14 Dec 2004
Husband: Richard Patrick RUSS nickname: Pat died at age: 85 Born: 12 Dec 1914 in Walden, Packhorse Rd, Gerrards Cross Bucks 1,2 Died: 2 Jan 2000 in Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin 3 Resided: 1923 - summer 1924 at Melbury Lodge, Kempsey 4 Resided: 1924 - 1926 at 146 Kenilworth Court, Lower Richmond Road, Putney 5 Resided: 1926 - 1929 at 10 Priory Crescent, Lewes 6 Event: 1927 failed to secure a place at Dartmouth 7 Resided: 1929 at 54 Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale 8 Event: Oct 1930 "Caesar: the Life Story of a Panda Leopard" published by Putnam 9 Resided: 1932 at 144 Albany Street 10 Resided: Feb 1936 at 2a Oakley Street Chelsea Resided: 1936 at 24 Gertrude Street Chelsea 11,12 Resided: Apr 1937 in Dublin - completing Hassan 13,14 Event: Jun 1937 obtained his first passport 15 Event: July 1937 in Locarno - unfaithful to Elizabeth 16 Event: Autumn 1938 in probable first meeting with Frieda Tolstoy 17 Resided: Feb 1939 in 301 King's Road Chelsea 18 Resided: 1939 in Gadds Cottage Suffolk 19,20 Resided: Sep 1940 in Chelsea, living alone 21 Resided: Autumn 1942 in The Cottage, off Upper Cheyne Row, Chelsea 22 Event: 20 Aug 1945 in London: change of name to O'Brian 23 Event: 20 Sep 1945 leased Fron Wen, Cmw Croesor, Wales Resided: 6 Oct 1945 moved into Fron Wen 24,25 Event: Aug 1945 granted custody of his son Richard 26 Event: 13 Aug 1946 in met the Ynysfor Hunt Resided: 1948 at Moelwyn Bank, Cwm Croesor, Wales 27 Resided: Sep1949 moved to Collioure 28,29 Event: Nov 1949 lost care and control of his son Richard 30 Event: 13 Jul 1949 arrived in Collioure Event: Jan 1970 "Master & Commander" published in UK by Collins Event: 17 Jun 1995 CBE 31 Event: his work discussed here - http://www.patrickobrian.com/ Education: 1924 - 1926 St Marylebone Grammar School 32 Education: Sep 1926 - Jul 1929 Lewes Grammar School 6 Education: 1932 - 1934 Birkbeck College 33 Education: Jan 1934 matriculated 34 Military: 14 Sep 1934 RAF - Acting Pilot Officer to 1 Dec 1934 35,36,37,38 Occupation: Jun - Sep 1937 Locarno - tour guide 39 Occupation: 1940 London Auxiliary Ambulance Service 40 Occupation: 26 Sep 1941-20 Sep 1 Political Warfare Executive, Foreign Office Father: Charles RUSS Mother: Jessie Naylor GODDARD Other Spouse 1 MJH: These two quotes from Dean King amuse me:
King p378: 'He had named a new minor character General Harte, duplicating for no apparent reason the name of Aubrey's nemesis of earlier novels, Admiral Harte'
King p99: 'Patrick, at least in part inspired by a reading of the Irish novelist Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1760), desired to turn his longcase clock (which had no case) from one that needed frequent winding to one that, like Shandy's, needed winding only once a month. To do this, the two friends [Walter Greenway major in RA] devised a plan to attach a series of pulleys and a much heavier weight to the clock. They melted lead in a saucepan over the fire to make the hefty weight (on the order of fifty pounds), and they mounted the clock at the top of the stairs, so that the weight could hang down the stairwell. But no matter how they tinkered with the system, they never succeeded because the friction of the rope through the pulleys overrode their improvements to the clock.' [Tristram Shandy is my own favorite novel]
