Grandfather’s Ashes

Frederick John Hunter (1864-1943)

(Originally written by Robert S Hunter for the magazine Sea Breezes 20th November 2003)

He died in 1943 when I was less than three years old, so my recollections of this kindly old seafaring gentleman with silver hair and a silver beard are limited to the outings he took me peddling my three wheeler to the park in Mansfield Woodhouse where we lived. He used to sit and talk with the other old gentlemen on the veranda of the green painted wooden bowls and tennis pavilion whilst I cycled round the paths in fear of the grumpy old “Parkie” who accused me of digging up his flower beds for worms.

I seem to remember a warm dark coloured winter coat he wore and a black homburg hat, which gave him great poise and dignity, and for some strange reason an air of tranquillity.

Not that his departure meant that he left the family, for he has continued to be a major influence on us, my parents, my brother and myself, as much today in the year 2003 as he was then prior to 1943

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