Back in August of 2016 I wrote this piece about a certain Capt HA Cartwright, his old fishing tackle which I happened to be keeping, and what I had discovered about the man on the internet.
My fascination with the story didn’t end there, and in the winter of 2017, I read the story of Fritz Kolbe…”Betraying Hitler”. I read with intense interest the snippets in there in which the meeting between Kocherthaler and Cartwright in Berne was mentioned. I had no sooner turned the last page of that fascinating story when I received an e-mail, out of the blue, from none other than Carthwright’s family!
Since then some delightful and heartwarming correspondence with various family members has ensued, in which I discovered that one of them went to school with my brother. It is hoped that the Cartwright box (containing the fishing tackle of the late HA Cartwright) will soon be winging its way back to England to be re-united with the family.
In the meantime I was sent this picture of HA Cartwright, with the very same fishing tackle box!
The date and location of the photo are unknown, but what I have learned along the way is that Cartwright came to South Africa to retire at George in the Cape, and that is how the tackle box, and his family, made their way to here. The box was handed in to our local fishing club from the deceased estate of one of Cartwright’s children, and when I became chairman of that club, it fell upon me to look after its various collectables, which included this box.
It has been a pleasure to be part of this feel-good and serendipitous story in which the conclusion sees a family re-united with a keepsake of a fly fishing grandfather whose story was so rich and intriguing.
To Stephen and David: It has been my pleasure!