"HE WHO RIDES A TIGER" Chief petty office Peter Thompson the upstanding, charming gent hides a secret, he is an abuser of children. How long can he evade the law. one young girl, his daughter finds the courage to come forward to tell all after years of torment.. based on a true story. "A must read"


29. 29

“Can I help you Rose?

“Yes of course, go wash your hands first.’

Deborah Jane did as she was asked as Rose rolled some pastry to make a corned beef and onion tart. Deborah Jane was beginning to become quite competent in the kitchen and at peeling potatoes. She helped her mother too at weekends.

Rose had everything prepared when Janet returned she was struggling to walk when she got in.

“Are you alright Mrs Thompson?

“I think I’ve just gone into labour Rose.’

You’ve just left the hospital; can you make it back with me if I drive you in your car.

“Can you drive, yes my father had an old banger and I had a go of it.’

“Have you passed your test I meant.’

 “Now’s not the time for discussing that, I’ll pack you a few things that you will need. How far apart are the contractions?

“Every few minutes.’

Just hold on Mrs Thompson, Deborah Jane show me where your mummy keeps her suitcase will you.

Rose hurried into the bedroom and Deborah Jane went under the bed and pulled out a case.

Rose went into her bedside draws and found the things she’d need and packed them inside the case. Once she’d done that she asked Deborah Jane to carry it out to the car as she helped Janet get into the back seat. She got into the car after Deborah got in with her mother. Rose put the case into the boot then got in and started the car up. The gears ground a little but off they went up the street and she turned right into the hospital.

“Stay with your mammy until I get help Deborah Jane, I won’t be long.

Rose ran to the main entrance and called for two porters to bring a trolley and told them that Sister Thompson had gone into labour.

They rushed out to the car and helped Janet onto the trolley then she was wheeled into the maternity unit and put into the labour ward. The screen went around her and Rose told Janet not to worry and that she’d take care of her daughter.

“Will you ring Peter for me Rose?

“Yes, you just relax, we don’t want you getting stressed. Here’s the case with all of your things you’ll need. I’ll stay over with Deborah Jane until either Mr Thompson comes home or you come home with your new baby.

“What about school tomorrow?

“Look, I told you not to worry, everything will be taken care of.’

The nurses asked Rose to leave so she took Deborah Jane by the hand and walked her back home leaving the car in the car park. “Now then you must be a good girl for me Deborah Jane as mammy is going to need me to look after you for a while.

“I will Rose, I promise to be good.’

“Well, later this evening or early tomorrow you are going to have a younger brother or sister, what do you think of that?

“It’s wonderful, I hope it’s a boy, mummy so wants a boy for daddy.’

Right do you know where your mammy keeps the phone numbers so I can contact your daddy and tell him the news.

She found the number for HMNB in Portsmouth who told her that all the men had been moved to London, some were camped in Hyde Park some in Wimbledon and other areas. Over 160.000 troops would line the route for the Kings funeral procession. Another 20.000 police officers would also be taking part. It took a while to get through to someone who knew Peter Thompson and Rose was able to give him the message that would be passed on.

When Peter did eventually find out there was little he could do he was ordered to stay in the barracks until further notice. He was saddened that he was going to miss the birth of his first child but there was nothing he could do. Affairs of the state took precedence. It had taken five days to get everyone ready so that they knew exactly what was expected of them. Some of the men were chosen to march behind the cortege with other Army, and Airforce men. Whilst others would just line the route on both sides all the way to Westminster Abbey to prevent crowds from getting in the way.

Peter was one of the men chosen to march and his uniform and boots had to be immaculate. All of his medals had to be polished. He carried a loaded rifle like the rest of the men.

At 8 a.m. the morning of February 15th 1952 men began to assemble. Quietly they all took their positions from Buckingham Palace right down the mall and beyond. Once the cortege had gone they were to get into trucks and move further down the route. So that every part of the route was covered. Princess Elizabeth and her husband Philip Duke of Edinburg were in Kenya on a state visit in place of her sick father. The code for King Georges V1 death was “Hyde Park Corner.’ He was 56 years old and had died in his sleep. It took four hours before Princess Elizabeth was informed of her father’s death. The mood became a very sombre one as Colonel Martin Charteris informed Elizabeth that she was now Queen of England and the commonwealth.

Elizabeth asked Colonel Charteris if the message was correct?

“Quite sure your majesty.’ Came the reply. The Duke took his wife for a quiet walk in Sagana that afternoon as preparations for her return to England were made. Four days later, the new Queen flew from Entebbe near Nanyuki back to London where she was met by the Duke of Gloucester and Sir Winston Churchill. The Queen had to have a black outfit sent ahead to London Airport where she changed before meeting members of the press.

Two weeks after his death the draped coffin of the King George V1 was placed over a cannon and towed by six horses to Westminster Abbey where a service took place. The whole of the British Empire was in mourning.

Janet Thompson was in labour some four hours before giving birth to a son weighing 7lbs and 6 ounces,

“When asked she said she was calling him, she replied Alan Thompson.’

Rose popped in with Deborah Jane on her way to school to see her new baby brother. She held onto his little hand and talked away as Janet told Rose that Peter had rang the hospital ten minutes after she had given birth. Because he was on duty until after the Kings funeral he couldn’t celebrate the birth of his first child. He was elated, he said once he was able to come home he’d have a few rums to wet the baby’s head. Later that morning a big bunch of Roses arrived with a card from Peter. There were lots of cards and well wishes from her staff too. Luckily for her it had been an easy birth. She didn’t have to push as hard as she did when Deborah Jane was born. She felt fine and even had a shower. Doctor William Burke came in to see her after Rose and Deborah Jane Left.

“Well how’s the new mother and child doing?

“Fine doctor, when can I go home?

“What’s the matter, I thought you loved it here.’

“I do, I just don’t enjoy being a patient.’

“Now you just take it easy today. If you feel alright tomorrow then we might let you and the little one home. There was a look of disappointment on Janet’s face. A face that she’d seen many times herself on the wards. Alan took to the bottle almost straight away. 3 ounces she was giving him every four hours. She was changing him herself and the nurses on the ward all knew her and let her do it without complaint. Most of the mothers were glad of a rest when the nurses came around to change of feed their babies. Janet was a natural born mother Alan was her pride and joy and she didn’t want to miss a minute of him growing up.

Rose took away Janets soiled clothing and brought her clean to put on. She had asked her if she could get her anything before she left. But Janet had just about everything she needed apart from Peter. Rose had slept in the spare room that would-be Alan’s room when she came home. She had already decorated it and there was a cot in there too. Deborah Jane wanted the cot brought into her room but Janet insisted that Alan have his own room. Rose came again that afternoon she’d washed her nightie and underwear and brought them in for her. “I think they will let me come home tomorrow Rose.’

“Are you alright to come home already?

“I can’t stay in here Rose you understand don’t you.’

“Yes,’ I do, but you don’t want to be going at it full pelt yet.’

“Could you stay over for a few nights until Peter comes home?

“Try stopping me, you can’t be keeping house, not for a few weeks anyway.

“Thanks Rose I appreciate all that you’ve done and of course I will pay you for your time.’

“Don’t you be worrying yourself about that. I’ve been eating your food rather than let it go to waste. Speaking of which I brought you a nice piece of tart in and a bit of cake as well.’

“Oh, thank you Rose, you think of everything. How’s Deborah Jane been?

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