Illness & return to Watford
Lily Mabel had some psychological problems and had occasional 'mad turns'. She had a violent temper and her rage was often vented on her unfortunate stepdaughter, Ruth, often through no fault of Ruth's.
Soon after their marriage, Reginald became ill with nervous exhaustion. The family moved to Minster Road, just off Euston Road, in Cricklewood and on the edge of Hampstead, to reduce his journey to work but Reginald had a complete nervous breakdown. A previous maid, Lily Simpkins, came to live-in and look after the children. Reginald’s illness meant he had to take time off work and he was summoned to a meeting with his superiors – Eric went with him for moral support – where he as virtually told to take early retirement. He was not a well man and he came away from this meeting totally shattered. It was found that he had pyorrhoea, a severe inflammation of the gums, which necessitated the removal of all his teeth and soon afterwards his depression lifted and he was perfectly well (it is recognised that pyorrhoea can often affect one’s mental state). At about this time, in the summer of 1927, Reginald went out to spend a few weeks with his brother Eyton in South Africa. Reginald retired on 30 June 1933 with an annuity of £500.
Reginald was a devout Christian – he wrote a prayer which he set to music and had published – and the family regularly attended Sunday Service at St. Mary's Parish Church. Reginald considered standing for Parliament as a Christian. My mother commented that he was either liked and admired for being the kind, gentle man he was or dismissed as being too soft-hearted and of no consequence.