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But Thomas William adjusts swiftly to living in the castle with his adoring grandparents, the Duke and Duchess of Tyne. He is the happiest ...
But Thomas William adjusts swiftly to living in the castle with his adoring grandparents, the Duke and Duchess of Tyne. He is the happiest kid in England. As World War II is in full swing, his days are busy and filled with activity as the castle becomes a safe haven for children in the south of England who are affected by the tumultuous fighting. Thomas William and his best friend, Martin Gibbon, provide a valuable service to these children and are bestowed knighthood for their efforts.
A work of historical fiction, The Accolade follows Thomas William, the eventual heir to the Dukedom of Tyne, from his childhood through early adulthood, as his social standing, hard work, and good luck consistently reward him and his best friend Martin.
The Sixth Duke of Tyne 1877 to 1953
The Sixth Duke of Tyne Was my Grandfather Thomas Eaton Heron. His Wife was the Duchess of Tyne Ellen Williams Heron. They had four children:
The first-born was a son, the next inline to become The Duke of Tyne; Wilfred Mirgatroy Heron, he was married to Irene Helen Heron.
Their Children were: Joseph Paul the oldest and the second in line for the Title following his Father Wilfred and the youngest was Thomas William (Me) Third inline for the title of Duke of Tyne.
The second child was Reginald Thomas Heron he was married to Ann Olympia they had no children.
The third child was Margret Elizabeth she was married to John Stewart.
No living children.
The fourth child was William Haven he was married to Florence Mischuck.
Three children (a step-son) Jack and their two children William and Florence
The oldest grandson my brother Joseph Paul was born July 5 1928
I was born on March 9th 1929. That was my Grandfather's Birthday too.
As the Second World War was smoldering in Europe the Duke call my father to his library and discussed the future of the Dukes estate.
The Duke said "Wilfred I want you to make a home in the United States of America. At least you will be safe. I have investments in America and you will have to manage the business, which is in New York City, but you will have to live in The State of Connecticut, Where I own a large office building and some homes. Both are near New York City, where the main Office is located. You will need your brothers to help you, you will have to talk to them about going with you I have one more request. I want you to leave your son Thomas William here with the Duchess and me. That would make her extremely happy.
If you say yes, You will have to go as soon as possible. Let me know after you talk to your wife and your brothers. I will arrange for all of you to on the HMS Queen Mary, from London. I am going to be in London next week it is important that you act fast. I will talk to Thomas William after you go now."
My father nodded, feeling the excitement of going back to America again. He was there before with the Duke and Duchess.
"Here's what I want you to do," The Duke went on. "These days it's difficult to run a business from England. It was never easy, but now it is hard because of the lack of communications. Go now, call your two brothers and your sister together, and ask them who want to stay in England and who want to go to the Unite States. I would do this myself but I do not want to influence them in any way, it will have to be their own choice. Call Thomas William and send him to me and the Duchess."
As my father left the library, he could not keep his excitement level down to normal. He ran all the way to his apartment. To tell my mother. My father wanted to know if my mother wanted to go to America, She was surprised at first. Father told her what the Duke said about living in the United States. His brothers will be asked to come too. His sister Margaret Elizabeth has a choice to come or stay here. Mother asked about the children. Father said the duke wanted Joseph Paul to go that we will be safe to carry on the Dukedom in England, that the Duke wanted to keep Thomas William with him and the duchess. Mother was not too happy about that, she said, "if Thomas William wants to stay I will have no objections. In addition, I would love to go. I will tell Joseph Paul to start packing.
When my father found me in the stables, he said, "Your Grandfather wants to see you in the library as soon as possible wash your face and hands and go."
I was surprised and curious as to what was important that I had to see him fast. I did what my father asked me to do. I walked over to the horse's trough and washed in cold water, and went to see what was important. As I entered the Dukes Library I saw the Duke and Duchess, the Duke was sitting near his large mahogany desk in a brown leather chair. I knew something big was going to happen he never sat there. I turned and looked at the Duchess who looked worried about what was to come. Grandma gave me a small smile and patted the cushion next to her indicating for me to sit next to her. As I walked over to the Duchess, she put out her beautiful soft right hand to me. I grabbed it with both of my hands and sat next to her. I loved these two people much. I looked up at Grandma and smiled knowing I would always be safe with them.
