Friday, October 12, 2012

Garry O'Connor, Debussy, and the Tates Maggie and James

Tate Memorial, Hampstead Cemetery
The opera singer in O'Connor's play, Debussy Was My Grandfather, is based on his great-aunt, Maggie Teyte. Her brother was James W Tate (she changed the spelling for effect). Out of the blue O'Connor received a letter, which said:

'Our theatre charity The Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America and The Theatre Memorial Guild are devoted to restoring and caring for the final resting places of Music Hall and Theatre artistes, as well as erecting commemorative blue plaques.

'We discovered today at Hampstead Cemetery, whilst laying a wreath at the grave of Marie Lloyd on her 90th anniversary, that your...[ancestor]...James W Tate's memorial has fallen into great disrepair.'

James W Tate was a songwriter and accompanist, and O'Connor thinks he may have his nose.

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