For those who are interested, a dramatis personae for We Never Stood Alone
Here, roughly in order of appearance and with as few spoilers as possible, are the key families and individuals in We Never Stood Alone.
Reverend Lloyd and Annie Robins – Lloyd has been the minister at Stokely Free since 1931. He became a believer during World War 1 through the witness of a Canadian Lieutenant named Pete Miller. Lloyd later went to Canada to attend Toronto Bible College, and returned to begin ministry first in Birmingham and then in Stokely. Annie grew up near Bristol and met Lloyd at Swindon Chapel. They have three children, Lizzie (11), Georgie (5), and Maggie (2).
Norah Applewaithe, a divorcee, helps Annie with the cooking and housework at the manse.
Bert and Meg Butler – Bert was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident at the Miles Aircraft factory. Meg is helping make ends meet by bringing in laundry. They have three children of their own (Freddy, Harry and little Emma).
Meg and Bert are also caring for Meg’s niece and nephew (Nellie and Billy) who came out as evacuees. Meg’s brother, Tom Timms died of consumption and their mum, Muriel was having trouble juggling the care of the children, care for her parents and her job at a London department store.
Mildred and Alf Cotton are Muriel’s mother and father.
Ned and Alice Powell. Ned was Lloyd’s platoon sergeant during the Great War. His family has farmed just outside Stokely for generations. He and Alice are childless, so he has always had to hire hands to work at the farm. He also relies on his old Fordson tractor and his two Shire horses, Buster and Bluster.
Ned’s nephew and his wife, Charlie and Dot Simmonds also live in Stokely. Their son is named after his uncle.
Arthur and Rosey Cripps – Arthur is a former Royal Navy captain who is now the lockkeeper at the Stokely lock (on the Thames River). His wife Rosey is not in the greatest of health, but is still an avid student of Biblical prophecy. They have taken in their nephew, Stanley Payne whose father disappeared after sending the 14-year-old as an evacuee to his sister, Rosey.
Eleanor Blount – Lady of Blount Manor. Her late husband, Cyril, was descended through many generations of Lords and Ladies at the Manor and at one time own all the land north of Stokely (on the Oxfordshire side). Lady Blount has tried hard to preserve the estate in difficult times.
Thomas and Vera Warrington have been Lady Blount’s butler and cook for many years.
Rachel Busby. Rachel is also a widow. She has lived in Stokely since the first war. Rachel’s husband, a doctor, and her three children all died in the Spanish Flu of 1919. Her mum, Virginia Townend, lived with her in Rosewood cottage, near Blount Manor until her death in 1934.
Percy Wilkins – Percy was the groom at Blount Manor until Lady Blount had to sell off all the livestock. Now he lives in a little shack down by the river. He tells awful jokes.
Alan and Susan Ward – Alan is a senior clerk for the Great Western Railroad and the Junior Warden of Stokely Free Church. He was unable to serve in the Great War, but he named his sons Nelson and Wellington.
James Grierson – James is the principal of the Royal Veterinary College (London) and has come to Stokely to look for an estate where the College might be housed if war breaks out. He and Lloyd Robins have a mutual friend, Pete Miller.
Harold Mills – Harold is a broker’s agent in Stokely and a new member of Stokely Free
Henry Padbury – Henry is a math professor at the University of Reading. He is Cambridge educated and was offered positions at both Oxford and Cambridge, but chose to teach closer to his home (and his church) in Stokely, where he cared for his parents, who have now both passed on.
Mrs. Waverly is Henry’s cook and housekeeper.
Philip and Marjorie Clarke – Philip is the only solicitor (lawyer) in Stokely. He and his wife have four children. Lenny, the oldest, is an Oxford grad and is working in London. Holly is married to Robert Allen and lives in Coventry with their two little ones, Ivy and Rose. Edwin has just joined the Royal Air Force as a radio operator. The youngest, Violet, is still a teen-ager at home.
Ernest and Evelyn Cooper – Ernest works for the General Post Office in telephone systems. He and Evelyn have two daughters, Phyllis (16) and Lily (11).
Other Characters, present –
Father Bennet, the Anglican vicar of Stokely
Ron Black, veterinary surgeon, a colleague of James Grierson
Dr. Brownley, a doctor at Battle Hospital in Reading.
The Chandlers, a family at Stokely Free
Ralph Cheswick, another doctor, a friend of James Grierson
Jack Elliot, the Constable in Stokely.
Captain Grimes, Royal Navy. He formerly served with Arthur Cripps
Rodney Hill, Royal Air Force, a friend of Edwin Clarke’s
Reverend Hillsway, London, Mildred and Alf Cotton’s (Methodist) minister
Tom and Mary Jewell, a family that lives behind the Stokely Free Church
R V Jones, Lenny’s boss, (a historical figure, author of ‘The Wizard War.’)
Mr. McDonald, lives on the river a few doors up from Arthur Cripps
Roy and Ella Mitchum – another Stokely family that lives behind the church.
Dr. Nesbitt, the current doctor in Stokely
Mr. Russell, undertaker and funeral director at Whitehills cemetery.
Helen Waters, another Stokely widow. Her son Tommy is in the army.
The Wilsons, a Stokely family. Their son Adam is also in the army.
Other Characters, past –
Emily Bailey, a widow in Purton, Annie’s aunt.
Tom Black, a corporal in Lloyd Robins WW1 platoon.
Sam Edwards, another WWI comrade to Ned and Lloyd
Lt. Fowler, Ned’s platoon Lt. for a time during WWI
Corporal Jeffries, member of Lloyd’s platoon, WWI
Lt. Pete Miller, Royal Canadian Army and native of Toronto. He knows both Lloyd and James Grierson.
Lt. Terry Sheffield, another WWI comrade to Lloyd
Walter Woodward, Annie’s father