uncle arthur

My Uncle Arthur was buried today in Thetford, Norfolk, England. He died three days after Claire was born. I didn’t call and tell him about her, which I regret.

He grew up in The Buildings, a block of council flats off Tottenham Court Road in London. He told my mother he remembered a game he and his friends used to play as boys: climbing inside truck tyres and rolling through the alley and out into Tottenham Court Road, to the alarm of traffic and the delight of the players.

I first met him at Christmas 1993. I was a graduate student in Ireland, and I spent the holiday in Thetford. Uncle Arthur showed me the sights. Thetford has two of these: a statue of local boy Thomas Paine, and the location for the outdoor shots for Dad’s Army. We had a ball.

He was a kind, loving, gentle, decent man, an excellent husband to my difficult Auntie Ruth and a good father to my cousins James and Helene.

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