I am writing this life story of my father here at 27 Millington Road, Cambridge, in 2007. The news is of the war in Iraq, the difficulties of the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the contest between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama in the Democratic primary elections in the USA.
Philip Reid was born on 12th January 1901 in Lahore, then in India, now part of Pakistan. He had an older sister Hilda, and a younger sister Lesley. But before telling Philip's life story, a word about his parents.
Philip's father Arthur Reid came from a Scottish family which had sent its sons to India for several generations. Arthur's grandfather, John Fleming Martin Reid (1797-1859), served in the Bengal Civil Service. Arthur's great grandfather, John Reid (1754-1810), was a surgeon in the service of the East India Company.
Philip's mother, Imogen Beadon, also came from a family with strong Indian connections. Her father, Sir Cecil Beadon (1816-1880), had been Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. He is buried in the churchyard of St.John the Baptist Church, Latton, Wiltshire. Our glass fronted bureau bookcase, now in the sitting room at Millington Road, came from the Beadon house in Latton.
My father wrote an
autobiography while he was a prisoner of war in Palembang,
Sumatra, during the Second World War. He completed it when
homeward bound on the MV Tegelberg in October 1945. He used the
pseudonym Martin instead of Philip, and gave it the title
'Mainly Martin'. It is written in the third person, and much of
this life story is drawn from it.
Next: Chapter 2: Once There Were Three Children
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