Francis Cochrane

203 days ago

I agree with Gary Lineker: let the revolting Hamas fans march on Remembrance day

Readers of this website can be in no doubt that I stand 100% with Israel and I make no apology for saying that I am hopeful that it kills every single member of Hamas in Gaza. That is a proportionate response to October 7 such was the horror of that day. Regular readers should also know that I think that Gary Lineker is a twit and worse, a man who made £5 million from promoting the Ingenie/Quindell fraud which I exposed. But a broken clock is right twice a day.  The crisp salesman says that the weekly Hamas victory parade should go ahead on November 11 and I agree with him.

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1050 days ago

Losing my shirt and my temper as England lose deservedly & those I come to despise

We can talk of awful fouls and the penalty curse but should not deny that Italy played better football and deserved to win the European Championship. No doubt many of us are still in denial on that matter today but the statistics do not lie. I say this as someone who came into the tournament not supporting England for a range of reasons but who was won over by the charm of the young squad and of the manager and by the way it seemed to unite and give joy to the whole country. All of those involved in England did their country proud. I shall now go back to supporting Northern Ireland, but in this tournament the match against the Hun was the key turning point for me.

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1187 days ago

Reading the family papers: it is easy to be reduced to tears

Among those things I collected from the house of my late father in Shipston yesterday were some ancient photo albums and several boxes of family papers and documents. I have started reading but these things almost make me tearful.  

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1215 days ago

The most shocking statistics of ignorance today as #Weremember

In case you missed it, today is the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and thus it is Holocaust Memorial Day. At 8 PM tonight we will light a candle at the Welsh Hovel as I hope that you all will wherever you are. It is important that we remind the younger generation of the sheer horrors of what went on, so that man’s inhumanity to man cannot be expressed in such a vile way again. The problem is that people are forgetting or perhaps just don’t know at all.

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1279 days ago

Go woke go broke: The British Legion advertises for a "Head of Diversity & Inclusion" at £55,000 per annum - no more poppies for me

I buy a poppy in remembrance of my Great Uncle Francis Cochrane who died while fighting the Germans in North Africa in 1942. I hope my cash helps an ex serviceman or servicewoman in need. But does it?

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3729 days ago

The Great Uncles in Greek Graves – far more questions than answers

My video postcard this weekend covered my plans to go to Greece after the UK Investor Show to track down the graves of my two great Uncles: Francis and David Cochrane. I think we have now firmly established that Francis is buried in Egypt (contrary to a family myth) where he died on December 21st 1942 from wounds received fighting the Germans. For him the great mystery is the odd circumstances of his marriage.

He married a Diana Norman in Paddington in the late summer of 1938. Apparently the witness at the registry office was the taxi driver. However despite living in Chelsea, two miles from my grandparents and fifteen miles from his parents, he did not tell anyone of his marriage until the summer of 1942 (my Grandmother’s diary confirms this) when, before leaving for Egypt he visited relatives with his bride of four years.

This seems very odd behaviour. Almost as odd is that this is the last time Diana Norman is seen – she had absolutely no contact thereafter with my family. I can find no record of her death so can only assume that she is either still alive (she would now be 99), died abroad or re-married and has died under another name. Investigations continue. My father and I are on the case.

As for poor David, he is certainly buried in Greece. I have today received two items from my father. The first is a letter to the Times from Mr Caclamanos of the Greek Legation in London. It protests in the strongest terms about the actions of Sir George Young, grandfather of the current Leader of the House and of my step-mother, who had taken up the case of David, insisting that he had been killed by brigands or by shepherds who, according to Sir George, routinely killed anyone who tried to stop their dogs barking.

The Greek states that “I understand that the contents of the letter and other declarations of Sir George of this subject, sent out in Press telegrams, have caused an outburst of protests in Greece, and they are considered an unjust and unfair comment of a sad, fortuitous event, which could not in any way reflect upon the reputation of a country justly claiming to be safe for tourists and travellers as any other civilised country.”

To his eternal credit, Sir George worked tirelessly on this case because his wife was my Great Grandmother’s sister. My father is indeed married to his second cousin.  The second item to arrive from Shipston is a rather sad letter from the Foreign Office to Sir George noting that, after a year missing, the remains of the body of poor David had been found in thick bushes with his passport, a cheque and his English money and gold watch. No brigands, no robbery, he simply fell down a ravine. 

This letter confirms that following the wishes of David’s father, “regarding the burial locally of the remains have been communicated to his Majesty’s Minister.” It seems that no-one travelled out to Greece for the funeral but the grave is almost certainly in Delphi or nearby. And thus it is to Delphi that I will be heading in April.

 

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