Neville John William Day 7 March 1922 - 26 November 1990
Before you start please allow me to make one thing quite clear, this tribute is not about me. As with so many biographies the author often seems to grab so much of the lime light. I apologise in advance therefore if unavoidably I get caught up in any account. I just happened to be there. OK?
Any person reading this, my tribute to a man, although not tall at 5’ 8”, yet far greater in stature than most, nay all I ever met, and who can add to my historical account, then I would be extremely grateful. As too also I'm sure will be the sadly dwindling number of those still alive today who knew him.
And so to begin.
Neville John William Day was born in Town Street, Upwell, Cambridgeshire on 7 March 1922. Son and only child of Seed Potato Merchant John William Day (25 December 1898 - 5 December 1986) and Ivy Lily née Racey (26 April 1892 - 22 June 1972). Born into an upright, God fearing, hardworking, kind and well respected family.
Little is known of young Neville’s life, simply because no one recorded it, no diaries have come to light, nothing other known except that he gained a scholarship to nearby Wisbech Grammar School. No mean achievement. However things seemed to go down a little from that point and Neville parted the auspicious portals of Wisbech Grammar with no qualifications of any great merit. Probably a disappointment to his wider family members who held some sway in the small but fine and prosperous Fenland Georgian market town of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. What Neville had gained though was a very capable grasp of mathematics, and even more importantly, an exceptional empathy for all others. Including even those with wings or on four legs!
All the more remarkable that Neville Day became a man known and so highly regarded by everyone in the eastern counties of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk who were fortunate enough to meet and know him, and there were many. This can never be adequately described in these too few anecdotal stories. But here goes.
Dad wore a flat cap. Of the type worn by yokels, thoroughbred horse traders, Jockeys and Royalty alike. Harris Tweed. Not inexpensive. Dad was never parted from it. Seldom seen outdoors without it. As family we suspected he bathed and slept in it. Some say he was born in it but we think they were joking. In truth he had many. All almost identical!
A few of Dad's favourite jokes
A few of Dad's favourite expressions
Chris Latham-Smith 2022.
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