Leonard’s Proposal

Frome Railway Station

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We have just been to visit friends in Somerset for a few days and on the way home, back to Yorkshire, we decided to call at Frome Railway Station (pronounced like ‘broom’, not like ‘chrome’).

I wanted to see where Leonard had set off from to propose marriage to Virginia. Leonard was staying with a friend, the Rector of the Church of St Mary Magdalene, at the nearby Great Elm Rectory (about three miles from Frome Station) when he decided to get the train to London in order to ask Virginia to marry him. It was the eleventh of January 1912.

In his autobiography, Leonard says:

The change from the incessant whirl of London to the quiet somnolence of a Somerset rectory was the passing straight from a tornado into a calm, or from a saturnalia into a monastery. At last I had time to think. It took me 48 hours to come to a decision and on Wednesday I wired to Virginia asking whether I could see her next day. Next day I went up to London and asked her to marry me.

To commemorate this (albeit tenuous) link to Bloomsbury history, Frome Station installed a plaque which was unveiled by Cecil Woolf (Leonard’s nephew) in November 2014.

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And to think that this very famous marriage began in a quiet railway station like this.

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You can just see the plaque in the middle photograph.

The rest, they say, is history.

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2 thoughts on “Leonard’s Proposal

  1. What a lovely story. I can just imagine him all nervous and excited, waiting quietly and willing the train to come. And she must have known why he wanted to see her.

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    1. Really sorry to tell you but she said no. She needed more time and to see him more before she could agree to marry him. Poor Leonard was beside himself for four or five months until she eventually said yes in May 1912.

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