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MP of town 'died of a broken heart'

PUBLISHED: 14:34 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:39 03 July 2010

History: Great Yarmouth mayor Terry Easter and Samuel Burton-Nursery with the mementos of Sir Arthur Harbord, for MP and mayor of the town.

History: Great Yarmouth mayor Terry Easter and Samuel Burton-Nursery with the mementos of Sir Arthur Harbord, for MP and mayor of the town.

MEMENTOES of an MP said to have died of a broken heart when Great Yarmouth suffered the ravages of war have been presented to the borough.

Sir Arthur Harbord was elected for MP for his home town in 1922 and apart from a five-year break in the 1920s he held the seat until his death in 1941.

MEMENTOES of an MP said to have died of a broken heart when Great Yarmouth suffered the ravages of war have been presented to the borough.

Sir Arthur Harbord was elected for MP for his home town in 1922 and apart from a five-year break in the 1920s he held the seat until his death in 1941.

On Monday, Samuel Burton-Nursey, who married Sir Arthur's granddaughter Bridget Thompson, donated a ceremonial key, Sir Arthur's baronet medal and other memorabilia including his CBE.

Alderman Harbord was also Mayor from 1917 to 1919 and again in 1935, the first person to achieve the distinction twice.

Said by Mr Burton-Nursey to have been a very quiet man, Liberal MP Sir Arthur was a politician of some note.

A family story recounted by great-grandson Timothy Nursey, who accompanied his father to the presentation, was that the German propagandist Lord Haw Haw, William Joyce, announced on radio that the German's would deliver their calling card at Sir Arthur's funeral.

As the funeral procession made its way from the parish church to the cemetery a fighter plane strafed the mourners. Luckily no one was hurt although many people dived behind gravestones for cover.

Mr Burton-Nursey senior, part of the famous Nursey sheepskin clothing family of Bungay, had stored the artefacts in his bank until it closed 18 months ago.

He said: “Sir Arthur was so upset at Yarmouth being bombed during the war he died of a broken heart. I have had the care of them for 60 years, but now it is time they came back to Great Yarmouth.”

The artefacts presented to the Mayor Terry Easter, also included an illuminated script in a leather-bound book which details Sir Arthur's life and career. The ceremonial key, still in its original presentation case, was given to Sir Arthur when he opened Alderman Leach School in the borough in 1932.

His claims to local fame include obtaining a £30,000 grant for coastal defence and playing a part in the purchase of the Barrack Estate, where a road Harbord Crescent still bears his name.


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