Obelisk

obelisk by michael day flickr

The Obelisk on North Hill. Photograph courtesy of Michael Day 2012.

On North Hill, to the north of Encombe House, Lord Eldon erected a stone obelisk in 1835 to commemorate his elder brother, Sir William Scott, becoming Baron Stowell.

One face reads:

THE FIRST STONE OF THIS OBELISK WAS LAID BY THE LADY F I BANKES THE YOUNGER DAUGHTER OF THE FIRST EARL OF ELDON. MAY XXVIII MDCCCXXXV.

A second face reads:

IN HONOUR OF SIR WILLIAM SCOTT CREATED BARON STOWELL. THIS OBELISK IS ERECTED BY HIS BROTHER. MDCCCXXXV.

close up of text via dcda

Page last updated: 10 August 2016

Vicars

Revd. Spencer Compton Hamilton Spencer-Smith (1842-1911)

Vicar 1877–1911
Died May 1911 age 68 and buried at Kingston St. James (new church)

Revd. Arthur Wilson Napier (1871-1955)

Vicar 1911–1916
Arthur married Isabel Margaret Gilchrist (1884-1957) at Westminster in 1909 and they had two sons Lennox William Napier (1912-2001), a submarine commander, and John Morrilyon Napier (1915-1941) both born at Kingston. Sadly John, who had been awarded the Military Cross, was killed in action in Libya during World War 2. Arthur retired to Boldre Hill, Lymington, Hampshire.

Revd. Raymond Alured Bond (1873-1941)

Vicar 1916–1927
Raymond was the son of Nathaniel Bond of Creech and Lady Selina Jane Bond neé Scott, daughter of John Scott, Third Earl of Eldon. He was educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He married Mildred Glyn (1874-1963) at Wincanton, Somerset on 4 October 1899. Raymond and Mildred had two children Ashley Raymond Bond (1902-1975) and Margaret Selina Bond (1908-1984). Immediately prior to arriving at Kingston, Raymond had been Rector at Blandford Forum, Dorset. Raymond left Kingston in 1927 to become Vicar at Iwerne Minster, Dorset. He died in 1941.

Revd. Ben Darcey Beeley (1875-1958)

Vicar 1928-1929
Married to second wife Eileen. Left to become Rector at Foot’s Cray, Sidcup, Kent. Subsequently moved to Kincardine O’Neil.

Revd. George Cecil Augustus Smith (1877-1964)

Vicar 1929–1931
Died 29 February 1964

Revd. Frederick Seymour Horan (1870-1956)

Vicar 1932–1938
Seymour died in 1956

Revd. Malcolm de Burgh Scott (1884-1963)

Vicar 1938–1945
His wife was Mildred Mary Amande Scott nee McCreery (1875-1959)

Revd. Canon John Hartforth Jaques (1870-1948)

1925_canon_j_h_jaques
Vicar 1945–1947

Revd. William Henry Ryder-Jones (1916-1995)

Vicar 1948–1949
Came to Kingston from Paignton where ha had been Assistant Priest.

Revd. Benjamin Ewart Payne (1893-1956)

Vicar 1950–1956
Benjamin married Ruth Thomasine Davies (1893-1973). Their daughter Helena Kenwyn Payne (1924-2011) married Barry Stuart Candy (1922-2004) , son of Walter Emanuel Candy (1873-1968)
Died 1956 – buried at Worth Matravers

Revd. A Caulfield-Browne

Vicar 1957–1960

Revd. Harry James Lloyd

Vicar 1960–1983
Married Maidie in 1945 and had two sons Adrian and Christopher. Subsequently moved to Presteigne, Powys. Now retired.

Revd. John Stuart

Vicar 1984–1990

Revd. Robert Newman Kingsley Watton (1945-2004)

rob watton
Vicar 1991–2003
Married Louise in 1982 and had three daughters. Died 4 Aug 2004 aged 59 – buried at Kingston St. James (new church).


In the latter part of 2003, the Bishop of Salisbury suspended the living of Kingston. The benefice is now combined with Langton Matravers and Worth Matravers


Revd. Judith Malins

judith malins cropped
Priest-in-charge 2004–2010
Married to Ken with two sons David and Jonathan, and a daughter Rebecca.
Moved to Redhill, Wrington, Somerset as Assistant Priest.

Revd. Gaynor Burrett

revd gaynor burrett
Priest-in-charge 2011–
If you have any further information, memories, photographs etc. about any of the clergy who have served at Kingston then please contact us.

