The excerpt below is taken from the first three pages of the Prologue and signals the start of my journey Seeking John Campbell
At the end of 1995, sixty-eight-year-old Isabel Greig returned to Stone House, her home in the market town of Petworth, West Sussex, after enjoying a quiet visit with an old schoolfriend in Bath. It had been her first Christmas without her husband, Ian, who had died a couple of months earlier after a battle with cancer. Widowed after almost forty years of marriage, Isabel was lost.
Isabel was a striking woman, caring and unselfish and not without a sense of fun in happier times. She received fulsome support from her neighbours following the death of her beloved Ian, and when she returned after Christmas she telephoned a friend, who lived in a cottage opposite, but was persuaded not to visit her that evening as she was suffering from flu. The country was in the grip of the coldest winter for fourteen years and the following morning Isabel woke to a dusting of snow. Later that day, after light rain had washed the snow away, Isabel ventured out, but within yards of her home, slipped on black ice and fell to the ground, giving herself a hefty knock to the back of her head.
A passing policeman comforted her and a neighbour took her in for a soothing cup of tea. Isabel regained her composure and, typically not wishing to make a fuss, assured everybody that she was fine. She returned to her house, saying that she would take it easy for the rest of the day. Her friend across the road, still recovering from influenza and unaware of Isabel’s fall, was not surprised that she hadn’t called that day, expecting her to be enjoying the company of those in better health.
When Isabel’s neighbour knocked on her door the following morning, New Year’s Eve 1995, there was no response. Eventually, the police were called, the door was forced and on entering the house they found the lifeless Isabel in her bed. She had passed away during the night from what was later diagnosed as a brain haemorrhage. The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.