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Title graphic: Letters
4: The war at Friston - Bridge's burial

Frank Bridge to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 14 October 1940

Poor Eastbourne (five miles away from here) has had a gruesome time. We 'vibrate' with their agony. Only those who have experienced the whine and whizz of falling bombs can know what one feels like. A night or two ago we were convinced that [we] were 'for it'. Providentially they fell on a barn about a quarter of a mile away, in the valley. (Eight of them!) The noise was terrific. The cottage seemed to bend in and out. No damage. A few more cracks in ceilings. The brutes are always going over us. Twice last week low down over our garden, not more than 25 to 30 ft. up. One dropped out of the cloud over the next field, flattened out in time to hop over the hedge and get away safely to the sea. Unless I had seen this (a huge bomber) I should have never believed it possible.

Marjorie Fass to Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor, 16 March 1941

Ethel Bridge, drawing by Marjorie Fass

Ethel Bridge, drawing by Marjorie Fass

Wednesday's concert [12 March 1941] on the BBC of Frank's works was a great strain for Ethel, and during the day one wondered how it would be bearable. But at night, by some freakish imp of mischief that Frank would have laughed at, nearly all our radio sets wouldn't function, because of the raids, I suppose, and we had to fall back on an old battery set of mine, and so we lost the first announcement, and it was so difficult to hear that in a way it took the strain off a bit. Henry Wood played the String Suite beautifully, but Rebus was difficult to hear, and we long to hear it again, but the Sea came through all right, or else knowing every note of it, it didn't matter so much. So this has been a difficult time - but now this week is over, I think Ethel will be able to face things better - poor little lost love ...

And last Friday, on a glorious windswept day, just such as Frank loved, his ashes were brought from Brighton and put in a lovely spot in Friston churchyard, all sunny and lovely, and overlooking the sweet valley to East Dean, just under the East end of that dear little church which seems immemorial, since it has traces of Saxon days in it, and somehow it gave a sense of security and peace to have him back there in his earth.