David sadly passed away at home on May 25th 2012.

This website is in memory of a life lived to the full.



INTRODUCTION

Friends who have read some of the 554 letters I wrote to my parents between 1939 and 1957 seem to have been fascinated by the way in which they describe my life during the war and my first 12 years in India, and have suggested that I should get them published. As this would be a time-consuming and expensive business, I have decided to post them on the internet so that anyone can read them if they so wish and have added other events of my life, written from memory, which may be of interest. I have divided all these “Memoirs” into the following eight “Volumes”.

VOLUME 1 THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS (1919 to 1939)

  • Chapter 1 Childhood (1919 to 1927)
  • Chapter 2 St Dunstan’s School, Burnham-on-Sea (1927 to 1932)
  • Chapter 3 King’s School, Worcester (1932 to 1937)
  • Chapter 4 Schoolboy to Soldier (1937 to 1939)

VOLUME 2 THE WAR YEARS (1939 to 1946)

  • Chapter 1 Militia to D Day (1939 to 1944)
  • Chapter 2 D Day to VE Day (1944 to 1945)
  • Chapter 3 VE Day to Demobilisation (1945 to 1946)

VOLUME 3 THE FIRST TWELVE YEARS IN INDIA (1946 to 1957)

  • Chapter 1 Passage to India (1946)
  • Chapter 2 Mangalore (1946 to 1947)
  • Chapter 3 Kundara (1947 to 1949)
  • Chapter 4 Cochin (1949 to 1950)
  • Chapter 5 Calicut (1950 to 1957)

VOLUME 4 THE BOUNTY OF KERALA

  • Chapter 1 Fertility
  • Chapter 2 Culture

VOLUME 5 LITERATURE

VOLUME 6 FILMS & VIDEOS

VOLUME 7 MARRIED LIFE (1957 to 2003)

VOLUME 8 RETIREMENT (1971 - )

This website contains Volumes 1 - 6. David never managed to complete Volumes 7 and 8.

Volume 1 describes events in the first seven years of my life, and indicates what life was like in a 'prep' and 'public' school in the 1930s and how much I enjoyed my time as a boarder at both.

Volume 2 contains all the letters I wrote home whilst I was in the army, and is virtually a week by week diary of my wartime experiences from conscription in 1939 to demobilisation in 1946.

Volume 3 contains the letters I wrote home every week during my first twelve years in India and describes the activities and observations of an Englishman living in South India in the last two years of the British ‘Raj’ and the first ten years of Indian Independence.

Volume 4 describes (in Chapter 1) the incredibly large number of products essential for our daily lives that grow in or come from Kerala, with most of which I was concerned whilst working there, and (in Chapter 2) the many cultural activities that over hundreds of years have taken place in Kerala, and are still taking place, my particular interest having been Kathakali, as will me made clear from a visit to www.theatrefutures.org/kathakali).

Volume 5 contains details of 31 publications and 6 books I wrote between 1930 and 1978.

Volume 6 describes the amount of work that had to be done when making and editing films before the advent of video, the camcorder and the computer and contains details of the 119 films and videos I made between 1934 and 2004.

Volume 7 will be a record of the activities and travels in my very happy marriage to Peggy Stevens, from the time I gave her an engagement ring on the top of Brent Knoll in August 1957 (after discussing my proposal with her father and obtaining his approval) until her death from cancer in November 2003.

Volume 8, will be a record of my life in the Somerset village of Brent Knoll which started in 1971 when I was 52 years old, the age at which foreigners employed in most British firms in India and the ICS (Indian Civil Service) had to retire. Originally this wasn’t a problem as far as I was concerned as when one reached that age one joined the staff of the London Office and in due course became a director and could continue to work until the age of 70. But in about 1966 the Government of India hastened the Congress policy of swadeshi (self-sufficiency), and the “Quit India” campaign that brought the British ‘Raj’ to an end in 1947, by passing legislation in the Lok Sabha that all foreign investments in India must cease completely by 1968. To comply with the law, my last job as the General Manager of a British Company which had operated in South India for 106 years, and had an excellent reputation, was to turn it into an Indian company of which I was allowed to remain for three years as its first Managing Director.

As after the Indianisation of the company there was no longer a London Office to give me a job, and I felt that it would be difficult to find one at my age which I would enjoy after all the experience and responsibility I had had in the army and in India, I decided to devote my time to voluntary work. Thus was it that I had the pleasure of being Chairman of the Parish Council for 5 years, Churchwarden for 14 years, Founder and Trustee of St Michael’s Brent Knoll Trust for 13 years, President of the Royal British Legion for 16 years, Commissioner of income-tax for 20 years, and Governor of two schools in Burnham-on-Sea: for 10 years of St Dunstan’s and for 6 years of St Christopher’s (in which my wife and daughter had been educated). And to keep myself amused in my spare time I arranged to have a 24-seat cinema-cum-studio built adjacent to ‘Malabar’, in which I could continue my hobby of making and editing films, and showing them to friends in the village.


Website designed by Decision Power © 2009