“There will be a bird today. It will be white with streaks of gold like a crown atop its head. It will fly.”
~Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
I’ve been fortunate in recent months to begin correspondence with the daughter of Cyril’s brother. She’s very kindly allowed me to share the following two images.
The images are a huge step forward in the navigation of Cyril, though perhaps I should now called him ‘Bub’ as his niece says that Cyril was only ever known as ‘Bub’ by the family (as written on the first photo) perhaps to identify him from his dad Cyril?
The photos bring me closer to Cyril/Bub than ever before… and I’m energised to continuing looking.
I said at the start of the Navigating Cyril Project that I was sharing the process of exploration into family history not because I thought my family was in any way unique or more deserving of the spotlight than any other, after all it’s a very ordinary family. But rather I was sharing the journey because within any family there are stories, marvellous stories; every family, my family, your family is a cypher or conduit for the very stuff of life.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
~Leonardo da Vinci
This image is as fascinating as it is poignant, given Cyril’s untimely death in a flying accident.
I’d love to find out more about the plane Cyril/Bub is standing in front of, there can’t have been many twin-seater bi-planes still flying in the Second World War? Was it a trainee plane, was it a Fairey Swordfish or a Goster Sea Gladiator perhaps? Would anyone out there be able to help identify the plane from the fragment shown in the photograph?
There were many and various planes in the Fleet Air Arm, not least those in the gallery below…
Christine also shared the following extract from The High Peak News, for Saturday July 8th 1944:
“The Roll of Honour of local men who have died serving their country in the present conflict now includes the name of Sub. Lieut. (A) Cyril Rowland Edmonds (22) of the Fleet Air Arm. Sub. Lieut. Edmonds was the younger son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Edmonds, of Portland House, Matlock Bath, and was killed in a flying accident last week. He entered the Service as a volunteer in December, 1942 , and obtained his wings in Canada at the end of the following year. In February of the present year he was married to Miss. Edna M. Rainsbury, a daughter of P.C. Rainsbury of Ednaston. Sub-Lieut. Edmonds was born at Matlock Bath and was educated at Matlock Bath C. of E. School and the Ernest Bailey Secondary School. Before joining up he was a member of the staff of the Engineering Department at the Matlock G.P.O., and was regarded as having a most promising career. He was a popular member of the Matlock Liberal Club and the Matlock Bath Social Club.”
Each image and nugget of new information brings the past closer, and enriches my sense of the present too.
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
~William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun