Railton's Tribute


by Margaret du Plessis
(extracts from Railton’s Tribute to Mrs Tucker – published in the International War Cry 12 March 1887)

The circumstances of Mrs Tuckers last illness and death brought out her extreme self-denial as fully as anything that had gone before. During a visit to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) she somewhat recovered her health which had been in a very unsatisfactory condition for many months.

On her return to India she soon became worse again, and ere long was reported to be dangerously ill. Under the circumstances she insisted upon going into the hospital rather than involve The Army in any greater expenditure. When convalescent, but extremely weak, though removed from the hospital, she was unwilling to have the attendance of a nurse until the Commissioner (her husband) insisted upon it, her constant wish being to share to the very fullest extent his life of poverty and devotion to the poor. After a time we were gladdened by the news that she was recovering, and then came the sad telegram announcing her death.(editorial note: Her husband was away in Ceylon at the time of her death).

It must be borne in mind that at the time Mrs Tucker began to dress and live like a native of India, she was no longer in the vigour of youth, and that, therefore, the sorrows and sufferings and labours through which she passed told upon her in a way we trust they will not affect those who have gone into the thick of the fight in their youth. But, oh! For more young people of education and position – who will humble themselves unto the dust and labour as Mrs Tucker did for the world’s Salvation.

We have said nothing of the aching heart which we think had more than anything else to do with Mrs Tucker’s illness and premature death. She saw the millions of India perishing around her, and loving them intensely she must have felt more than any pen or tongue can describe the agony in seeing her husband toiling continually for their good, and so few to help him; so many to sneer at him, and so intense a struggle .

She lived, thank God, to see our English and American officers by scores offering themselves on the altar for India; but would to God that others in this country (England) and in America may take up some share of her anxiety for the support of the work; and whilst with a happy heart rejoicing in God may these lighten the dear Commissioner’s burden as Mrs Tucker would have wished them to do, with ample supplies of money help.
Our Indian Fund is already £200 overdrawn, and no one could more appropriately testify their appreciation of this devoted life, or their wish to comfort the Commissioner in his bereavement, than by sending help for this needy part of the field.