Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Man Named Jack? - Part The First

I never knew my maternal grandfather (he who was husband to Nurse Gladys); he died before my parents even met. He does live on in some form, though, in the bald-headed, bearded, round-shouldered personage that is me (at least according to Nana anyway who would frequently comment on my resemblance to him).

The world knew him as Jack, right up until he died when it emerged that his name wasn't Jack at all. I know what you're thinking - you're thinking, "Aha, his name was really John" as we all know that Jack is short for John (although how a word that is exactly the same length as another can be short for it, I've never quite understood). Well, I'm afraid that's where you would be wrong as his real name was, in fact, Wilfred. Yep, that's right, Wilfred.

How had this come to be? Well, it transpires that when my grandfather was born, his parents had somewhat of a difference of opinion. His mother was adamant that he would take the name of Wilfred. His father had other ideas. The boy was to be named Jack and that was to be the end of it. His mother was insistent - Wilfred was the name that was going on the birth certificate. Fine, said his father, you can put what you like on the birth certificate but I shall call him Jack. And so Jack he was until his dying day.

Jack was born into the British Raj out in Poona, India. They were by no means a wealthy family but being English in a country which was dominated as part of the (admittedly dwindling at this point) British Empire meant that they still had servants and domestics to cater for their needs. Life in Poona was made tougher for my grandfather by the death of his father when my grandfather was still very young. However, being the eldest child, this made him by default the new man of the house and so, things being what they were in those days, his schooling was abandoned so that he go out into the wide world and find gainful employment to support his mother and younger siblings...

To Be Concluded...


Lady Euphoria Deathwatch said...

Hi Baldy,

I have always felt the same about the nickname Jack for John.

And while I'm at it, how can Johnny be short for John? It is longer, is it not?

I await the next installment.


Pearl said...

I was a full-blown A-Dult but the time I found out the Jack was a nickname for John.


p.s. Watched your movie and really liked it! :-)

That Baldy Fella said...

Lady E - And why is Ted short for Ed? It's longer!

Pearl - I'm still not convinced it;s true, I reckon someone's having us on. P.S. Thanks - kind words are always appreciated!