be announced with due dignity in the morning papers rather than in 'the less appropriate evening journals'. When, earlier, the King had been assured that he would soon be recuperating in Bognor, he allegedly retorted: 'Bugger Bognor.' However, according to his physician, his last words were 'God damn you.' Scarcely an improvement. 
Both George V and Rudyard Kipling died in January 1936, followed in February by my grandfather, to whom both men were towering heroes. His sons took some comfort in the fact that he did not have to live long without them in his life. 

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