Page last updated: 10 August 2016

Kent

The Kent Family were responsible for employing many workers from Kingston in the mid to late nineteenth century. For example, in 1861, James Kent farmed 800 acres at Lynch and employed 22 men and 8 boys, while younger brother Charles Kent farmed 876 acres at Blashenwell and employed 18 men and 7 boys. Ten years later saw William Francis Kent (son of James) farming Afflington and Samuel Scott Kent (son of Charles) farming West Hill.

The Kent Family had been associated with Corfe since the early 1700s.

Reuben Kent (c. 1675-?)

Reuben married Elizabeth Doudall (c.1678-?) at Tyneham in 1704. Elizabeth was baptised at Corfe in 1678. She was a daughter of William Doudall, the baker and Rebecca Doudall nee Beale.

Reuben and Elizabeth had five children:

Margaret Kent, baptised at Corfe in 1705
Elizabeth Kent, baptised at Tyneham in 1707
John Kent, baptised at Tyneham in 1709 – see below
William Kent, baptised at Church Knowle in 1712
Rebecca Kent, baptised at Corfe in 1714

When Elizabeth’s father died in 1708, she was bequeathed five pounds, three pounds of which Reuben had owed to his father- in- law! Their two eldest children, Margaret and Elizabeth, were bequeathed 10 shillings each. An Elizabeth Kent was buried in 1725 but this could have been either the mother or daughter.

John Kent (1709-1780)

John Kent was Reuben and Elizabeth’s eldest son, baptised at Tyneham in 1709.

He married Hannah Benfield (1709-c. 1752) at Corfe in 1733. Hannah was the daughter of John and Mary Benfield.

John and Hannah had five children:

Mary Kent, baptised at Corfe in 1735
John Kent, baptised at Corfe in 1736 – see below
Elizabeth Kent, baptised at Corfe in 1738
Hannah Kent, born c. 1742
William Kent, baptised at Corfe in 1745

It is believed John’s first wife Hannah died in c. 1752 when there was a gap of several years in the surviving burial records. Hannah’s father died in 1757 and left £40 to be divided between the five grandchildren and also bequeathed son- in- law John free of any debts owed.

John married his second wife Sarah Osmond neé Sanders (c.1715-1790) at Corfe in 1754. She was the daughter of John Sanders, Yeoman of Langton Matravers and was named in his Will dated 1746.

John ‘the Elder’ was a ‘gentleman and baker’ according to his Will written in 1773. A Codicil was added in 1780 shortly before his death. The Will and Codicil name his wife and children, and even give the names of his three daughter’s husbands.

John’s second wife, Sarah, died in 1790 and she too left a Will naming the family members and many others to whom household items and personal belongings were bequeathed.

John Kent (1736-1798)

John was baptised at Corfe in 1736 and married three times, each time at Corfe.

John married his first wife, Peggy Best (?-1763), in 1761 and they had one son:

John Kent (1763-1836) – see below

Peggy died in 1763 shortly after son John was born.

John married his second wife, Elizabeth Benfield (1735-1792), in 1766 and they had five children:

Sarah Kent (1769-?)
Elizabeth Kent (1770-1847)
Mary Kent (1772-1786)
Richard Benfield Kent (1773-1779)
Thomas Kent (1775-1831) – see below

In the 1790 Census of Corfe Castle, undertaken by Rev. Hutchins, John, a miller aged 53 and wife Elizabeth aged 54 were living in Back Street, Corfe with three children, Sarah 21, Elizabeth 19 and Thomas 14.

John married his third wife, Sarah Briggs (1759-1840), in 1797 and they had one child:

Robert Briggs Kent (1799-1877)

In the 1831 Census of Corfe Castle, ‘Mrs S Kent’ aged 71 and Robert Kent aged 31 were living with the Small family. Shortly after his mother’s death, Robert married Susan Bagg of Corfe and they later moved to Southampton St. Mary. After his wife’s death in 1867, Robert unfortunately ended up in the workhouse.

John Kent (1763-1836)

John followed in his grandfather’s trade as a baker. He married Mary Edmunds (1762-1828) at Corfe in 1786 and they had at least eight children:

John Kent (1787-?)
Ann Kent (1789-1873) married Richard Tomes and lived in Swanage
Richard Kent (1792-1820)
Thomas Kent (1794-1795)
Thomas Kent (1798-1847) did not marry and lived in Weymouth
William Kent (1798-1859) married Sarah Keffen and lived in London
George Kent (1800-1832) married Sarah Hart and lived in Poole
Henry Kent (1803-1864) married Sophia Tallboys and lived in London

In the 1790 Census of Corfe Castle, ‘John Jun’, a baker aged 27 and wife Mary also aged 27 were living in High Street, Corfe with their first two children, John 3 and Ann 1. In the 1831 Census of Corfe Castle, ‘Mr Kent’, a baker aged 68, was living with the Smith family.

