An interview with Lady Helena Lynchcliffe
Once again due to the merits of cyberspace I am sitting with Lady Helena Lynchcliffe in the late autumn of 1914.
Me: It is very good of you to spare me some of your valuable time Lady Lynchcliffe.
Lady Helena: (smiles) You are welcome.
Me: First of all I am extremely sorry about the tragic death of your husband Lord Marcus Lynchcliffe.
Lady Helena: You can say murder for that is what it was. Losing Marcus devastated us all. He was my first and only love and my soul mate. I’m fortunate to have my children to remind me of him and I have caring loyal friends who made things easier. Nights are the worst time especially when I reach out for him and remember that he isn’t there.
Me: I can understand the pain of losing the man you loved, Lady Lynchcliffe for I have been there myself.
Lady Helena: The pain and the emptiness can seem insurmountable at times. (sighs) If I ever remarry it won’t be an equal match for he will be second best and always know it.
Me: I understand that you were a young bride?
Lady Helena: Yes. I was just fifteen when Marcus and I married but I knew that he was what I wanted and I don’t regret a thing. We had almost thirty very happy years together.
Me: How did your parents react to you marrying so young?
Lady Helena: My parents were very enlightened for the time. They understood it had to be and they loved each other.
Me: How did you feel when you learnt that your older sister, Lady Celia Trevelyan, had drowned on the Titanic?
Lady Helena: (Sighs) Numb but in truth I had said goodbye to Celia many years before. I tried to make amends to her several times when my children ,Michael & Sarah, were young but she never answered my letters or even acknowledged that she was an aunt. I really would rather not talk about that if you don’t mind.
Me: I understand. Do you think you will ever remarry?
Lady Helena: Like I said, any man I married now would always be second best and know it. It would take a very exceptional man to steal my heart a second time. I know that Marcus would not want me to be alone for the rest of my life. Dr Hamish George was a dear friend of my late husband and he has been a rock since the murder but, as to anything developing beyond friendship I am really not sure. To tell you the truth I think I am afraid to love again. I don’t feel I would be betraying Marcus but I have Michael and Sarah to consider too.
Me: How is the household managing with your son , the current Lord Lynchcliffe, away at the Western Front?
Lady Helena: Well we are managing alright without Jenkins, our faithful butler who is convalescing in Bournemouth after a heart attack, but he is expected to be back among us soon. Our chauffeur, Franklin and Frazer (my son’s valet) are more than willing to take on extra work to ensure things run smoothly. I also have my good friend, Florence, here and she lifts my spirits; not to mention Dr Hamish. Every day I dread the post and am never able to relax until I know one of those horrible black wax sealed telegrams hasn’t arrived.
Me: Do you have any regrets?
Lady Helena: Only that Celia and I never made up our differences.
Me: Is the current Lord Lynchcliffe much like his father?
Lady Helena: (Smiles) Yes. Michael has the same inbuilt hatred of injustice. He also has a charisma that makes people trust and flock to him. I can’t imagine what hell he is enduring and I thank God that his sweetheart, Irene, is here to share the worry and I know that she will be good for him.
Me: Who would you say is your closest friend and confidante?
Lady Helena: Florence without a doubt. Her late husband came to be the local doctor, following my father’s death, and we talked a lot. She probably knows more about the pain I feel concerning Celia than anyone else. I am also quite friendly with our chauffeur Franklin’s wife, Margaret.
Me: If you had not married Marcus and become a lady what would you like to have done with your life?
Lady Helena: I idolised my father and would have liked to be a doctor. He certainly believed I had the aptitude for it had women been permitted to study medicine at the time.
Me: Do you think you will ever publish your memoirs?
Lady Helena: (Laughs) Goodness knows! I doubt anyone would want to read them and besides I would hesitate at dragging up the pain concerning my rift with Celia and our parents’ tragic deaths. I hear rumours that a written unofficial account is doing the rounds though.
Me: I know Christmas is a couple of months off yet as this interview is taking place in October 1914 but what would be your ideal gift?
Lady Helena: The end of the war and to have my beloved son, Michael, back home where he belongs.
Me: I really hope that you get your wish, Lady Lynchcliffe and I wish you the best for the future. Thank you for talking to me.
Lady Helena: You are welcome. Frazer will show you out.
The Lynchcliffe Cuckoo Vol 2 The Enemy Within is available on Kindle
Divided Loyalties : Lady Lynchcliffe’s Story is also available on Kindle