A MAN OF THE PAST
Harry Worsfield, who died in 1939, was an ordinary, everyday man whose life was replete with memories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
At the age of eleven his parents took him to the Surrey village of Albury for a day out to witness the execution of the convicted child killer John Keene. Such was the strength of feeling about the case that one of Harry’s older brothers applied for the hangman’s job! Reminiscences like this were typical of a man who lived through the First World War, and who rang the bell at a local church when the Duke of Wellington’s funeral was being held in London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
Harry’s prodigious memory along with his great age (he missed his one hundredth birthday by sixteen days), made him a legend in his home and community. Janet Hilderley, his great grand-daughter, has done an impressive job telling the story of a fascinating man who lived his life against a backdrop of powerful social and economic change. A book that will appeal to anyone with an interest in English social history.
Reviewed by Juliette Foster
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