Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A tribute to 'Don'

I obtained a copy of the following image a month or so ago and set myself the task of locating the whereabouts of this touching tribute dated 23 June 1931. I was told it was somewhere beside the approach road to Nocton Hall, but no specific location was given:

Looking at the background to the image, I identified what I thought must be the boundary of the walled garden of Nocton Hall. I therefore decided to complete a methodical grid-search of the ground from the wall to the roadway. This was somewhat difficult to accomplish due to the masses of bramble undergrowth that have since infested the area. After tramping around for nearly an hour, working my way through metre-high thorned bushes, resulting in bleeding legs, I glimpsed what I thought was a piece of polystyrene and to my joy discovered the hidden gravestone.

I decided there and then to commit to clearing the vegetation, to free this sentimental memorial from its suffocating entanglement and clean it of the moss and algae that obscured the inscription. This morning I managed to fulfil that promise - you can see the results below:

In memory of my dog 'Don'
For 12 years my faithful companion, by city lights and village signs or down the snowclad paths.
But then I wondered, who exactly was 'Don'. Is there an image of this faithful companion still in existence?

After trawling through Sheila Redshaw's photograph albums, I managed to find an image of J.H. Dennis... and standing faithfully alongside him, is 'Don'.

Frank and 'Taffy' Dennis with his dog, Don
May this fitting tribute lie undisturbed and unforgotten for many more years to come.

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