Michael Day was the younger brother of my grandfather, David Day. [Thank heaven David did the family tree for his surname before I came along!] Sons of Albert James Taylor and Dorcas (nee Gosling) Day, David was born in 1922 and Michael followed four years later.
Born in Harrow, Michael was educated at Berkhamsted School (pictured above on the far right of the top row) before attending University. He was a very intelligent man, indeed he became a member of MENSA. My mother recalls his wicked sense of humour – a trait shared with his father and brother alike – and Michael wrote amusing poems, many of which she has retained:
He worked for Encyclopaedia Britannica, never marrying, and lived in Croydon on his own, developing a keen interest in sailing and in ornithology, recording bird song on a reel to reel recorder. He also recorded a family conversation at my great-grandparent’s family home in 1963 which we have transferred to CD and provides a lovely record of voices from the past.
Sadly, I never met my great-uncle Michael. He died on 11 May 1964, his death certificate stating his age as 39, although he was actually just 38, at 62 Croham Rd, Croydon. His ashes were laid to rest in the Garden of Remembrance in Surrey and Sussex Crematorium. John Armitage, of Encyclopaedia Britannica, wrote to my great-grandfather – then Sir Albert Day – to express the sorrow of the office saying how Michael ‘will be terribly missed for he was a wonderful colleague and a splendid worker…. perhaps one of his best talents was his ability to communicate simply …. a wealth of understanding and knowledge: his work early on the Children’s Britannica was proof enough of this.’ He finished with ‘A sad day indeed.’