BRACERS Record Detail
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Dora tells BR she "... was called away to Plymouth owing to Paul Gillard's sudden death. I went down the week before to stay for a day or two with him and his family, partly to visit Dartington on a work day but chiefly because Paul had said he was going to commit suicide.... It is impossible to make out if it was suicide or not—he fell possibly backwards over a low coping down a railway embankment, struck his temple and somersaulted somehow."
Dora explains to BR that she is telling him this because she loved Paul and "... either directly or indirectly by unconscious failure to save himself, he died for me. And for you, too, because he had always hoped we would come together again. In his wallet were some old letters of yours he must have got when here, and a photo of me cut from a paper. I think this is the strongest evidence against conscious suicide, because he would have wished to avoid any suggestion of connection with us you remember his anger at Griffin for not getting rid of his letters on arrest—".
Dora loved Paul, but had heard he was homosexual and Communist, and thought he was attracted to Griffin. Later she knew he was actually attracted to her. "... chiefly he believed that I loved you still, that our separation was a calamity to ourselves and the public and that a divorce would create more despair and fascism and turn you into a reactionary. From this dilemma and his fear that he might not make me happy—how unfounded he little knew—he saw no escape but to get finally out of my life by dying—I pleaded with him over and over again—I think I had already persuaded him, but that he fell into a sudden despair when I left there and unconsciously did this. He told his mother after I left all he thought about you and me and the harm a divorce would do to me and the children."
"The worst is that he has died in vain, for he leaves me alone with little hope of recovery, and as I many times told him, there is no hope of even formal reconciliation between you and me. But he always said 'give it time'".
Dora tells BR she wanted him to know all of this because she thinks he did not like or trust Paul when he first met him, so she wanted to inform BR of Paul's attitude towards him.
She recalls Lulworth.
Divorce Bundle, 176-9
Record last modified 2016/02/16
Created/last modified by duncana