history

Facebook reunites mum with family of war-time German nanny

So here’s a beautiful and moving story I want to share …. It’s not a travel story as such but it’s certainly a story that’s travelled a long way and over a very long time …. Several days ago a lady from Kiel Germany contacted me via Facebook to ask if I was the granddaughter of Wing Commander Edward Gordon Gedge and his wife Eileen – which I am. Her name was Dagmar and she said she was the daughter of my mum’s nanny from more than sixty years ago and had been searching for us. Her mum Cristel cared[…]

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Arab interlude – Summer in Lebanon, 1939

In 1939, my grandmother, Eileen Gedge (pictured above with my grandfather), met a wealthy Lebanese Law student called Ahmed Tewfik Bey Al-Khalil at Cambridge University where they were both studying. They became firm friends and according to family rumours, Ahmed fell in love with my grandmother – a tall, fine boned, beautiful woman, always impeccably dressed and an exceptional tennis player. Sadly my grandmother was forced to reject Ahmed’s advances as it was impossible then for her to marry an Arab.  In those days, inter-racial marriages were frowned upon in High Society. After university, they lost touch, but not before[…]

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Riots Over British Gold At the 1920 Antwerp Olympics

It was an amazing Summer for Team GB at the recent 2016 Olympics in Brazil with Britain winning 65 medals, of which 27 were gold, and beating China. Our athletes cemented a place in the heart of all Brits and Team GB left Rio on a cloud of euphoria. Apart from a few competing nations getting upset over our tally of medals, there was huge congratulations all around for the Brits on their amazing success. Now imagine this is 1920, we’re at the Antwerp Olympics and our British Water polo team has just beaten Belgium to the gold medal. Instead of admitting defeat, being happy with a Silver[…]

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The Ancestors

I had it drummed into me from an early age that family and knowing where your roots come from are vitally important. My Grandfather, Edward Gordon Gedge, told me fantastic stories about his aristocratic life and my parents often said to me that I had ‘blue blood’ in my veins although I had no idea what they meant, and that I could trace my ancestry back to William the Conqueror.  Living in New Zealand, I didn’t have any appreciation of my ancestry until I first came to England and visited Whitmore Hall – my roots; the ancestral home in Staffordshire.  […]

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