Chapple Family

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Any eye for an eye for any eye - By Jim Parker
(Herald Express, 197?)

One eye - and one birthday - the amazing link in family


DOREEN Squires always keeps an eye out for fate.

But then again so did her blinking father, grandfather and great-grandfather!

By an amazing quirk of coincidence all three men were born on the same date ... and all three went on to lose their right eye in accidents!

Just to add to the "eye-rony" a gentleman by the name of Admiral Horatio Nelson was also born on September 29.

And we all know what happened to him he lost an eye!

Mother of five Mrs Squires, who lives in the village of Harbertonford, near Totnes, says: "I suppose it must he some sort of record worthy of the Guinness Book of Records!"

Just to raise a few more eyebrows in the village, Mrs Squires has a snapshot of her dad and grand-dad shoeing a one-eyed horse!

And she cannot turn a blind eye to the threat of "the eye jinx spreading through other generations of her family.

Take her 25-year-old son, Adrian, for instance. He was working in the sawmills of Graham Reeves at Totnes a few years ago when a piece of steel flew off into ... his right eye!

Thankfully, after treatment at the local eye infirmary he recovered and his sight is perfect.

Cast an eye on the "eye-ronic" string of events:

"Eye-eye" what's all this then? Two one-eyed smithies shoeing a one-eyed horse! Mrs Squires' dad is pictured complete with eye-patch working on the horse, while her grand-dad is seen half-looking on.

Doreen's dad, Adrian ("Ad") Chapple

Mrs Squires said: "My dad was a great character (he died in 1972) and was even offered a job as a professional story-teller in a pub on Dartmoor.

"One of his favourite stories was about the time he was in the Home Guard during the Second World War and the chap who went on guard with him was stone deaf.

"He used to talk about how one could not see the enemy ... while the other could not hear them!"

She added: "Although he was born on the same day as Lord Nelson he was very sensitive about his disability and hated to be called Nelson or Popeye even if it was said jokingly.

"It is a weird coincidence and I cannot explain it. They were all hard-working men and perhaps they were trying to do too much too quickly when they were hurt.

"I had a little bit of a shock when my son, Adrian, had a piece of steel fly in his right eye as well.

But I am very superstitious and the only comfort I had was believing that things go in threes. I'm just hoping that's our lot as far as our family goes.

Adrian, by the way, was not born on September 29. But his 25-year-old brother Martin was due to he born on the dreaded day.

Mrs Squires said - obviously with a wink - "He decided to stick it out for another month."

[Ed: Article originally appeared in Torbay Herald Express, including above punctuation, in 197?]