On the afternoon of Friday, March 18, 1938, a student on the torpedo course at the Torpedo Training Unit at RAF Gosport took off at 2.15pm in a Mk1 Swordfish K5985 on a training cross-country flight to Roborough, near Plymouth.
The pilot was Plt Off Frederick Edgar Williams, 21; his two passengers “along for the ride” were Cpl Cyril John Coles, 32, and LAC David Samuel Hurrel, 21. Plt Off Williams had just over 200 hours in his log book, of which 25 were on the Swordfish. He was briefed to return to Gosport if the weather deteriorated, but seems to have encountered low cloud approaching the Purbecks and tried to duck under it.
He appears to have passed low over Orchard Hill Farm at 2.45pm, clipped the top of the trees in Polar Wood – leaving sections of the aircraft in the tree tops – and nose-dived into the steep hillside some 300 yards away. The Bristol Pegasus engine detached and rolled further down the valley.
All three on board were probably killed instantly, despite the brave efforts of a local man, Mr Bob Dorey, who climbed up from Encombe House to the blazing wreckage with two fire extinguishers and attempted to get close enough to pull them from the inferno. Other local folk also tried to get near to the wreckage but were beaten back by the heat.
Personnel from the Sick Bay Unit at RAF Warmwell attended the scene and had the difficult task of retrieving the three bodies and carrying them to the top of the ridge before taking them back to base in their ambulance.
The Coroner’s inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.
From Corfe Castle Parish Council’s July 2020 report:
The Council considered the erection of an agricultural Barn at Lynch
Farmhouse, Kingston. The Council consider the proposed barn to
be too big for the suggested purpose giving regard to the farmland.
They have asked the planning officers to consider this.
From Corfe Castle Parish Council’s June 2020 report:
The Council’s Speed Indicator Device is on order and the
post will soon be installed on East Street near the bottom of
Kingston Hill. The SID will be moved between this post and
the existing post at Castle View.
As you are probably all aware Church services are suspended for the foreseeable future. Other events cancelled are our two concerts David Orr in March and The Mayday Singers in April plus the Coffee and Hot Cross Buns on the lawn on Good Friday morning.
Cancelling events is a blow for us, as it is for a lot of organisations, as we are fundraising for repairs to the porch roof and also basically to keep the church afloat.
With our reserves dwindling we have, reluctantly, switched off the night time floodlights at the church as we feel unable to justify the expense unless we are able to attract some sponsorship either corporate or personal. We need approximately £500 per year to fund the lights. We would be happy to erect a board advertising who is sponsoring the lights either for the year or per month if anyone felt able to contribute even a small amount. I realise we all have more important things than the Church lights to worry about at present but we felt we should explain why the church is in darkness.
We hope the current state of affairs with older people self-isolating and all the difficulties that brings with only be for a short while but should
anyone in Kingston need help or shopping done please contact one of the Dubbra Support Groups run by either Langton or Worth. (I am among the ones told to self-isolate so probably personally should not visit).
Let us hope we all stay healthy during the weeks ahead and pray for a speedy return to normal life.
Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary
Our service at St James’s on Sunday 2 February at 9.30am is a Benefice Service for all the seven parishes of the new St Aldhelm’s Benefice. This will be a special occasion as it is the first time we have all worshipped together and it is hoped that people from all the parishes will come and join us. The Occasional Singers will be in attendance so we will have some wonderful singing to enjoy. Hoping to see you there. Refreshments will be served after the service.
If anyone feels they could spare some time to help clean the brass in the church from time to time please contact me. Any help would be gratefully received.
Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary
The second Saturday in September was a lovely day for the Dorset ‘Ride and Stride’ to raise funds for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust. A few of us from St James’ took part and then served refreshments at Kingston to the intrepid walkers that called in. We had 26 people call in plus several tourists who joined us so it was a very nice social occasion and we had a very pleasant day and hopefully raised quite a bit of money. The weekend locally was very busy what with the Nordic Walking Festival, the Marathon and a Cycle Ride plus the Ride and Stride.
We were lucky enough to have been given a grant of £3,000 from the Dorset HCT this year towards the renovation of the stained glass window in the Lady Chapel so felt this was an occasion we should support as their help is much needed in many churches with ongoing maintenance and repairs if we are to preserve these beautiful buildings.
This year, we are not holding our Harvest Lunch at Kingston but are joining with Langton at the Benefice Harvest Supper on 30 September which all are welcome to attend.
The Natalie Klein concert at Kingston at the beginning of September was well attended and enjoyed by all who came. We are hoping to organize more concerts by various musicians next year to make use of the wonderful acoustics in the Church.
Enjoy the Autumn, hopefully, with some good weather now things have quietened down a bit in the area.
