War Dead

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.

1968: Morris Dancing

The Thames Valley Morris Men took over the ‘Square’ outside the Scott Arms one afternoon in July 1968 and treated onlookers to a fine display of Morris Dancing.

All photos courtesy of the Thames Valley Morris Men © TVMM 1968

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morris 1

This photo brings back memories of the old Romany Caravan that stood for years outside the Scott Arms before being demolished by a vehicle misjudging the bend!

1938: The loss of RAF Swordfish Mk 1 K5985

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.

1935: Fete in the Purbecks


An unusual privilege – that of viewing the beautiful grounds of Encombe Manor –  was enjoyed by hundreds of villagers and visitors who attended a flower show and fete held there by kind permission of Sir Ernest Scott, K.C.M.G., M.V.O, on Thursday afternoon and evening. Fete attractions were scattered over the smooth lawns surrounding the delightful bright green lake at the rear of the house, and a small but excellent lot of entries for the flower show were exhibited in the quaint temple in the grounds round a magnificent bronze statue of a gladiator.  Glorious sunshine and an admirably organised programme made the occasion ideal. The effort was in aid of general parish funds and the flower show was the second annual.

The fete was opened by Sir Ernest, to whom sincere thanks were voiced. There was a variety of attractive side-shows and the general arrangements were supervised by Rev. F. S. Horan (vicar). Mr. W. E. Candy was hon. Treasurer, and the show was organised by Mr. N. Phillips, head gardener to Sir Ernest. Sir Herbert Cook, of Studland, was among those present, and his head gardener, Mr. F. C. Gibbons, judged the show exhibits. Commenting on their all-round excellence he said: “It is a much better show  than it was last year; it is at least twice as good.  I really do think that it will be a better show than that at Swanage in years to come.”

Organisers of the various departments of the fete were: – Side-shows, Mr. R. Dorey; gymkhana, Col. Muspratt; entertainments, Mrs. F. W. Pond of Swanage; refreshments, Mrs. Orchard (assisted by members of the Kingston W.I.). A folk dancing display was given under the direction of Miss Dawson, and there was Morris dancing under the leadership of Miss Dymand, of Langton Matravers. Many of the dancers had competed in winning teams in Albert Hall competitions. In the evening modern dancing took place of the lawn. The two entertainments arranged by Mrs. Pond of Swanage, and given voluntarily by the Everest Concert Party, were excellent. Selections were played by the Kingston and Corfe Castle Band, under the direction of Mr. W. Hooper, who gave their services.

There were frequent ‘buses from Corfe Castle and Swanage to Kingston, from where a special ‘bus service ran to Encombe along the steep and richly wooded slopes of the Purbecks, on top of which the beautiful village of Kingston stands.

Five hundred entrance tickets were sold and yet there were not enough for all. Besides these, Scouts, Guides, and children were admitted free.



Three vases of cut flowers – Mrs. W. Dorey, Mrs. A. Cooper, Mrs. C. Orchard. Cut flowers – Mrs. Tizzard, Mrs. W. Dorey, Mrs. Orchard. Sweet peas – Mrs. Orchard, Mrs. W. Dorey, Mrs. A. Cooper. Asters – Mrs. Orchard, Mrs. A. Dorey, Mrs. Tizzard. Stocks – D. Hunt. Window plant – Mrs. C. Hunt, D. Hunt, Mrs. W. Dorey.

Potatoes – J. Marsh, W. Dorey, W. Damer. Shallots – R. Beavis, J. Marsh, D. Hunt. Carrots – W. Tuck. Spring Onions – G. White, D. Hunt, G. Bartlett. Peas – Mrs. H. Hunt. Marrow – Mrs. J. Marsh. Runner beans – W. Dorey, P. Damer, D. Hunt.

Cooking apples – R. Beavis, W. Tuck, C. Brown.

Wild flowers – Miss I. Marsh, Miss G. Dorey, Miss Stickland.

Home-made jam – Miss Joyce, Mrs. A. Cooper, Miss K. Bullen. Plain cake – Mrs. W. Dorey, Mrs. C. Orchard, Mrs. A. Cooper. Fruit cake – Mrs. A. Cooper, Mrs. A. Dorey, Mrs. P. Damer. Jam sandwich – Mrs. A. Cooper, Mrs. W. Dorey. Collection of vegetables for special prize given by Mr. Gibbons – W. Dorey, J. Marsh, P. Damer.


Runner beans – L. Stockley. Spring onions – G. Wright, Mrs. Stockley. Peas – 2, L. Stockley. Cucumbers – L. Stockley. Stocks – L. Stockley.



A gymkhana was admirably arranged by Colonel Muspratt of Swanage. Among the various amusing events were blowing up balloons (Miss Daphne Bankes was the winner in completion with many Scouts); balloon sticking; and sausage stakes.

There were two bowling competitions. A pig presented by Mr. Barnes of Afflington Farm, was won by a visitor at the farm. A ham given by Mr. Dicker, of Wareham, was secured by Miss Roupell, a visitor from Surrey. The skittles prize, a shoulder of mutton, presented by Mr. Budden, of Corfe Castle, went to Mr. Brain. Treasure “stakes” were arranged by Mrs. Hare.

Western Gazette, Friday 23 August 1935

1924: Ex-Service Men’s Dinner

The ex Service men held their annual dinner on Saturday evening at the Eldon Arms Hotel, several guests being invited. After an excellent repast, provided by Mrs. C. Bartlett, the usual toasts were honoured, and fallen comrades were remembered. Mr. W. E. Candy replied for the guests. The company then settled down to a pleasant sing-song, the Chairman being Mr. Gerald Loxston, and the National Anthem brought to a close a most enjoyable evening.

Western Gazette, Friday 21 November 1924

1868: Annual Ball

The annual ball at Encombe House was given on New Year’s Day. A goodly company sat down to a most sumptuous supper. The Mayor of Corfe Castle presided. Various toasts were proposed and appropriately responded to. The Kingston Band was in attendance. Mr. Gillman sang several comic songs, which gave much pleasure. Votes of thanks were accorded to Mr. Rich and Mrs. Burt. The enjoyment was continued till a late hour.

Western Gazette, 10 January 1868