We need to talk about Graham

Anne Bell was happily married for 44 years until her husband died. But Virginia Nicholson, her daughter, always knew he wasn’t her mother’s first love

The Guardian, Saturday 21 May 2011


2 responses to “We need to talk about Graham

  • Amy Scott

    This reminds me of Grandma…I wished I had asked her more about her fiancee, the hedge-jumping pilot. I wonder if they were deeply in love. She led a worthwhile and happy life after his death, but I don’t have the illusion that her and Papa had the same kind of bond that Quentin and Anne shared. I also think of our Granpa and Nana. Isn’t it remarkable that he made it home at all? I wonder what kind of relationship they had, really. I know so little of my grandparents and now they are all gone. The diagnosis of cancer in each case turned out to be the right diagnosis unfortunately.

    Like Virginia, I’ve imagined how it would be if Grandma’s first fiance had lived.

    By the way, I never would have survived the Blitz. It would have terrified me to my core. I don’t think I’m of the hearty, stoic stock!

  • Angels 14

    I don’t know whether it’s true, but I don’t think that Nana and Grandpa knew each other very well at all before he was posted overseas.

    Once abroad, he was love sick (and probably fearful for his life), so he sent his mother to propose to Nana on his behalf- he missed his own engagement.

    The story goes that Nana had to say yes (how could she have said no?).

    The War ended many great love stories, but equally, I wonder how many people were forced to stick together when they otherwise would have drifted apart?

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