James William Sole
By James Lester Sole
This article was originally published in the April 2004 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
James was born in 1888, at Ramsgate, Kent, the son of John and Rebecca (née Thurstin) Sole. He married Jessie Adelaide Gore in 1912 and they died within 6 months of each other in 1969. - Bob Sheldon
My father had a very dry wit and towards the end of his life, became very frail. Mother went into a home before dad, and we decided to have him at home and see whether we could cope with him. His appetite was extremely good and we thought everything was going fine. Then my father began to show very gradually small signs of dementia, and eventually the situation became too difficult to continue. So, reluctantly we had to send him to a home for constant care and ultimately, his own safety.
I can, however, tell a true story of my Dad which will demonstrate his sense of humour and obstinacy – two of the dominant straits of his character which, along with his courage – speaks for the type of man he was.
Some months before my parents left their last home in Broadstairs my father was taken ill, and sent me a message at two o’clock in the morning to come to him at once – “before he died” was his expression. When I arrived he asked (reputedly on his deathbed) for my forgiveness for the great wrong he had done me. After considerable prodding around I found that the ‘great wrong’ was that I was born only three months after he and my mother were married. After explaining I already knew this and could not care less I waited until he fell asleep and went home. On the way out of the house I passed the Vicar – on his way to give the last rites!
This happened on two further occasions and he sent for me each time. On the last visit I made he told me he had left me a million pounds and again pleaded for forgiveness for the way he treated me. Bless him. On this occasion, however, he told the Vicar not to bother to come again as he didn’t really need him, anyhow. I believe the Vicar was secretly relieved, even more so as he had not seen Dad before he started ‘dying’ so regularly.
James and Jessie
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