23 December 2016

20th-22nd Dec 1947: Frederick J French 1863-1947

20 Sat. Rather mild for the season, dull misty. To the florist in Coombe Lane to confirm the orders for wreaths phoned to them and to pay for a total of 5 floral tributes. Met Geoffrey Trory in Coombe Lane, he has agreed to play the organ at the service at the Church on Monday. In afternoon to Wimbledon bought two cakes, a dish cloth and some fish. Met Arthur and Kitty in Wimbledon they were wanting to buy a train set for Malcolm. Arthur told me Uncle Ben & family were sending a wreath. Cousin Maud called in evening. To Mr Akhurst in Amity Grove to tell him the news, also to Mr and Mrs Figg who had not heard Dad was ill.

21 Sun. Very mild for this time of the year, 48 degrees. Less dull; indeed the sun nearly came through midday. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald called in morning; they were going or a walk to Mostyn Gardens. We asked that the other children should not call this afternoon.

'Frederick James French, husband of
Theresa Mary, entered into rest 17th December 1947.
- the shared grave in later years.
Our diarist's mother, Theresa, had
died 2 Jan 1920, aged 56.
(Photo: Nora & Sean Galvin)
22 Mon. Rather mild, clear; very pleasant for the time of year. Floral tributes were brought during the morning, one by dear Joan McAppin who I had not seen since she went to Australia at the beginning of the war. I went with Leonard and Victor Conley to fetch the five wreaths and sheafs of flowers ordered from “August” the florists. At 1.15 p.m. The hearse bearing dear Father’s remains and three coaches came here, and Ciss & I, Albert and Lily and many members of the family went to Cottenham Park Methodist Church for the service. The service was conducted by Rev L. C. Craig our minister. The service was very beautiful and two hymns were sung: Jesu Lover of my Soul and I’ll Praise my Maker. Geoffrey Trory played the organ most beautifully. As a postlude he played Walford Davies, “Solemn Melody”. Cousin Ruby came to the service which was most kind as she has barely got over pneumonia herself: she sent a lovely chaplet. Mr Paul Judge, Mr Pulford and Mr Peartree of Judge’s, Dad’s old firm were present. The interment was at Merton Churchyard. Dad’s remains were laid with dear Mother’s but their souls are together in bliss everlasting.  And so closes another chapter of the book of life. Dad’s age was 85 and he always led a vigorous and active life never sparing himself: he accomplished a tremendous amount of work at the two factories, the home and garden, the Sunday School and the Church. I thank God upon every remembrance of dear Father and Mother. I have a most poignant regret, I shall never be the man my father was.

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