A Knight’s Tale (137: Jessica Knight 19.6.1949-4.7.2007)

Jessica, when diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1997, had ben told that average survival time was five years. She lived for ten years until the Fourth of July 2007. Her funeral service took place soon afterwards in a packed Southwell Minster.

At the beginning of June 2019 Louisa wished to produce a slideshow of pictures of her mother in order to recognise what would have been her 70th birthday later that month. At different spells over that early weekend I e-mailed her a selection, some of which are included here.

These two were produced in June 1974 in the garden of Droop Street.

Here, in January 1975, she picks cabbages in her parents’ garden at Bulcote.

In May that year she is reflected in the window of the Peel Institute Youth Club.

Here she stands with Michael on the threshold of our flat in Horse and Dolphin Yard, in December 1979.

Sam was two days old on 21st June 1980;

Louisa joined them in May 1982.

In 1983 there were holidays in Newark, in Devon, and in North Wales.

  • Jessica 12.85

This trio from 1985 were made in Southern France, in Mousehole, and in my parents’ Morden home at Christmas.

  • Jessica, Sam, and Louisa 1986

On a visit to Haslemere in 1986 Sam and Louisa made a bid to return to the womb.

  • Jessica 6.90 2
  • Jessica and coot 6.90 3

In June 1990, James Bird, our neighbour in Newark, brought home this coot which he had found by the roadside, and thought might survive by our pond. It disappeared after a few days.

  • Jessica and Becky 5.10.91
  • Heidi, Werner, Jessica, Mark Banks 5.10.91
  • Cath, Derrick, Joan, Michael, Heidi, Werner, Jessica 5.10.91
  • Jessica 5.10.91

In the first of these images from Michael and Heidi’s wedding on 5th October 1991 Jessica stands with Becky; in the next two she sits beside Werner, the bride’s father. Matthew took the top table pictures.

  • Jessica on Place Fell 18.8.92 7
  • Jessica on Place Fell 18.8.92 6
  • Jessica on Place Fell summit. 18.8.92

In August 1992 Jessica reached the summit of Place Fell. What is more surprising is that so did I – and held my nerve to take the shots.

On 4th October that year we attended my mother’s 70th birthday party. Jessica stands amid Sam, Adam, and Danni. Louisa is just out of shot.

In August 1999 Jessica was present to cheer on the builders of the great sandcastle on the beach at Instow.

While waiting for Sam’s arrival in Barbados in March 2004 Jessica and Louisa swam with turtles in the Caribbean Sea;

We all greeted him as he tottered off his boat.


  1. What beautiful pictures! Such a moving way to remember and honor her. I was particularly impressed by the mountain shots. Jessica sure could climb. And so could you!

  2. Ah Derrick, this is a painful episode to revisit, which you have done beautifully and with great sensitivity.

  3. A wonderful tribute to Jessica. You had more than one mountain to climb and it’s lovely to think you did it together.

  4. I’m so sorry for all that Jessica endured…and those of you who loved her endured with her. So sad. (We had a good friend who died from Multiple Myeloma, too. 🙁 )
    What a beautiful photo tribute to a beautiful woman! Thank you for sharing her with us. She lives on in each of you, and in your memories, too. ❤️
    PS…the photo of Jessica reflected in the window is amazing and lovely! 🙂

  5. I see a lot of strength and love in these photos. Though Jessica’s life was shorter than it should have been, it was a life was well-lived. I love the header photo and the one through the window.

  6. The series of photos containing Jessica in her various poses and moods invokes her personality vividly. It is a touching remembrance.

  7. A poignant post, Derrick, and a lovely tribute. The photos show Jessica’s outward beauty, but from them, we can also see the beauty she carried inside. ?

    My uncle, my mother’s only sibling, also died from multiple myeloma.

  8. It feels fitting that I have finally caught up with the remarkable tales of your remarkable family with this poignant collection of photographs. Thank you for sharing them, Derick ❤️️

  9. A lovely tribute to a lovely person. though loss never ceases to be felt, despite the years…
    Hugs man. (If I may be so bold.) (Though no kiss on the cheek as my fellow Frogs do…)

  10. Of course I didn’t know her, but she reminds me of my late sister–full of life and enjoying every minute. My favorite of all the pictures is her chasing the kids up the stone steps. The perfect balance of caution and encouragement.

  11. Jessica was a charming woman Derrick. You and she were fortunate for the years and family that you shared. Thank you for sharing your fondest memories. ?

  12. A beautiful celebration of life. My two faves are the one of Jessica through the window with Lousia? and the one in southern France with the wagon wheel is stunning. I also love the joy shining through from the mountaintop at Place Fell.

  13. My favorite is seeing her through the window. A lovely shot. My uncle had MM and I never did understand what could cause seemingly super-healthy people to develop that relatively early in life – when in my uncles case at least, he was a rugged outdoors man who walked for miles, never smoked or anything .. it is just so cruel. I’m really glad you remember her dearly and for her children’s sake memorialize her rich and beautiful life –

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