Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Miss Joan Hunter Dunne

When he died they said that Cary Grant was not supposed to die (in a sense, I suppose that he never will) and when Joan Hunter Dunne died, her obituary in The Independent newspaper said that she should never have existed; she should have been just a made-up name in a poem but the fact of the matter is that she did exist and John Betjeman became infatuated with her when he met her in her war work in the Senate House of the University of London and wrote the poem A Subaltern's Love-song about her. He even presented it to her over lunch and she was delighted as it relieved the tedium of the war and also accurately reflected the type of life that she led: she was even (as Betjeman had supposed), a doctor's daughter from Surrey (although not "Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot" sun)but Farnborough. Joan Hunter Dunne (1915-2008) is in the photograph. She did marry after the war and had a family.

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