Doreen Farr, PCC secretary
The repairs and restoration of the stained-glass window in The Lady Chapel have now been completed and it has been returned to its former glory which is a great joy to look at. Many thanks to Dan Humphries and his team for an excellent job done within the time frame quoted. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the appeal for funds. We are still a bit short of the total needed so if anyone felt able to assist us we would be very grateful.
On Sunday, 21 July Anne and Alan Fry are hosting an Open Garden afternoon with music, light lunches and cream teas (with prosecco if wished) and a few stalls and a raffle at Greystone Court, Kingston from 12 midday until 5pm. There will also be a display of model aircraft flying and a display of vintage cars. Do come along as it should be a very enjoyable afternoon with the profit going to Swanage Stroke Club, Purbeck Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Swanage Food Bank. We have music from Harmony Rocks choir, the Eukele group and Karen Grant so it should be a very varied programme. Kingston Church are running a Tombola stall so any prizes for this would be much appreciated.
Our thanks to Belinda and Peter Bell for hosting a Strawberry Cream Tea at Scoles Manor in May which raised just over £400 for church funds. It was well attended despite the weather not being very kind and the magnificent views made up for the lack of sunshine. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event or helped with it. All we need now is some sunshine for the summer.
Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary
Our ‘War Dead‘ page commemorating those who lost their lives during both wars has been updated recently with images of Harry Furmage courtesy of Liz Richards and of Harry Stevens courtesy of Lisa Leahy.
Sadly there are still three servicemen who lost their lives in the First World War for whom we have no information at all. Their names are: Sidney Cook, Edwin Cooper and Charles Lovel.
If you are able to provide any information or photos, please do contact us at info [at] kingstonopc.org.uk replacing [a] with the @ symbol.
We recently had our Quinquennial architect’s inspection of St James’ at Kingston which has highlighted various essential and some desirable repairs. We will undertake the essential repairs and such of the desirable repairs as we can afford which, to be honest, is not many.
One of the beautiful stained glass windows is badly damaged with calcium deposits and we have obtained estimates to have this repaired and also to try to remedy the reason that this happens. The repairs will be in excess of £5,000 for the window. We have applied to various Trusts for funding but, as is customary with these things, we are expected to raise at least half of the money ourselves.
Over the next few months we will be organising some events to raise money for our ‘Window Fund’. If anyone has any ideas or would be willing to hold an event to raise funds or if anyone feels able to give us a donation, which would be very much appreciated, please contact me at window_fund [at] kingstonopc.org.uk replacing [at] with the @ symbol.
We were very pleased to be given a donation last year to enable us to keep the church floodlit for the next year and we express our gratitude to the people concerned.
Doreen Farr, PCC Secretary
Our Festival Week at St James’s went very well and in total raised over £1000 for Church funds. It started with a musical afternoon with bell ringing, organ and violin music and singing and also the bell tower was open. The views were much enjoyed by those that went up the tower as were the refreshments. Of great interest was the photographic display of Terry Hardy’s photographs of Kingston church and village; especially poignant this year were the war time photos. Thank you to all involved.
During the week, Peter and Hazel Hartle gave a talk on 30 years of Purbeck Ice cream and it was an eye opener to learn how much was involved in developing what is one of the great business successes in the area. It was enjoyed by those who attended as were the sample ice creams! Our thanks to them for giving us their time.
There was a concert by Harmony Rocks choir on Wednesday which was a lovely selection of music and very much appreciated by a good audience. Our thanks to the choir and their conductor.
The Flower, Craft and Music days were on Saturday and Sunday when, unfortunately, the weather was absolutely atrocious, so much so, that a pedestal arrangement in the porch blew over more than once! It was wonderful to see the Church so alive and buzzing with the crafts, music and the flower displays on the theme ‘The Water of Life’. All the parishes in the new Benefice of St Aldhelm contributed displays and it was great to have them all involved in what was a spectacular display. The music was lovely and the craft displays and demonstrations very interesting and it is amazing how many local, very talented people there are. We finished the event with a ‘Hymns and Pimms’ service which was well attended and very enjoyable. Thank you to everyone involved.
Judy and I would like to thank very sincerely everyone who helped with any of the events in whatever way – you are too numerous to mention you all by name. We greatly appreciated your help and support and it could not have taken place without you. Also we would like to thank our sponsors James Smiths, Albury and Hall and Foleys Garage. I would especially like to thank Judy Forgan for her ideas, enthusiasm and commitment to the project.
We have our Remembrance Day service at 10.45 on Sunday, 11 November and there will be an Advent Service on Sunday, 2 December at 6pm with mulled wine and mince pies to which everyone is invited. Both should be special occasions please come along if you can.
Doreen Farr & Judy Forgan