Liz Taverner's death on Friday was a shock. It just really seemed that she would always be here. I visited about four weeks ago just to see her as full of the zest of life as any other person. Talking to people close to the family, it seems like Lizzie passed away as peacefully as possible. She was always, always kind to me and I will always remember that.
Mervyn died alone as a strong supporter of the conservative party. Working on trying to find his next of kin, I've learnt a lot about him that I didn't know. He did talk to a local racial equality officer about having children but it does seem from community and police contacts that they do not exist or do not want to be contacted. At this stage at least I know that his mother and cousin at least know that he is dead.
This is all the more important to me having attended Caanan Mutemasango's memorial service (canaan of course a socialist spending time in the Labour Party and more recently the independent socialist group) this weekend at which his daughter was only lately informed of his death. I do feel that if there is even one action that can help that not happening to someone else then all of us of us need to be doing that.
I've been doing some research in finding out about Mervyn. He was in the army, where he was injured which resulted in his limp that all of us in recent years knew as a distinguishing feature.
In trying to track his family down I called contacts in Peterborough. Even there the details of contacts drew a blank. One member of the local community said, "There were a lot of people who were impressed and supportive of Mervyn for his ability to speak out for local people. However, his general position that 'Margaret Thatcher could do no wrong',did lose him a lot of support in the community".
Maybe Mervyn had just not found his time. Hopefully Mervyn will now find his friends who want to be involved in his death. Not easy for the best of us, but still has to be done.