Obituary: Great Uncle Wilfrid Newland

Been sick this week so I am rather behind on blogging. I found out on Sunday that my great Uncle Wilfrid had died. Wilfrid Newland (my mother's mother's younger brother) was one of my last links to the English side of my family. Every time I met him, he always came across as Britain from long ago. He had been born in 1917, and had served in World War II as a commando... possibly in the same unit as the actor Christopher Lee (having read about some of Mr Lee's exploits during the war.. they were in the same area doing the same kind of work.) After the war, he had been in various 'diplomatic channels' doing 'overseas' work of various sorts.

I would remember my Grandmother reading a letter or two of his from various parts of the world, and I remember how frostily he would treat my Grandfather whenever he came across the pond to check on his sister (Grandmother had married down in class to a chauffer's son ). The big worry came around 1979 or so when he was 'assigned' to Iran and had to be evacuated with the rest of the British embassy during the revolution.

I remember him visiting in 1987 or so, doing his morning regimental walk, doing 1 arm pushups, and showing how to drive a car in case of being chased by bandits (which in some ways seemed to be the way he always drove in America...) He always had his tea in the afternoon, and brought his sister Turkish delight from across the pond (though never too much as he detested the stuff). He is always what I thought of as an English gentleman, and now I wish him a well earned rest.