Wednesday, 20 June 2012

More family stuff.

This is for me so I know where to find it if everything goes belly up. So look away and stop being nosey.

In answer to your question; if conjecture is right then it would have been the elder brother who would have been our grandfather. That being said, I am beginning to think that Nadine with her almost Byzantine mind, was having in the Australian vernacular, ‘a bit of a lend of the family’ (translation: deceiving by misdirection or subterfuge) I base this tentative conjecture on what may seem flimsy evidence, but one must start somewhere and as you say, I seem to be the only one left who was in touch with a primary source.
Nadine was in every sense a Victorian, and abhorred the telling of lies, but supresio veri or sugestio falsi was not in her view the same thing at all. An example of this was her attitude to the old mans birth certificate. She always signed declarations that he had been born in the United States and yet no one has been able to find any record of his birth there and her descriptions of America were no more than any one might have from reading a travel brochure or looking at pictures of well known sites. Her descriptions of extensive European travel were on the other hand full of detail that fleshed out the scenes and events so that there could be little doubt that she was relating first hand experiences. Interestingly she was fluent in both French and German. As to the German, it was not the halting usage of the school room but idiomatic and fluent. As a non German speaker you might wonder how I can be so certain that this is so. I often stayed with Freddy and Nadine in Norfolk when I was small and I remember her talking to a German pow who worked on one of the local farms. Their conversations were often long and sometimes punctuated by laughter. I find that whatever language that one speaks it is very hard to be humorous in it unless one has a totally idiomatic grasp of the language. It would seem reasonable to conjecture that she had spent a considerable time in a German speaking Environment.

Now we come to the matter of family resemblances. I remember being introduced to James Nugent (Baron Nugent of Clonlost) who was an Austrian Baron and I think the nephew or great nephew of Graf Nugent Von Westmeath, the resemblance to Philip was so marked that they might have been brothers. I should point out that It was Philip who introduced me to him.
I believe that both Graf Nugent von Westmeath and Baron Nugent were descended from younger brothers of an eighteenth century Earl of Westmeath. From the digging around that I have been doing there was a strong pan generational tendency for Nugent younger sons to take service with the Austrians starting with the defeat of the Jacobite cause in 1745 and continuing at least until the early twentieth century. The college of Heralds mentions inter alia that at least 20 Nugents had taken service with the Austrians. As child I remember Nadine telling of riding through the snow in a horse drawn sleigh to stay with some landed magnet. I can not remember where this was, but I developed the idea that it must be Russia simply from the sound of the place names. As you know I speak Polish and I knew that she was not speaking of anywhere that I knew of, however The terminal ‘o’ usage in Russian place names is one shared by Croatian in a lot of cases and of course until 1918 Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. We are of course entirely in the realms of conjecture here, but Bosiljevo Castle and the surrounding lands remained in Nugent hands until after 1900. We do know that Graf Nugent von Westmeath had sons and for all I know grandsons, so there is room for both speculation and research. 

We come now to Philips education. I know that he attended Epsom college and then Haylebury the latter having a strong army tradition dating probably from its amalgamation with the United Services College at Westward Ho near Bideford. (Kipling went there and used it for Stalky and Co).I think he also spent some time in a school in Germany. I mention these because none of them were cheap and though Freddy as a retired Hoogley River Pilot received a good pension, I rather doubt that it would have stretched to expensive public school fees. In other words; who was paying for his education? It gets even more strange when one realises that rather than an English University He went to a German one. I used to think that it was Heidelberg but have since found that it was Freiberg. I have no idea if he graduated but again we come to the question of who paid the far from inconsiderable expenses involved and in any case why a German university.

In the final analysis I think we may have been the victims of some sort of elaborate conjuring trick our attention directed to a place that would seem to be 180 degrees in the wrong direction. I do not know if any of this is fact, or what bearing that it may or may not have on Philips legitimacy or otherwise,
but the quite startling family resemblance that we have to the Austrian branch of the family would be hard to ignore. In closing, You seem to have failed to notice your own (when I last saw you) resemblance to Graf Nugent von Westmeath.

In my next Email I will tell you about some stuff that has turned up that serves confirm that while ostensibly working for the Foreign Office Philip was in fact working for what used to be called MI6.

I will also try to give you everything that I have on my mother and where she and the old man met, also copies of marriage certificates etc.

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