Chertsey Boy………..The Family.
My story ‘ Chertsey Boy’ could not start until I can recall my first memory—possibly a false one—but it could fit the time and occasion , although if it is true, I would have been just two and a half.
The story up to now, was passed on to me, Alan, the youngest child, by Iris the second eldest child, she was about eighty at this time, but as sharp as a tack.
I, at this point, was only aware of some of the details of my mother’s ordeal.
My sister, remembered just about every-thing that happened in those few days as if it had been yesterday.
She was about eleven, and the trauma of it all, had imprinted it on her young mind.
All the neighbours names and those of the doctor and the policeman, were still fresh. I remember some of these neighbours myself, and Doctor Ward was still looking after us for several years.
Her story answered a lot of questions that I had about our family.
I vaguely knew there was a scandal that involved my Grandfather, George Conrad, but my mother would not talk about it, Iris told me he was disowned by his father, Thomas Mathias Luz Weguelin, a retired Colonel in the Indian army, who must have been reasonably wealthy to support his son.
My grandfather was, what may have been called a ‘rake’ in those days, educated and clever with several patents to his name, but a weakness for wine, women and song, and as my sister said. ”Not, too of the much song bit”.
He had lived on a private income, without the need to earn a wage.
Not content with a family of four, he managed for years, to hide the fact that he had another illegitimate family of four, just 3 miles away in Chobham, Surrey.
When this was found out, he was promptly denied any more income from his father.
He found employment in the same factory as my father, “The Airscrew Propeller Company’, not on the bench of course but in the drawing office.
Now, having had to provide for two wives, although all his children were grown up he was not able, with a reduced income, to help my mother when she needed it.
The memory I mentioned before, that may have been my very first, was of me sitting on the floor with a room full of people, with hats on.
This could have been the funeral wake or just a doctor’s waiting room, it certainly is a memory that stands out.
Now I can continue with this story in my own words, although the memories are fairly light at first, some are still vivid.