Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Macmillan Graves

The Macmillan graves lie to the east of St Giles church in Horsted Keynes and are enclosed on three sides by a beech hedge, which makes it appear as if they're turning their backs on the rest of the churchyard. It's not very democratic of them.

Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) was one of our better post-war prime ministers. He mentored John F Kennedy and made a speech about "the Winds of Change" which acknowledged that it wasn't altogether a bad thing that the British Empire was coming to an end. He had the misfortune to look like an Edwardian grandee at a time when the old culture of deference was breaking up.  His political demise was hastened by the Profumo scandal- which wasn't exactly his fault- but these were still the days when senior politicians took responsibility when things went badly wrong on their watch. His marriage to Lady Dorothy, who is buried with him, was semi-detached. 

Whoever supervised the lay out of the graves must have thought they were constructing a shrine- with the hedge serving to shelter the faithful  while they thought their thoughts or dropped a tear, but according to the lady who was approaching from the south as I was approaching from the north, "Nobody comes here anymore." 

"He's a bit of a forgotten man," I said.

"Now if he were an American President..." she added.

She herself had come not so much for the Macmillans as to see if the snowdrops were out yet. 

They were. 

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