John Daniel the gorilla of Uley
Like most stories that involve amazing creatures this story has a sad ending. I heard about John Daniel on BBC radio last night and had to repeat this tale.
John Daniel was adopted by Alyce Cunningham of Uley, Gloucestershire after her brother bought him in London in 1918.
He was raised like a child and had his own room, made his bed up and did many of the things a normal child would do. He played with the children of the village, having tea parties, eating roses and enjoying life.
He was said to wait outside the pub hoping for glasses of cider and went around in a wheelbarrow with the local children.
But as gorillas do, he grew until Mrs. Cunningham could no longer look after him herself. She sent him to florida to a home, or so she thought. Instead John Daniel ended up in Barnum and Bailey’s Circus.
When the news reached her of his whereabouts and how depressed he was (obviously) without her and his former happy life, she set sail for the US to reclaim him.
Before she arrived he had died from pneumonia.
Village Archivist Margret Groom has published a collection of images of John Daniel in a book about Uley.