Saturday, August 11, 2012

A virtual walk through Radnor Street Cemetery - the Kiddle family

Another beautiful day and as we near the end of our virtual walking week we visit a couple of damaged monuments.

Sadly some of the memorials have suffered over the years.  There has been some vandalism – I was told that there’s someone who runs around the cemetery in the dead of night trying to topple the stones.  Now whether he does this on a regular basis or whether it was an isolated moment of madness I don’t know.

As you know, the cemetery is on quite a precarious hill and there is a certain amount of subsidence and then there’s the badgers who have some pretty impressive burrows going on up here.

These two monuments have suffered from any one of the aforementioned.

The first is the grave of Frederick Charles Kiddle.  Before the Second World War Frederick had a glove factory at 1 Church Place called West Riding Gloves.  His partnership with George Edward Dockray was dissolved at the end of January 1942.  Frederick died just a year later in March 1943 aged 63.

I particularly like the inscription his wife and daughter put on the grave. “To my dear Speedy who I loved/No tongue can ever tell what we would give to have you back.”

The couple’s daughter Marcia died in December 1994 and her grave has also been badly damaged.

Marcia Kiddle was well known for her charitable works during the war.  One example I found while researching and writing my Swindon at War series for the Advertiser was an account of a trip to the theatre for children evacuated to Swindon paid for by Miss Kiddle.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. Fred Kiddle was my late father's uncle (his mother's brother) and Marcia his cousin. The family lived at Duart House, Victoria Road, eventually demolished and replaced with a bright orange office block, Beaver House, which is still there. You mention a glove factory, but I believe that most of Fred's money came from bookmaking--both on course and off, with Duart House being furnished with antiques and silver 'redeemed' from unlucky gamblers in lieu of their debts. I understand Fred gloried in being nouveau-riche (his father was an engine driver and his mother was illegitimate, born in a workhouse), owning many cars, from the windows of which he liked to scatter coins for local boys to run after! At the start of WWII he donated premises for the local Red Cross to use as their HQ--a wise investment, as they had preferred access to petrol, and made sure his car was never without, despite rationing... I would love to see/hear about any other news/stories you have unearthed about the Kiddle family.