Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This England...

Lord Kilbracken
At Eton he distinguished himself by rowing in the first VIII, taking flying lessons and setting himself up as the school bookie, thus inaugurating a life-long love of gambling of all kinds. The position earned him a certain amount of kudos with his peers, but was not appreciated by the beaks - or by his parents, who cut off funds for his flying lessons as a punishment.

He decided that the only way out of ignominy and poverty was to win the school's Hervey verse prize, which came with a handsome cheque for £16. He duly did so with a poem about a storm which he described as "a masterpiece of 116 lines and a high moral tone". The prize was presented to him by the same master who had given him a thrashing for his bookmaking activities, though John Godley knew from "a certain look in his eye" that the crime had not been forgotten.

The Daily Telegraph, 8/15/2006

The Telegraph obituary page is especially good today. Not only did Lord Kilbracken live a splendid life, but the obituary of Sir Michael Weir is well worth a read.

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