Brian's wife Ruth was also loyal and a fantastic support to her husband
and his highly unconventional existence. I heard that it was rumoured
Ruth was an illegitimate close relation to Elizabeth, the late Queen
Mother. Brian met Ruth at the British embassy in Lima, Peru and found
her well educated and somewhat of a linguist.
Brian had lost his first wife Charlotte quite suddenly and needed a partner
in life who would be staunchly domestic to give himself a feeling of
security and a semblance of normal family life, probably to balance out
the strain of his intense secret life.
Ruth did not know a thing about Brian's inner life. She found a man who
looked after her kindly, took her for trips in the car; days out visiting
interesting places. Brian even took her to Brazil when he went to pick up
the fake skeleton, though Ruth stayed in Rio while Brian went into the
jungles. Ruth undoubtedly suffered from insecurity. She was awed by
Nina and Joan. Ruth was awed by most people and did not like visitors
and was at her happiest when she and Brian were playing chess together
by the oil stove. There was virtually no money but there was the pride of
being married to Fawcett's son.
Ruth had started out in the rather privileged world of embassy life in
Peru. She seemed to have had a wealthy upbringing, but after arriving in
England as Brian's wife in post war Britain all that went and she appears
in photographs in rather drab clothes. As with Nina, the strain of the
Fawcett legacy took its toll on Ruth. For years Ruth could pretend there
was nothing wrong. Brian would disappear on many evenings into his
"studio". When you see the bungalow in Durdar Road Carlisle, you
realise "the studio" must have been quite small. Ruth never entered this
room. Brian spent hours and hours in communicating with his other
realities. Ruth never questioned (I suppose she imagined he was writing
or painting). Brian confides in his diary "It seems amazing that Ruthie
should continue in blissful ignorance of what goes on in this house."
Finally Ruth did have some sort of breakdown which included
hallucinations. Perhaps she was more aware than Brian supposed and the
attack came out of her years of suppressed anxiety about the nature of her
relationship to such an unusual man. Another victim of the Fawcett Saga,
Ruth survived Brian which meant she not only lost her one close friend
but also her home in Carlisle and spent her remaining life first kindly
looked after by Rolette and her husband Patrick and then in a home. No
doubt she was polite about it all but one feels she must have spent her
final days in fear and insecurity.
A most unlikely person to be caught up with the Fawcett Saga but one of
its primary victims was Raleigh. He was the son of a Seaton doctor and
was at school with Jack and Brian at the college in Newton Abbot,
Devon. Raleigh was an excellent shot with the catapult and loved
practical jokes. He and Jack raced through the Devon lanes on their
motorbikes. They planned to go to Hollywood and become movie stars.
Jack, always under the watchful eye of his devoted father, needed a pal to
have a good laugh with. Raleigh was light relief.
On the liner to Rio, Raleigh fell for one of the passengers, a Duke's
daughter, and proposed, threatening to jeopardise the integrity of the
expedition. Fawcett soon put a stop to that. When they reached Cuiaba
and spent weeks waiting for provisions to be assembled, Fawcett was off
alone attending séances and Macumba rituals, while Raleigh encouraged
Jack to go out for wild evenings learning the latest South American
dances and drinking. Fawcett writes to Nina that he is not surprised
Raleigh was sick for eight days because of his excessive life style.
Fawcett's asceticism was now at its height and he was intolerant of
weaknesses in others. "Fully able to control his own corporal desires by
an effort of will, he regarded those who could not do so as moral
degenerates," comments Brian. In the last letters Jack writes to his mother
that Raleigh does not seem to take the mystical side seriously and keeps
mumbling "It's all beyond me".
Perhaps with the years of subtle preparation for Jack's role in "The Great
Scheme" Raleigh should have been briefed more to match the others. It
seems that he believed he was going along for an extended adventure
holiday, having no inkling of the dangers that lay ahead.
What with that and the foot rot he developed a few days into the final
journey, Raleigh has always been considered a let down. The foot rot may
have been caused by the leather boots Fawcett insisted were worn by the
three and not from anything Raleigh did wrong.
However, Raleigh comes out of the Fawcett expedition as the weakest
link who impeded progress. The subsequent writers on the subject (nearly
all lacking the appropriate research and relying on tittle-tattle), some of
them mediums, such as the well known Geraldine Cummins, make
Raleigh out as the villain of the piece; a materialist who never had his
heart in the expedition and messed things up by being a liability.
On 26th September 1961 a German, Dr Wilhelm Gall sent an
extraordinary letter to Brian via the British Consul in Brazil stating that
Raleigh was still alive and had become a gold prospector existing in the
wilds, happy with his life. If Raleigh was so materialistic, then perhaps
he should not have been urged to go along in the first place.
JACK On the liner back from Ceylon, as the family were returning to England,
Jack was lying on deck still a babe in swaddling clothes and astonished
passengers when he picked up a nearby dumb bell and pointing uttered
his first words, "Dat's Stromboli!" as the ship sailed by the famous
volcano. Brian writes that as an evolved being Jack should not have been
given the traditional British public school education which would surely
normalize him into a conformist.
Certainly Jack was unhappy at Wellington. The headmaster asked Nina to
take him away from the school because he was not following the rules.
Nina drove up in her hired limousine and gave the headmaster a piece of
her mind. "I dislike your regime so much that I am going to take away my
younger son as well. Jump in Brian!" and she drove off with them both.
Jack spent time walking along the beach at Seaton with a volume of Max
Rhoemer and bag of toffees in his pocket. He liked to be alone. He felt
special and he enjoyed the attention of Harold Large and corresponded
with him about his own future role in The Great Scheme.
Joan told me that "Jack was incredibly bossy"; he was touchy about his
dignity and if he caught her or Brian laughing at him over any trifle he