Wife: Frieda Mary WICKSTEED married name: Tolstoy-Miloslovsky died at age: 82 Married: 5 Jul 1945 in Chelsea Register Office his age: 30 her age: 29 41,42 Born: 4 Nov 1915 at 3 Bath Terrace, Instow, North Devon Died: Mar 1998 in Perpignan 43 Event: Autumn 1938 probable first meeting with Patrick O'Brian 17 Resided: Autumn 1942 in The Cottage, off Upper Cheyne Row, Chelsea 44 Occupation: Sep 1939 joined London Auxiliary Ambulance Service 45 Occupation: 1943 Political Warfare Executive 46 Father: Howard WICKSTEED Mother: Frieda Mary HICKING Sources: (1) DK, 'On 12 December, in the big bedroom at the back of the house [Walden]....Jessie gave birth to a boy, her fifth', 18. (2) ABR, 'Patrick arrived when I was about three, the last of the children to be born at "Walden". I recall being with Mother in the big upstairs bedroom before the event and clutching hard to her hand as a huge and noisy bird flew right over the house - the first aeroplane I had ever seen. Afterwards, allowed back into the room, I duly inspected my new brother and was put to work crawling about on the floor, smoothing out large sheets of brown paper. My infant mind led me to believe that these were the wrappings for the new baby, although I could not for the life of me understand why such a large parcel was to be made out of such a small infant', 9. (3) DK, 'O'Brian died in the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin, on 2 January 2000'. (4) NT, 49. (5) NT, 58. (6) NT, 72. (7) NT, 80. (8) NT, 106. (9) NT, ... his juvenile first novel Caesar, which was published in October 1930. 80. (10) NT, 117. (11) DK, 68. (12) NT, In May 1936, three months after their marriage, Elizabeth became pregnant, and at about the same time they moved from Oakley Street to 24 Gertrude Street behind St Stephen's Hospital in Fulham Road, a couple of streets away from that house in Redcliffe Road which probably provided the scene of their first meeting in the previous year. Since they shared the three-storeyed house with another couple and three further people, they are unlikely to have occupied more than a single room. 157. (13) NT, 81. (14) NT, It seems likely that Patrick's abrupt departure to live away from home for two or three months after registering Richard's birth ..... first destination after crossing the Irish Sea was Belfast ..... he wrote Hussein at the rate of at least a thousand words a day .... the last section that was written in Dublin. He moved there at the beginning of April .... "I finished it on a bench in St Stephen's Green with a mixture of triumph and regret." The date was 29 April 1937, 174. (15) NT, The Workers' Travel Association arranged for its customers to stay at the small hotel Quisiana [Locarno], where Patrick's duties involved arranging the visitors' reception, accompanying them on trips to neighbouring beauty spots and places of historic interest, and looking after them generally. On 23 June he obtained his first passport, so he did not stay long in Gertrude Streeet with Elizabeth and their baby Richard before setting off abroard once again. 183. (16) NT, The sisters Beryl and Joan Ainsworth were then aged twenty-one and eighteen respectively. The younger of the two was of a type familiar to Patrick from the world he frequented in Chelsea. As King describes her, 'Joan, a perky graduate of an arty private school in Ealing .... was fond of the theatre and now had a job selling theatre tickets for Keith Prowse on Bond Street.' Though the sisters only stayed at the Hotel Quisisiano for a fortnight, in no time at all Joan was creeping down each night to join Patrick in his bed. 183. (17) NT, 223. (18) NT, She [Elizabeth] gave her address as '301 King's Road', while Patrick was described as 'Author of 245 Gertrude Street Chelsea'. .... Shortly afterwards Patrick himself left Gertrude Street for good to join Elizabeth at their new flat at 301 King's Road. 196. (19) DK, 88. (20) NT, Godfrey and Victor charitably arranged for the poverty-stricken young family to leave London and live in a small semi-detached dwelling in the Suffolk countryside, which lay within reach of Godfrey's home at Thorpe-next-Norwich and whose rent they paid. 198. (21) NT, 208. (22) NT, It seems that my mother somehow discovered (perhaps through a well-placed contact) that the tenancy would shortly become available, and arranged to obtain it for herself. The rent was a mere £70 a year, and the prospect of living for the first time in such a delightful house with her beloved Patrick proved too strong to resist. 275. (23) DK, 'On 20 July  Patrick signed the document to change his...surname to O'Brian', 104. (24) NT, 342. (25) NT, The entrance tot eh valley of Cwm Croesor proved to be blocked by a romantic if impractical pseudo-medieval gatehouse, through which Patrick had earlier passed on his journey to visit the home of his landlord, Clough Williams-Ellis. Typically he had failed to register the obstacle it might present to a large vehicle. ... Unfortunately this placed the O'Brian's removal van in the uncomfortable situation of the camel attempting to thread the needle's eye. 344. (26) NT, when Patrick was granted custody in August 1945 he had seen Richard for three afternoons that year. 405. (27) NT, At teh end of 1947 the O'Brians were able to takae over the lease of Moelwyn Bank in the following spring. 444. (28) DK, 'He had found their new home: Collioure, the village along the escape route from Vichy France to Spain'. (29) NT, At the beginning of the second week of September the couple set off for France. 499. (30) NT, Elizaberth was eventually allotted custody on 14 November, when the court granted her 'care and control' of her son 'until further order'. 491. (31) DK, 'On 17 June , in the Birthday Honours of the Queen, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire'. (32) ABR, 'Connie, Nora and I were also withdrawn from college at this time , the fees for private education proving more than the family finances could support. Both twins entered nursing chool, and young Pat and I went to St Marylebone Grammar School', 23. (33) NT, The fees at Birkbeck College were £5 a term, and Patrick began his studies there in the autumn of 1932. The purpose of the course was to gain the matriculation, which required a pass in five subjects. A restricted choice was permitted, from which Patrick selected mathematics, Latin, French, English and English history. 119. (34) NT, 123. (35) DK, 'for whatever reason, Acting Pilot Officer Patrick Russ's commission was terminated on 1 December ', 63. (36) London Gazette, London Gazette, 'Royal Air Force: The short service commissions of the undermentioned Acting Pilot Officers in probation are terminated on cessation of duty - 29th November 1934: William Ocock Pridham, Douglas George Scott; 1st December 1934: Basil Stuart Francis, Richard Patrick Russ, Thomas Brisbane Yule'. (37) NT, Having passed his interview and medical examination, he was accepted as an acting pilot officer on a probational six-year commission. On 14 September he arrived with other young recruits at the RAF Inland Area Depot at Uxbridge, Middlesex. There he was issued with his uniform and other equipment, and a fortnight later he and his companions were posted to No. 5 Flying Training School at Sealand, five miles north-west of Chester. 129. (38) NT, "Very backward pupil who appears to be temperamentally unsuitable. Unlikely to make an efficient service pilot", 134. (39) NT, 185. (40) NT, my mother arrangeed for Patrick to be enrolled at the same ambulance station as herself, 248. (41) DK, 'ten days later, Patrick and Mary married at the Chelsea Register Office', 104. (42) Jul - Sep 1945: to Miloslovaka or Wicksteed - Chelsea 1 a 976. (43) DK, 'In March 1998, Mary died in hospital in Perpignan', 389. (44) NT, 261, 275. (45) NT, LAAS records do not preserve details of individual personnel .... the likelihood that my mother volunteered shortly after the declaration of war in September 1939. .... she chose Chelsea as the district in which to work. There she was attached to Station No. 22 at 18 Danvers Street, where she was issued with a uniform, gas mask, and steel helmet, and paid £2 for a six-day week. 241. (46) NT, In due course she joined him [Patrick] at Bush House. .... They served together in the French Section, which was headed by Dr Leslie Beck, a scholar of French literature. 279. Name Index