22 OCTOBER 1983, Page 20

A great character

Sir: I was fascinated by Roy Kerridge's salute to that typical, yet unique, Englishman Commander Charles Drage, RN Retired (17 September). His death in July was the end of an era and the breaking of a bridge to personalities like Evelyn Waugh, T. S. Eliot and even to such events as the 1931 Invergordon mutiny. As I took my place in St Mary Abbots for his early August funeral memories came flooding in and in particular of the launching in the summer of 1972 of a campaign to defend the Book of Common Prayer which took place in his spacious home in Kensington.

This birthplace of the BCP Action Group — the forerunner of the Prayer Book Society — had a very special charm provided by the Commander's wife Enid.

With her daughter Margaret, Enid Drage threw herself enthusiastically into the campaign and in those early days they hosted meeting after meeting in their elegant drawing room. Before leaving us to get on with our tasks and retiring into his book-lined study complete with its oriental curios and countless paper-weights, Commander Drage always poured drinks for everyone with such a generous hand that Committee meetings were lively and enjoyable occasions. His death this year has robbed England of a fine author and a real 'character'.

C. A. A. Kilminster

Vice-Chairman, The Prayer Book Society, 40 Great Smith Street, London SWI