Patrick G Cox

'Harry' Heron's Birthday

Today is the original Henry Nelson Heron's birthday. Were he still with us, he would be 114 years of age. Sadly, he died in 1978, but his legacy remains, which is why the 'hero' of my stories bears his name. He was a remarkable man in many ways, leaving school at 15 to 'join up', almost killed n the first day of the Somme, reposted to the Royal Garrison Artillery, then caught up in the Irish Civil War 1920-22 and then emmigrated to South Africa.

  

Two images of Henry Nelson Heron. In the first, aged around 47 shortly after I was born in Cape Town, and in the second, at my wedding in 1977 with my mother, Grace Eleanor Frances (Babs) Cox.  

He worked hard, founded three businesses and built these successfully, losing one to a crooked partner, the second to the exigencies of war when his suppliers could no longer supply the stock he needed, and finally creating a successful 'agency' business that saw my brother and I through school, took care of his wife's needs and medical expenses and built a small retirement nest egg. It was not an easy life. Starting out working in his uncle's fields when not in school and grabbing as much education as he could along the way. He taiught me the value of reading and learning, he taught me the value of having a good reputation, he taught me to go after my dreams and he taught me to survive.

He may be no longer physically with me, but I still feel his influence.

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