The Duke sitting in his chair a cross from Grandma and me said
"Thomas William we have something to ask you and the answer you give us will not stop us from loving you. After you answer, I will tell you all about what is going to happen.
The Big Change
The Duke said "This is a bad time for all of us in England because of the war. I will need you to stay on the estate and care for The Duchess while I am away. I have asked your Father to go to The United States and run my businesses along with your mother and brother, and your two uncles. They will be gone for a long time, until the war is over; no one knows when that will be. Your father is going to give me their answer soon. The Duchess and I wanted you to know first so you will not be surprised or left out of what is to take place soon. Do you under stand what we are asking you to do."
I looked at Grandma than Grandfather and cried "Yes! Yes! I Love you both much I want to stay here."
The Duchess hugged me and cried and the Duke got out of his chair came over to me picked me up from Grandmas arms and gave me a big hug and a kiss. Grandma got up and the three of us hugged The Duchess and I cried we were happy.
When my Father came back to see The Duke he had a big smile and looked happy. He told the Duke what took place in the first floor Library when everyone showed up. Father told them what the Duke had said. My father asked if had any questions before they gave my father their answer.
My father's sister Margaret Elizabeth Asked "am I included in going to The United States."
My father said "yes."
Margaret Elizabeth said, "Good than I'm going, maybe I'll find me a rich Texan
Uncle Reggie Said "I have nothing to keep me here maybe I'll find a rich widow and let her keep me in the style I've become accustom to". They all laughed.
William Haven the youngest laughed and said, "If you all think you're going to me here your crazy.
That made it unanimous
My Father said, "I'll inform the Duke to make the arrangements for all of us.
If you have any questions from now on, go and ask the Duke.
Everyone was surprised that I wasn't unset about staying in the castle with The Duke and Duchess. But I was the happiest kid in all of England. This made The Duke And Duchess happy and sad, Sad because their children that were born here at the castle and raised in England were leaving their home and will be missed by them. And happy, I'll be staying with them. You would think that I would be sad to see them all go, but at the age of innocence I didn't know any better I loved the thought of having the Duke and Duchess all to my self. I was taking care of by both of them, and the castle staff.
As the war got hotter. The Germans started to bomb the larger cities in the south of England, London, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Bristol. The Duke was called by his boyhood friend and classmate Winston Churchill, to come to London for a secret meeting.
Winston said, "Do not tell a soul about it, not even the castle staff." He told everyone including the Duchess and me," I'm going to Salisbury to do some important business and buy some things that are need at the castle and I will be gone for two days,"
I cried, when are you coming back, Grand father laughed and said, "In two days and I want you to take care of The Duchess and be mindful of the Staff while I'm gone you can do that.
I looked at the Duke with tears running down my face and said, yes.
I cried all of the time he was gone. The two days passed Grandma and the staff wanted to help me but I keep to my self, to keep me busy. I was not a happy eleven years old. The second day came, I went down to the castle wall and waited for The Duke after Three hours. The Duchess sent Martin (he is the youngest son of the duchess's personal maid Mariana) to get me. When I saw Martin coming, I asked him if he was going to wait with me, Martin said,
"No and the duchess sent me to get you, the Duchess wanted to talk to you and I should ask you to go to see her in her sitting room.
I was getting hungry and colder I didn't protest but I still didn't want to go Martin said, "The Duchess wants to talk to you and to come with him to see the Duchess
I went with Martin. I didn't want to cry in front of him, I went to see Grandma. As we walked down the long hall to the setting room Martin left me and went back to work. I knocked and the Duchess said to come in. I open the large wooden carved door. Went in. Grandma was alone sitting on her chase lounge. The phone was on a small table near the chase lounge. As I walked up to her, I was crying again. She told me to sit next to her. As I sat, she held out her arms and I hugged her hard I asked her if I hurt her, she smiled and said no.
Grandma said that the Duke called and it will take longer he thought it would, to do all he has to do. Plus he is helping his friend Winston Churchill and will tell us all about it when he returns to the castle and he will be here as soon as possible. Grandma said when the duke comes home we will have a party.
When the Duke returned to the castle, The Duchess invited all the workers to the Castle for the party in the big hall. We all had a good time. Than the Duke called all the workers to attention and told them what he and Winston where going to do.
