Obituary: William Douglas-Home

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YOUR obituary of William Douglas-Home (by Adam Benedick, 30 September) dealt very fully with his long, eventful and invariably courageous record as a dramatist. May I add a sentence or two about him as a man? writes General Sir David Fraser.

The wit and tolerance manifest in Douglas-Home's plays and writings were the hallmarks of his character. Enormously funny, invariably good-tempered and the best of hosts, he had the perfect comment for every occasion; always delivered in the same expressionless voice and with perfect timing. His house was a place of unrivalled happiness and laughter. Whether explaining his current racing and betting philosophy (of variable success), quoting with entire good humour from the latest hostile criticism of a play of his, or describing the more eccentric doings of his devoted family he was, always, the kindest, the most generous-hearted and the most entertaining of men. He treated every companion, of whatever age, degree or character, in exactly the same way and was rewarded by being treated as an equal and a contemporary by all in response.

That he felt strongly about many issues is clear from his record; and his friends both recognised this and were grateful for his courteous understanding of views which differed from his own. Above all he avoided condemning, always seeking to understand another's point of view and to treat it fairly. His charity of spirit, like his charm, was boundless and his friends, in huge numbers, will never forget him.

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