Son Thomas (1798-1847) worked for a Solicitor in Weymouth and made various bequests to his surviving brothers, sister, aunt, nieces and nephews. One bequest was a picture of Lord Eldon to his niece Charlotte Thomas (Tomes).

Thomas Kent (1775-1831)

Thomas was the youngest son of John & Elizabeth Kent (neé Benfield).

Thomas married Mary Seymer (1774-1853) at Wool in 1797. Thomas and Sarah had 11 children:

Elizabeth Mary Kent (1799-1861) – see below
James Kent (1800-1882) – see below
Charles Kent (1801-?) – see below
Jane Kent (1803-1803)
George Kent (1804-?)
Jane Kent (1806-?)
Emma Louise Kent (1807-1865) – see below
Thomas Kent (1810-?) married Mary Flower
John Kent (1811-1875) married Sarah Dugdale
Sarah Kent (1813-1891) never married and died at Swanage
William Kent (1816-1836)

When Thomas senior died in 1831 his Will showed he was at Blashenwell Farm near Kingston. He bequeathed the sum of £4,000 to his widow Mary along with other goods and chattels.

Elizabeth Mary Kent (1799-1861)

Elizabeth married William Parmiter (1773-1845) at Kingston in 1838. William was described as yeoman of Encombe Farm and was a widower, his first wife Henrietta having died in 1831. William was Churchwarden of Kingston when the Old Church was built in 1833. He died in 1845 aged 71 and by 1851, Elizabeth was back at Blashenwell with her mother and brother Charles. She died at Swanage in 1861. The Parmiter square pedestal tomb remains as a garden feature in the churchyard immediately surrounding the Kingston Old Church.

James Kent (1800-1882)

James married Hester Talbot (1799-1862) at Swanage in 1829. She was the daughter of Richard & Esther Talbot.

James farmed over 500 acres at Lynch for over 40 years.

James and Hester had seven children:

Richard Thomas Kent (1830- 1854) never married
Charles Kent (1832- 1901) married Sarah Brown and moved to Dewlish
James Talbot Kent (1834- 1905) married Rebecca Macdonald Hodges
William Francis Kent (1836- 1913) married Alice Susan Hawkins
Hester Kent (1839- 1922) never married and moved to Swanage
Jane Kent (1841- 1891) never married and moved to Swanage
George Kent (1844- 1904) married Clara Johnson and moved to Winterbourne Kingston
Sister Sarah was living with the family in 1881.

Charles Kent (1801-?)

Charles Kent was farming Blashenwell in 1841 and an Olivia Scott aged 15 was living with the family. Charles married Olivia Sarah Scott (1823-1854) at Kingston three years later in 1844. Charles and Olivia had five children:

Samuel Scott Kent (1845-1906) married Janet Goddard
Sarah Augusta Ellen Kent (1848-1873)
Olivia Mary Kent (1849-?)
Sydney Herbert Kent (1851-1851)
Louisa Kent (1852-?)
Henry Charles Kent (1854-?)

Olivia died in 1854 aged 32. Charles then married Mary Withers at South Stoneham, Hampshire. Charles and Mary had six children:

Mary Frances Kent (1856-?)
Charles Kent (1858-?)
Annie Jane Kent (1860-?)
William Edward Kent (1864-?)
Ellen Kent (1866-?)
Florence Kent (1867-?)

In the 1881 census Charles (Senior) was shown as blind.

Emma Louise Kent (1807- 1865)

Emma married George Biddlecombe (1807-1878) at Kingston in 1842. Emma died at Woolwich Dockyard in 1865 and is buried at Kingston. Sir George established a trust ‘for the benefit of the poor of Kingston’ and this continued in existence until 1995. Sir George was buried in the churchyard surrounding Kingston Old Church but the headstone was later moved to the lower churchyard.

