March 2013

Dr. David Ride ‘Some Memorials in the New Forest’
March 2013

The speaker at the March meeting of the Society was Dr David Ride who gave an extremely interesting talk entitled ‘Some memorials in the New Forest’.

Dr Ride opened his talk by referring to the Walhampton Monument, the well known granite obelisk erected to the memory of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale. Built in 1840 and funded by public subscription, it can be readily seen from both the Lymington river area and the High Street. Although Burrard Neale never visited Canada there is, curiously, a bridge erected there in his memory; it spans the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver Bay and was built in 1932. The inlet itself was named in his honour by his friend George Vancouver who ‘discovered’ and mapped the area.

A second monument to a career naval officer and regularly, if not knowingly, seen by many Lymingtonians and visitors, is the east window of St Thomas Church which is dedicated to Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Rose Sartorius (1790–1885) who had a most distinguished naval career and is credited with being present during the Battle of Trafalgar. But of much interest must also be that two of his three sons had the distinction of being each awarded the Victoria Cross, and one, Reginald William Sartorius, lies buried near his father in South Baddesley.

A headstone in All Saints Churchyard, Fawley reads, ‘In memory of Flight Lieutenant Samuel Marcus Kinkead, DSO, DSC, DFC who on 12 March 1928 while flying at Calshot gave his life in an attempt to break the world’s speed record’ Samuel Kinkead, born in South Africa, had a remarkable flying career. He first saw active service during World War I in the Royal Naval Air Service and, later, the Royal Flying Corps. During that time he claimed 33 enemy aircraft shot down. In 1927 he became a member of the British Schneider Trophy team and it was during his service with them that the accident occurred which resulted in his death.

The speaker than talked about more local monuments including the memorial plaque in St Peter’s Church, Bramshaw recording seven young men aged between 17 and 34 years, all from the small parish of Bramshaw, who were passengers on RMS Titanic and were drowned in that tragic disaster in April 1912. Three of the young men were the Hickman brothers – a devastated family indeed.

Dr Ride spoke about the elderly Alice Lisle, ‘the victim of judicial murder’ who, during the Monmouth Rebellion, was accused of giving refuge to two dissenting clergymen and was arrested and sentenced to death by the infamous Judge Jefferies. Her public beheading in the market square at Winchester is recorded by a small memorial stone fixed to the wall there. Alice Lisle is buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Ellingham, close to her home at Moyles Court.

Turning to the arts, the meeting was reminded of the renowned artist and archaeologist Heywood Sumner, who in 1904 made his home at Cuckoo Hill, near Fordingbridge. Sumner had spent his early life working in various media including textiles, wallpaper and tapestries. He became a friend of William Morris and a follower of the arts and crafts movement. However when he settled in the New Forest he devoted the next thirty years of his life to archaeology. He died in 1940 and is buried with his wife in the churchyard of Ibsley Parish Church.

In complete contrast the speaker spoke about one of the fine monuments in the baptistery of the church of St Michael and All Angels Church, Lyndhurst. It comprises a most evocative and beautiful recumbent figure sculpted in white marble as a memorial to Anne Cockerell who died in 1880 aged only 23. The figure, supported on brackets and its mosaic background, were designed and probably executed by her husband Samuel Pepys Cockerell (1845-1921).

This well presented and thoughtful talk, on this very cold evening, was well received by the members and visitors.