Is My Policeman’s Marion Taylor Inspired by a Real Person? How Did She Die?

Amazon Prime Video’s romantic film ‘My Policeman’ follows Patrick Hazlewood, who got into a secret relationship with a policeman named Tom Burgess. Despite the dangers of nurturing a same-sex relationship in the 1950s of England, Patrick and Tom formed an endearing bond, only for its dynamics to change when Tom married Marion Taylor. During Patrick’s old age, Marion becomes his aide. Although Tom doesn’t approve of her actions, Marion welcomes a wheelchair-bound Patrick to her home and takes care of him. Intrigued by Marion’s selflessness, we have set out to find out whether she has a real-life counterpart. Well, let us share our findings!

Marion Taylor is Partially Based on Robert “Bob” Buckingham’s Wife May Hockey

Marion Taylor AKA Marion Burgess is partially based on a real person. ‘My Policeman’ is the film adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ eponymous novel, which is loosely based on the reported relationship of renowned English novelist E. M. Forster and a policeman named Robert “Bob” Buckingham, the inspirations behind Patrick and Tom respectively. Marion is partially based on Bob’s wife May Hockey. In 1932, May married Bob with Forster as a witness. Her married life was seemingly disrupted by the presence of the novelist, with whom her husband spent considerable time. After their marriage, Bob pledged his half days off, and other hours during the week, to the author.

May (left) and Forster (center)//Image Credit: TrustMovies/Blogspot

According to Bethan Roberts, May was aware that Forster’s presence in her life with Bob wasn’t good for their marriage. Harry Daley, one of the trio’s common acquaintances, even apparently warned her that the novelist was about to break up her marriage. Still, she was on good terms with Forster. “To him [Forster] l owe a great debt of gratitude. For his widening of horizons, by meeting his friends, by travel, but mostly by his talk,” May wrote about Forster in a personal article, titled “Some Reminiscences.” When May and Bob welcomed a son, named Robin, Forster even became his godfather.

When May suffered from tuberculosis in 1935, Bob lived with Forster. The novelist often wrote letters to her to let her know about the well-being of her husband and Robin. The letters brought them closer. “Morgan’s epistolary and practical support endeared him to May. In turn, he admired her pluck and loyalty during her long recuperation. During her illness May became an individual, a ‘very decent sort,’ a ‘friend in her own right,’” Wendy Moffat wrote in her biography of Forster, titled ‘A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E. M. Forster.’

In the film, Marion takes care of Patrick just like May took care of Forster when he had a series of strokes in the 1960s as his nurse. When Robin died, May had the novelist beside her to support her emotionally. In June 1970, Forster died in his sleep at May and Bob’s house in Coventry, England. “I now know that he [Forster] was in love with Robert and therefore critical and jealous of me and our early years were very stormy,” May wrote in “Some Reminiscences” after Forster’s death.

Even after knowing about Forster and Bob’s relationship, May admired the novelist. “Over the years he [Forster] changed us both and he and I came to love one another, able to share the joys and sorrows that came,” she added in the article.

Marion Taylor Likely Died a Natural Death

Before Forster died, the author had left a thousand pounds each to May and Bob. Around five years after Forster’s death, Bob died. She even permitted to mix the ashes of Forster and Bob and scatter the same in the rose garden of Coventry’s crematorium, near Warwick University. May retired as a nurse and eventually became a significant charity fundraiser in the city of Coventry. Not much is known about her life after Forster and Bob’s deaths.

Although May had reportedly associated with the early biographers of Forster, she had maintained a considerable distance from the press and media likely to protect her personal life. According to the University of Cambridge, May died in 1989, around fourteen years after the death of her husband Bob. Although the cause of her death is unknown, it is possible that May died due to natural causes, especially considering that she died at the age of 85.

Read More: Where Was Amazon Prime’s My Policeman Filmed?