The pages of history are adorned with stories of love, loss and despair. While some waged wars for love, others immortalised it in brick and mortar. Today, these monuments stand tall as portraits of endurance of great men and women. Exuding love like wisps of fresh air, they narrate the saga of unrequited love.
Such is love’s endearing quality that it surpasses the harsh realities of stereotypical societies. It wins over the biggest test that life throws–the test of time. Take a trip down this lane and we promise these stories will move you to tears, and perhaps, make you fall in love all over again.
A tale of unreciprocated affection
It is said love can move mountains. Unfortunately, this was not the case in Lord Maurice Egerton’s story, who failed miserably to woo the woman of his dreams. Legend has it he fell in love with an Austrian woman when he was touring England. Enamoured by her beauty, he set out to confess his affection, only to be rejected because he was living in a six-bedroom thatched roof house, which she compared to a dog’s kennel. Though devastated, he did not lose hope and vowed to build something majestic and express his love again. Between the years 1930 and 1940, he built a mammoth 53-room castle, spread across 100 acres, and proposed to her. To his utter dismay, she dismissed the castle as a museum. Dejected, Egerton vowed never to marry. He, in fact, asked his servants to keep other women away from the castle and lived there alone till the end of his life. This saga is said be one of the biggest tragedies of colonial Kenya.
He walked across Africa for her
When you are in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. Ewart Grogan proved this at the age of 24. He set out on an expedition from The Cape of Good Hope to Cairo to prove his worth to the stepfather of his lady love Gertrude Watt. Finishing the walk along the length and breadth of Africa in two-and-a-half years, he returned home to a hero’s welcome and married Gertrude. Forty years later, following her death, Grogan built Gertrude Children’s Hospital in her memory and dedicated it to the children of East Africa in 1947.
These men and women had no lofty aspirations, just a big heart to keep the memories of their loved ones alive.