Because of the bombings Winston Churchill and King George VI asked The Duke and Duchess to help save the children from the South of England.
THE SECRET PLAN
The estate grounds would be turned into a campus of sorts with long dormitories that would hold about 100 children each. The entire building are to be numbered to identify them this will help the children when they arrive. There are other buildings, a schoolhouse, and a dinning hall. All the buildings were being built under large trees or away from open spaces and not close to one an other. No roads going to or from any of the buildings. Each dormitory had rooms for the Teachers and Cooks. The rest of each of the buildings used as dormitories had open space for the cots, one per child. Smaller buildings, one for supplies, one was a medical station. One other building that one was near the lake which is about a ten minute walk from the closes building, number five. It was used as a Laundry, bathhouse and a latrine. It wasn't used much in the winter. But a wood burning stove in the building helped. As with all of the other buildings. All the wet clothing was dried on rope lines hanging up inside the building. None of the buildings had windows for two reasons, first to make sure no light shown at night and second to keep the building warm. It would seem that The Duke of Tyne and Winston Churchill had a lot of help planning the developing of this campus.
The camp had no name for this place except everyone called it The Campus. The reason for the site to be nondescript. Was that no one identify it on a map or by name. This as history would recall was brilliant. No one knew this place existed
When The Duke of Tyne came back from his last trip from seeing King George VI and by than Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Clementine Churchill, All or most of the buildings were done. The Duke told them to start sending small groups of children.
When the duke arrived, I ran to greet him, Grandma was not far behind, The Duke picked me up and hugged me, by than the Duchess was at his side and the three of us hugged each other we went into the Castle. The servants and workers were waiting to greet the Duke. They all clapped, The Duke smiled and thanked everyone then he gave a speech.
"We are at war and we will all have a job to do to make sure the grounds are keptclean, we do not want to attack attention to this area. The Duke told them what he and Sir Winston had planed for the children and the people who would be arriving by train, a few groups at a time as not to attack attention to this site. No one except the train master knew were they were going. The others who know is King George, Sir Winston, and now you all of you.
No one is to talk about this to people who do not live on this estate, NO friends or relatives are to know. This is atop-secret mission to save the Children. Please keep every thing you see or hear to your self. Should you see or hear any thing out of the ordinary or suspicious, please run to me and tell me no matter how trivial you think it is. Let me know. I will judge what to do about it. You are not to do any thing but tell me. I hope you all understand how important this is to keep the children safe. If any of you have, any Questions please come to me and I will answer your question. Any time you feel you want to talk.
Soon all the buildings where finished and children and teachers and cooks began to arrive. The supplies were brought to the train station; we all went to pick up the children and supplies, in horse drawn wagons and carts. I had my own horse and cart The Duke gave them to me for my last Birthday.
Everything was working out according to plan the Duke sent a coded message to Sir Winston on all the events and the timetable they had worked on. The Duke gave Sir Winston the code name of the estate, "The Fairy Ring." The Duchess though it was perfect and told The Duke, who in turn made it official and gave it to Sir Winston and the King. Grandma explained it to me; The Fairy Ring is a circle of mushrooms in a grassy area. I laughed and said "Grandma you're smart no wonder the Duke married you". She laughed and said not to tell the Duke that, and laughed again. Little did we know the name would live on well after the end of the war?
Education in wartime.
Work continued until the fall of 1940 when everything was going well no time to play any more because the Duke told The Duchess to make sure that the staff's children and I had a classroom in the castle. Because we were older than the children in the Dormitories. The children of the castle staff and I became close, but Martin and the others much more than I. Martin always looked out for me. (I think the duke told him to keep an eye on me.) And I was glad. The war was still going on, now that the Americans where in England and helping King George and the people of England to hold back the Germans.
All the children in the Dukes care (three hundred) were all under ten years old. The caregivers who were here were the Teachers, Cooks, and Maintenance people who came with the children, some were parents, others were relatives, and still others were volunteers. One of the Kings officers chooses who was to go with the children. They didn't want too many for security reasons. No children under five would be here because they required extra care which was hard to come by. Those children went to a relative's home out of the big cities or to farms in the country side.
Excerpted from The Accolade by J. J. Heron Copyright © 2009 by J. J. Heron. Excerpted by permission.
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