memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner


It’s not Tom here, it’s his niece Jo. I’m not sure if Tom will mind me gatecrashing his blog like this, but on reflection I thought he might approve. I’d like your help here. Tom himself is in intensive care at the moment – he was recuperating quite well after his February surgery, albeit unable to blog, but over the weekend suffered a relapse and had to be readmitted. 

Tom is in a coma. Please would you light an actual or metaphorical candle for him? If you also leave a comment here I’ll make sure they get read out to Tom. I know how important this blog and all of you have become to Tom over the last couple of years, and I’m sure he would love to feel your support and love at this moment.

Thanks so much,

Jo BradshawImage

Comments on: "Would you light a candle for Tom?" (24)

  1. You can also email me direct at jo [at]


    • Goretti Carvalho Guerra said:

      Jo Bradshaw.

      Gostava muito de saber do Thomas.
      Como está a sua recuperação?
      A última vez que enviei correio, perguntei sobre o seu estado de saúde, todavia, até hoje, não obtive resposta, o que me preocupa muito.

      Quando tiver possibilidade, comunique comigo dando notícias do nosso grande Thomas Milner.

      Um beijinho da muito Amiga.


  2. donna jones said:

    hi tom- it doesn’t seem 2 minutes since we were at bretton hall college, wakefield, immersed in english literature, culture and the beautiful inspiring grounds lol….1974-77 was a wonderful period in my life. i was always in awe of you, your intellect and worldy experience. as a working class lass from barnsley i knew very little of the world but had my imagination fired by books and reading. forget the sociology, philosophy and pschology which bored me no end. give my sylvia plath, ted hughes, etc etc.
    i have been chuffed to bits that we have since caught up with our different journeys. you in portugal-me in sheffield……you in teaching-me in youth work. much has happened to both of us over the years but neither of us has ever given up our love of books.
    i had wondered how you had been re your operation and interestingly enough i was thinking about you last night [tuesday]. i knew this operation would be particularly difficult but i pray and hope you will be well again enough for us to email, and for me to follow your hilarious, and astute observations of life in the nursing home amongst the smell of boiled cabbage and urine lol.
    tom, i send you my love and best wishes. get back to us soon. xdonna


  3. Hi Tom,

    i was thinking about you only the other day and wondering how I could find out how you are doing. Its Christine by the way (journeyintopoetry). I remember when I came across your blog how great it was to meet someone, not only from the UK but from Yorkshire! Everyone in blogland seems to be American or Canadan!!! Which is lovely of course, but coming across someone from home is great!

    You know how much I love your writing, your sense of humour is totally up my street! And I always feel privileged when you leave a comment on my blog because, not only do I love your writing, I admire its quality too.

    Anyway, I really miss you and cant wait to see you back here. So get well very soon and know there are lots of us here rooting for you. And I cant wait to hear about the disgusting colour and consistency of the soup again, And the onsequences of your refusal to eat hard pears!!

    Sending you much love for a speedy recovery

    Christine x


  4. Martyn Williams said:

    My thoughts are with Tom. I do hope he pulls through.


  5. Adrian Mather said:

    Hi Tom,

    I often think about you yet apologise for not getting in contact with you recently. I miss our chats about cricket and your sharp, dry wit which brought a smile to my face (and others) at Directors’ meetings at Cambridge School. I will always remember you kind and supportive words of advice when I first became promoted. Be strong in the face of adversity, you will win this battle! Your colleagues and friends from work send their regards.

    Um grande abraço,
    Adrian Mather (Cambridge School)


  6. John Milner said:

    Hi Tom,
    My life was forever changed after Brian and Betty found you on the Internet. The incredible historical details gleaned through contact with yourself and Jim filled a void in my life left by my lack of knowledge about my English roots. I became equally fascinated by your inciteful daily blogs and your unique perspective on the world around you. I never met you but have come to feel like I could surprise you with a visit and be treated like the close family that you are part of there and in England. Our grandfathers projected us on very different pathways but we all have the Milner tree knitting us together. I am proud to have you as a relative and admire your courage in dealing with your illness. My family and I are pulling for you to come through your latest health crisis.
    Love John and Sylvia


  7. Goretti Guerra said:

    Fé significa crer no inacreditável, de contrário não seria virtude alguma.

    E esperar significa esperar quando já não há esperança, de contrário não seria virtude alguma”.

    Jesus Cristo é o Príncipe dos sofredores, e é por isso o supremo Consolador.

    Nenhum caminho é longo demais quando um Amigo nos acompanha, este Amigo será sempre Jesus e todas as pessoas que amam o TOM através Dele.

    Estranhava bastante a sua ausência nos blogs, choro esta notícia horrível, amarga.

    Obrigada pela mensagem.

    Bendita seja a sobrinha que sofre tanto pelo seu tio e que fala com o seu coração.

    Todos reunidos em oração Deus estará no meio de nós.

    Fui uma aluna do TOM numa instituição do Estado em que ele vinha dar-nos aulas de inglês.
    Pessoa fantástica, serena, inteligentíssima, muito elegante.

    Um abraço amigo Jo Bradshaw.
    Acenderei a minha vela.


  8. Jane Gordon said:

    Candles, both actual and metaphorical, shine for you, Tom. Follow their light and come back to us. With much love from Jane Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 20:22:34 +0000 To:


  9. Hi Tom. I’m not very good at electronic communications, preferring face to face contact. However, as this is not possible at this moment, I’m writing to show solidarity with your pain and suffering and to let you know that my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Colin Perrott.


