The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Colin RJ Ruthven

Colin and I met as school boys in the mid 1930's. Our families lived within a couple of miles of one another and his father was my mother's favourite brother near Leigh-on-Sea. We lived in Westcliff-on-Sea just to the east of them.

We used to play tennis occasionally, and visiting "Uncle Dick and Auntie Winnie" was always something that my mother looked forward to. However, the outbreak of World War II meant four decades of separation, although the Christmas card bond continued.

In the early 1980's, while visiting my daughter, Pauline, who was apprenticed from Oxford to Windsor, I noticed via the card link that the Ruthven trio were near Windsor.

Discovering by telephone that he was still unmarried and in his fifties, I arranged to take Pauline and Gillian, my wife, over to meet them. There was much to talk about and nearly half a century of memories.

Unfortunately, the first (unhappy) event was the death of Uncle Dick's two sisters - one of whom was my own mother.

Time rushes by and I next met Colin at his own dear mother's funeral. I also met Bunty, his and my cousin in law.

Now without parents, he soon moved to be near the sea, which, like me, he dearly loved. So for some years we met at "Riven Heights" in Lyme Regis, or at mutually agreed "half-way marks". Then came the awful news of Bunty's death; Colin was shattered to say the least.

Meetings then became more difficult with Gillian's prolonged illness, and impossible when she died in April 2006. Although Colin wrote in deep sympathy, he had more than enough trouble of his own. He bravely kept it to himself - so I was upset, to say the least, when the next news was the date of his funeral.

Added by: Dudley Roessler on 11 September 2007.

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