Portrait of my father, Edmund Davis, possibly taken around 1938

Portrait of my father, Edmund Davis, possibly taken around 1938 just before the war when we was 21. He went missing for nearly three years while stationed in London during the war. Those who tried to locate him wrote of their efforts, and the rumours they heard. Some reassured my grandfather that his son was not schizophrenic, others that he was not on drugs, still others reported that he was hanging out with the actors in the West End.
And it turns out, Dad did do some acting, bit parts and walk-ons. Once when I was a boy in the ‘50s, Dad and I were watching an old Richard Green movie on the telly, and suddenly there was Dad walking into a scene. I asked but he didn’t have much to say. I think Dad was just a confused kid, perhaps traumatised by what he experienced in the Blitz, what he saw in the wards of St. Mary’s, or perhaps just ashamed at having done poorly in his medical studies,
for clearly he had no interest in following his father into the profession. My father would spend half his savings sending me to Harvard, knowing that every day I was there widened the social gap between us. It was so generous of him. And yet even as I spent a decade finding my way in life, he never once criticised my decisions or told me what I should be doing, what career I ought to be pursuing.