February 7th 1921 was a very sad day for Sidney Henry Buckle and his wife Elsie because it was the occasion of the funeral of their only son, Vernon. To make matters worse, Vernon died when he was barely one month old.
Vernon had been baptised in the parish church of St. John the Baptist, Royston, Yorkshire a couple of weeks earlier but now the family was back again to have him buried.
The back page of the Parish Magazine for February 1921 records Vernon's baptism the previous month.
Sidney and Elsie had been married at the same church in 1908 and by the time of Vernon's birth they were 40 and 36 years old respectively. It was to be another three years before they had another child making them very mature parents for that era.
Looking through the 1921 parish magazine I found this wonderful illustration in the "Home Economies" section with an accompanying article by one Marcelle James:
Wouldn't you be proud to possess a coat which so distinctly bears the stamp of good style as the one shown in our sketch this month?
To buy a coat like this would probably cost far more than you or I care to afford - but when made at home it is another matter.
This is just what I am going to help my readers to do for I have arranged to have the pattern cut by experts and for the cost of a modest 7d. you can have all the help of a first class cutter at your command.
The pattern, remember, is always the most important part of a garment, whether it be a house-frock or an elaborately tailored cloak, and the skill of the cutter makes all the difference.
This design calls for four yards double width. It pays, for a coat like this one, to get a good material.
Some of the new checked tweeds are exceedingly smart; and there is also a vogue for ordinary serge and very fine gabardine ornamented with cable stitching in white or coloured silk in a checked effect. All kinds of embroideries are fashionable on coats just now.
Our model is set off with a large, roll-back sailor collar, with revers and cuffs to match, which give a very pretty finish.
The front of the coat requires facings and inter-linings of canvas.
How on earth would you cut canvas with a pair of dress-making scissors?
Marcelle then goes on to give instructions for making the coat and details of where to send off for the pattern. I'll pass it on if you want to make it for yourself!
On a different page in the magazine "Our Own Correspondent" writes about his work as a Christian missionary and tells this tale which seems an apposite ending for the day in 1921 when little Vernon was buried:
During a flying visit to a well-known parish in the industrial North I learnt over a cup of tea in the Vicarage, the secret of the missionary interest of the people.
About sixteen years ago (c. 1905) meetings in connexion with the Children's Special Service Mission were held by a medical missionary and his brother, and among their helper's was a boy of fifteen, a clergyman's son.
The lad was keenly interested in what he heard, and shortly afterwards, when taken ill with a disease which proved fatal, he kept talking about the wonderful work of medical missions.
One day his mother asked him, if he was taken, he would like to have a bed named after him. He was delighted with the idea, which the bereaved parents carried out after the boy's death.
Up to that time his father's parish had been to a great extent opposed to "sending money out of the country".
But since then the interest has steadily grown until now the parish supports six beds in China and one in North India and last year gave £1,180 (nearly £50,000 in present day money) for the Church Missionary Society.
If he'd lived, Vernon would have been my uncle as it was my dad who was Elsie and Sidney's second child. That the parish magazine has survived at least ten house moves and associated de-clutterings is, I think, quite amazing but I'm glad it has.
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK