Mrs Becher's Diary


Bob Wigram

The victim of concussion umpteen times, with a bright mind – good natured yet narrow and he was a bad enemy.  He pursued his purpose relentlessly, oblivious of criticism.

A tremendous talker, he used to tell a story against himself. They were a large family and when as young children they were separating at night for bed and prayers, he suggested that they should all say them aloud together and then there would be no need to stop talking.

He was generous yet with an eye for his own profit. A friend of the working man, he openly asserted his superiority and claimed the deference which he considered his due. He was as a Squire in his own eye and they his servitors.  Horses and dogs were his hobby and he inaugurated a pack of beagles to which he always rode – the only man on horseback.

He was incapable of understanding the point of view of those who objected to hounds running over their ground and astonishingly referred to them as ‘bad sportsmen’.

Headstrong, he was a difficult customer in a disagreement as his high colour and firm jaw seemed to indicate. He married Adela Reid – ‘Ity’ to her friends, many years his junior – one of the sweetest things God ever made. Dark, faithful looking brown eyes with a widow’s peak above and a forehead that wrinkled deliciously when she smiled in that questioning way of hers. Thrilled with the idea of her baby, she died in giving it birth and she was missed and mourned by everyone who knew her.

Bob Wigram married a second time and to him there could never be children that could be compared to his two boys who he would have to be sportsmen from infancy.

The recurring concussion following frequent falls from his horse – they say he suffered it eighteen times, made the pain in his head almost unbearable and the end was characteristic of him – he simply took the direct way out – the way of a sportsman and blew his brains out.

There is a letter from him in my possession apologising for his enforced absence from the Boys Club annual Social Evening.  He writes – “I don’t believe you have a motto for your Boys Club, may I suggest one?  It was a saying of the Jews and perhaps the Vicar would read it to the Club:

Iron is strong, but fire is stronger, for it bendeth iron
Fire is strong, but water is stronger, for it putteth out fire
Water is strong, but clouds are stronger, for they draweth up water
Clouds are strong, but wind is stronger, for it blows away clouds
Wind is strong, but man is stronger, for he overcometh the wind
Man is strong, but fear is stronger, for it maketh man weak
Fear is strong, but wine driveth out fear
Wine is strong, but sleep overcometh wine
Sleep is strong, but death is stronger
Death is strong, but “loving kindness is stronger than all”
For it outlasteth death itself.