I'm not given to feeling sad when people I only know through the column of a newspaper die, but I have to confess to feeling terribly sad about the demise of the late great columnist, WF Deedes.
Anyway, I am grateful to Spouse for introducing me to the Torygraph, because among other things for the past ten years or so I have regularly read and enjoyed WF Deedes column. He was amazingly a journalist for over 70 years. Until two years ago he regularly travelled the world covering stories in all sorts of war torn places most of us wouldn't dare to go to. He was a humane, just and compassionate man, who wrote with searing honesty of the evils he saw in the world, yet retained the most incredble optimism in the face of man's inhumanity to man. At times of great crisis, as for instance after 9/11, he was capable of raising the spirits by pointing to the simple things in life, frequently finding comfort in nature. I for one will mourn the coming of Spring without his wonderful descriptions of the flowers in the hedgerows et al.
His was a remarkable life. Not only did he start his journalistic life in Ethiopia in 1931, but he was also a war hero, an MP and minister and the editor of the Daily Telegraph to boot. It is a cliche, but, they really don't make em like that anymore. Though a decade older then my father and fil, he represents all that was truly great and noble about their generation.