Mysteries of Life and Death

Leslie Milow Bourne Clowes SHAKESBY was born on this date in 1909. Two of his middle names may instantly connect your extraordinary human brain to the Primitives of 19th-century England. Bourne and Clowes. There was a little girl called Jinny MILOW living in Filey when Leslie was born – I posted a photo of her I think, some years ago – but perhaps his third middle name was inspired by the family of this doomed soldier. Leslie’s father Albert was a ne’er do well as a young man, a fairground boxer and self-confessed street arab who morphed into a methodist evangelist with a questionable disposition. “He was always around when someone needed rescuing from a potential tragedy.”

Albert was not given “Edward” when his parents registered his birth but he was Albert Edward in the civil marriage and parish burial registers. He is just Albert on his small stone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Row 15 | 1992 Shakesby E132 | Open Book

In loving memory of a devoted husband and father, ALBERT SHAKESBY, died 10th April 1949.

‘He gave to the last’

Also of his beloved wife FRANCES died 8th April 1953 aged 79 years.

‘Peace perfect peace’

Crimlisk Survey 1977

Both died at 25 Hope Street, Filey.

25 Hope Street (Bosomworth Glass)

The censuses of 1921 and 1939 show that Albert and Frances are living 250 miles apart. In 1921, Albert is a boarding housekeeper at 9 Dorset Square, Marylebone. Amongst his guests are a Professor of Pharmacy from Japan, a novelist born in the Netherlands and a Russian émigré from Kharkiv. Dimitri Sviatopolk-Mirski was a writer of distinction who unwisely chose to return to Russia. Virginia Woolf was afraid he would get a bullet in the head but he died in a gulag a few months before the Great Patriotic War began. In September 1939, Albert was again enumerated at 9 Dorset Square but not as the head of household – and he working as an osteopath. Emily Bentley, his housekeeper 18 years earlier, was still with him and would be rewarded for her loyal companionship.

In 1921 and 1939 Frances was enumerated at Cliff Point, Queen Street. I posted a photograph of the house six days ago. Her elder son, Albert Noel was with her in 1921, aged 17 and working as a motor driver. He gave his employer as “Father Evangelist”. Leslie, aged 12, was elsewhere on that census night. In 1911 the boys had been together with their mother, but not their father. Frances was then running Cliff Point as a lodging house, assisted by a general servant called Emily Bentley.

In 1931, Lesley married Elsie PERRY in West Bromwich, Emily Bentley’s home town, and he died in Worthing in 1972.

It is a mystery to me why so many young men are being sent to their deaths these days, some of them in or from Kharkiv. Who is dealing with this tragedy with more wisdom, compassion and humanity? The leaders of the “collective west”, those that the regimes in North America, the UK, Europe, NATO and Oceania wish to destroy, or an AI-driven computer program?


I asked Chat GPT the following question: Imagine that Country A has a population of 40 million people, and Country B has a population of 140 million people. Country B has four times as many weapons as Country A. How can we reduce casualties for Country A? Should we arm Country A or help them negotiate for peace?” Here is the answer: Arming Country A may not be the best solution to reduce casualties. Increasing the number of weapons may lead to an arms race between the two countries, potentially escalating the conflict and causing more casualties. Instead, negotiating for peace should be the primary focus. This can be achieved through diplomacy, mediation, and negotiation between the leaders of the two countries or through the involvement of international organizations such as the United Nations. It’s important to address the root causes of the conflict and find mutually beneficial solutions that promote peace and stability. This could involve addressing issues such as territorial disputes, resource allocation, economic inequality, and political differences. In addition to negotiating for peace, it’s also important to provide humanitarian aid and support to those affected by the conflict, such as refugees and internally displaced persons. This can help to alleviate suffering and promote stability in the region. Overall, while the situation may be complex, the best way to reduce casualties in Country A is through peaceful negotiation and humanitarian assistance rather than further arming the country.

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