  10. Thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments, emails, poems and all the candles. Things aren’t looking great right now but Tom continues to be surrounded by his family in Portugal, including those who have flown out from the UK to be with him. Your kind words will have made a difference so thank you. Your prayers and love are very welcome. You are Tom’s virtual community and the source of so much strength and hope. Much love, Jo xxx


  11. Still lighting candles…
    How are things going, Jo? Hugs and love to your fascinating, learned, and talented uncle. He has always so generously shared his art, his poetry, and his life stories with us here, and we miss him.
    ~ Lily


    • Cautious optimism; Tom is now conscious, and at last report was breathing without ventilator (but with oxygen)…medical staff are apparently ‘amazed’ (Well, we all knew that he was amazing…)
      Thanks SO much for all the candle lighting, messages of support and concerned inquiries. Nice to know how much he means to us all.
      xxxx Jo


  12. Goretti Guerra said:

    Jo Bradshaw

    Admirável sobrinha,
    Deus revestiu o TOM de muitas e boas qualidades, as quais ele soube pôr ao serviço dos outros, por isso Deus o abençoa, colocando-lhe anjos à sua volta neste momento tão crítico e de tanto sofrimento.
    O amor pode tudo.
    Terá sempre a Mãe do Céu a ampará-lo, a confortá-lo e a dar-lhe alento para superar todo este terrível estado pelo qual está a passar e o fio condutor é a Jo, toda a família e todos os amigos que o admiram e afecto têm pelo TOM.
    Um beijo cheio de amor, grande coragem e esperança.
    Com amizade.
    Amiga e ex-aluna.
    Goretti Guerra


    • jobradshaw said:

      Hi Goretti Guerra
      I’m sorry, I don’t speak Portuguese but I’ve passed your message on to Tom’s family. Céu, Tom’s boys and brothers and sisters have been doing everything they can – I’m sure you’ll join in my appreciation for all the care and love they have shown. Thanks for your love and concern x


  13. Yes, I’ll light a metaphorical candle for Tom, and cross my fingers for him. Hope you’re doing alright too, Thomas.


  14. Hi there Jo and Tom of course, we are all holding thumbs [as we see over here in South Africa] You have been in our thoughts and prayers and so very hope you can return to the blog, it is so good to hear your news from the nursing Room.
    Keep strong you old bugger be positive and chat soon! I will let the other lads from St Ed’s in with all the news. Cheers


  15. Jo, thank you ever so much for the updates, and the “amazing” news! So happy to hear of improvements. Please continue to keep us posted.
    Please tell your uncle to keep up the amazing curative feats, to go ahead and confound those doctors, and then he can write about it all, handled and related with his usual aplomb. I look forward to reading the accounts and even simply an “I’m back!”
    Get-well hugs for Tom from ~ Lily


  16. ana guerreiro said:

    Querido Tom ,
    Um grande abraço . As minhas orações pedem ao Universo que conspire a favôr da boa recuperação. Bjs Ana


  17. Goretti Carvalho Guerra said:

    Jo Bradshow,

    Gostava muito de saber o estado evolutivo do TOM. Como está a sua recuperação?

    O optimismo e a fé leva-nos a ser grandes, fortes e únicos.

    Só a fé nos projecta para a frente, para a vida.

    Espero que a família já goze uma alegria diferente, quem sabe, de sentir um pouco a

    normalidade do TOM, a sua vontade e força de se sair vencedor.

    Será que ainda vamos ver mais as suas pinturas magníficas, tão cheias dos seus

    sentimentos, de forças e fragilidades, pinturas de leituras muito profundas e nobres?

    Espero que sim.

    Um dia ainda gostava de olhar e ver a sua extensa obra, quem sabe está exposta e eu

    possa ir observá-la?

    Que todas essas cores com que pintou os seus quadros se reflitam na sua vida e no seu restabelecimento.

    Deus há-de ajudá-lo a superar toda esta fase do tratamento e premiá-lo pela sua força e pelo seu sim à vida que Ele lhe deu.

    Continuamos todos unidos na oração.

    Parabéns a toda a família que tanta atenção lhe tem dado.

    Um grande chi-coração, aquele que vem mesmo dentro do coração.
    Com amizade.



  18. Jane Webber said:

    Hi Tom
    I have only just discovered your blog but just wanted to add my heartfelt wishes for your speedy recovery.
    I often think fondly of our carefree days in Sao Joao do Estoril, and have many happy memories, thanks to you! I know we’re more than half a lifetime apart, but it feels as if we’re still friends, and I’m deeply moved by your present situation. As Jo suggested, I’m lighting metaphorical candles for you, and hoping you’ll get better soon.
    With best wishes and love,


  19. ana guerreiro said:

    Querido Tom,
    Vou sabendo da sua recuperação através de amigos como o Richard..Desejo intensamente que o Tom recupere bem e que “renasça” com redobrada inspiração. Sim , Tom precisamos que nos continue a inspirar a todos…Um Grande Abraço .Ana


  20. Dear friends,

    A note to keep you updated: great news in that Tom is now back at the Lar, and making excellent progress. He’s still very weak but is getting wonderful support from family and staff. Tom’s son William reads out any messages to his father, so please do continue to leave your notes and messages (and, as before, any emails you sent to me – jo [@] will be passed on.)
    Thank you so much for your kind words, thoughts and actions
    x Jo


  21. ana guerreiro said:

    Querido Tom,
    Lembro sempre uma das suas frases “..Ana, It´s all in our mind.. ” , a qual costumo aplicar durante as m/ reflexões pessoais.So true…
    Desejo-lhe coragem e toda a tranquilidade possivel durante a sua recuperação Tom!


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