A Clear Premonition (ePub)
Letters of Lieutenant Tim Lloyd to his mother
Tim Lloyd was aged twenty-two, a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade, when he was killed in action near Florence in July, 1944. His personality made a vivid impression on his companions, and after all these years he is remembered still for his extraordinary zest for life, his indomitable cheerfulness and his appreciation of beautiful things. If he had lived he might well have joined the famous publishing firm of his brother-in-law, Sir William Collins, but more likely he would have been a theatre designer, possibly a great one. He was also brave, though his period at the front line was brief. Raleigh Trevelyan, a year younger, regarded him as his best friend. It was a shock when Tim's nephew Samson Lloyd showed Raleigh Tim's letters to his mother when they were together in North Africa and Italy. For the first time Raleigh reread extracts from his own diary, and found himself plunged into memories he hoped he had put to rest. Tim had been ill in Italy, so missed being sent to Anzio Beachhead, the subject of of Raleigh's much praised and harrowing battle memoir The Fortress, and also part of his later book Rome '44. Meanwhile Tim continued his letters to his mother, outstanding not only in their descriptions of landscape and people, but as an example of a son's deep devotion. Sue Ryder, who had first met Tim on the boat to South Africa, was convinced that he had a clear premonition of what lay in store. Based on his letters to Mrs Lloyd, the book traces his childhood at Repton, his passion for the theatre and his marionette shows in ENSA, also life in the ranks and wild times in London after being commissioned.