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Douglas REICH (1893-1970)

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Douglas Gordon REICH, Tree001-W23a

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Spouse: Josephine Grace PENFOLD, Tree001-W23

1 Douglas Gordon REICH (1893-1970) [120].

Born Nov 1893, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. Marr Josephine Grace PENFOLD 1915. Died 1970, Bugle, Cornwall, England.

DOUGLAS GORDON REICH Like Uncle Ted, my father seems to have been the tearaway of his family, but was acknowledged to be the brightest. At 11 years, he won a scholarship to Latimer Upper School, Hamersmith, a prestigious place: one of his classmates became the Astronomer Royal( Sir Harold Spencer-Jones). When his father(William Stewart Reich) died, Dad, aged 13 was taken away from school so that he could spend more of his time in the fish and chip business his mother started up to make ends meet. (Even when still at school his early morning duty was to fetch sacks of spuds from the markets). He then got a job as Assistant Quantity Surveyor at Holloways Builders Yard, Hammersmith. 'They paid me a boys wage for a man's work' was his comment on that phase. His friendship with my mother was associated with the hospitality he used to get at her home, and he retained great affection for her parents. He joined the Territorial Army before WW1 and therefore was very soon over in France, and spent most of it at the front. Only the rare, dropped remark, pointed to the horrors, and he never talked to his children of the cruel punishment he received after an episode in mid-war: it attracted questions in parliament. His french became fluent and in 1919 he spent a year or so working for the War Graves Commission. Back in Blighty he matriculated at Birkbeck college and became a schoolmaster, content to remain so until retirement. His interests were family, garden and tennis. A nasty motor-bike accident in 1934 crippled him for life but his passion for gardening (mostly flowers) was undimmed. He liked to drink, but this caused anxiety, as he did not seem to handle a large intake very well. My mother spent most of her married life keeping his intake moderate, except for very infrequent outbursts. He was a great smoker, but this attracted little criticism from Mum, despite the crippling tax on tobacco in the U.K.

Transcription of Letters from Peter Reich.

Sp. Josephine Grace PENFOLD (1893-1976) [119], dau. of Charles R PENFOLD (1865-1917) [93] and Mary Anna TUCKER (1860-1945) [94].

JOSEPHINE GRACE As a child my mother suffered years of illness and so had little schooling. She read voraciously at home and, no doubt, also benefited from having bright siblings about her. I never found her lacking in the 3 R’s or general knowledge, but she seemed to me to worry unduly about being relatively uneducated. Her first born arrived early in WW1, and for all but a few weeks of the next years my father was away in France. She lived with her parents for much of that difficult time and both she and my sister Mary never forgot their loving kindness. For part of the war she worked in a food shop but never sought employment after my father returned. Some very lean years followed, before my father, could begin a career. Her mother was widowed, but she and my mothers’ elder sister Rosalie gave generous support. By the time I was born (1926) my parents were settled in a home of their own, a small council house in Tooting: even so my father always used to ask ‘going up home today?’, referring to her pushing the pram to her mother’s house at Streatham. The death of little Jo (from complications of measles) dealt a terrible blow from which, I feel my mother never fully recovered.

(Transcription of Letters from Peter Reich by Julie Hughes-Owen, December2000).