BIDDLECOMBE, Sir GEORGE (1807–1878), captain and author, born at Portsea on 5 Nov. 1807, was the son of Thomas Biddlecombe of Sheerness Dockyard, who died on 12 Sept. 1844. He was educated at a school kept by Dr. Neave at Portsea, and joined the ship Ocean of Whitby as a midshipman in 1823. After some years he left the mercantile marine, and, passing as a second master in the royal navy in May 1828, was soon after employed in surveying in the Ætna and the Blonde until 1833. He was in active service in various ships from this date until 1854, being specially noted for the great skill which he displayed in conducting naval surveys in many parts of the world. Whilst in the Actæon, in 1836, he surveyed a group of islands discovered by her in the Pacific. When attached to the Talbot, 1838–42, he surveyed numerous anchorages on the Ionian station, in the Archipelago, and up the Dardanelles and Bosphorus; examined the south shore of the Black Sea as far as Trebizond, as well as the port of Varna, and prepared a survey, published by the admiralty, of the bays and banks of Acre. He also displayed much skill and perseverance in surveying the Sherki shoals, where he discovered many unknown patches. A plan which he proposed for a ‘hauling- up slip’ was approved of by the authorities, and money was voted for its construction. For his survey of Port Royal and Kingston he received the thanks of the common council of Kingston, and on 20 Aug. 1843, on the occurrence of a destructive fire in that town, the services rendered by Biddlecombe at imminent risk to himself obtained for him a letter of acknowledgment from the merchants and other inhabitants. Few officers saw more active service. As master of the Baltic fleet, 14 March 1854, he reconnoitered the southern parts of the Aland islands, Hango Bay, Baro Sund, and the anchorage of Sweaborg, preparatory to taking the fleet to those places. He conducted the allied fleets to Cronstadt, and taking charge in Led Sund of the Prince steamer, with upwards of 2,000 French troops on board, he carried that ship to Bomarsund, and was afterwards present at the fall of that fortress. He was employed as assistant master attendant at Keyham Yard, Devonport, 1855–64, and from the latter date to January 1868 as master attendant of Woolwich Yard. He was made a C.B. 13 March 1867, but the highest rank he obtained in the navy was that of staff captain, 1 July in the same year. He was knighted by the queen at Windsor, 26 June 1873, and received a Greenwich Hospital pension soon afterwards. His death took place at Lewisham, 22 July 1878. He had been twice married, first in 1842 to Emma Louisa, third daughter of Thomas Kent, who died 13 Aug. 1865, and secondly, in the following year, to Emma Sarah, daughter of William Middleton, who died 6 May 1878, aged 49.

Sir George Biddlecombe published the following works: 1. ‘A Treatise on the Art of Rigging,’ 1848. 2. ‘Remarks on the English Channel,’ 1850; sixth edition, 1863. 3. ‘Naval Tactics and Trials of Sailing,’ 1850. 4. ‘Steam Fleet Tactics,’ 1857. This list does not include the accounts of the surveys made by him in various parts of the world, and which were published by order of the admiralty.

Page last updated: 10 January 2016

2004: Manor farm up for sale

Well-known Purbeck family, the Scotts, are selling an historic manor house they had planned to make their family home. Rupert Scott, who sold Encombe House, near Kingston, two years ago for a reported £16million, has now put Afflington Manor Farm on the market for an estimated £2.25million. Afflington Manor Farm, between Corfe Castle and Swanage, is a Grade II listed 17th-century manor house set in 360 acres.

The Scott family are believed to be dividing their time between Purbeck and the south of France. The family still owns a substantial amount of land in Purbeck along with a number of properties. Afflington Manor Farm had been the subject of heated debate among planning chiefs at Purbeck District Council over a complex set of proposals for alterations. Objections were raised over the cumulative effect of the alterations but, after months of negotiations, planning chiefs finally gave the go-ahead on plans which included building a swimming pool and converting pigsties into boiler and changing rooms.

The courtyard manor house is believed to date from 1620 but the building is currently stripped internally in preparation for a complete renovation.Some of the original features are still intact including flagstone floors, shuttered windows and exposed beams. The building had been extensively remodelled during Victorian times and little had changed since. More recently it was used as accommodation for farm workers. The sale is being handled by FPDSavills

Daily Echo (Bournemouth) published Friday 9 July 2004

2004: Victorian stairs to be ripped out

A Victorian staircase at an historic manor house in Purbeck is to be ripped out despite calls from conservationists that it should be saved. Purbeck district councillors approved the plan after a visit to Afflington Manor Farm at Corfe Castle, once an important property in the 17th century which oversaw the manor of Afflington. The grade II listed building has undergone alterations over the centuries but had fallen into disrepair in recent years.

It has been bought by the Scott family – former owners of Encombe estate which they sold in 2002 for a reported £16 million. A complex planning application seeking a series of alterations to Afflington Manor Farm had already been approved by Purbeck district’s planning committee. Planning chiefs have now agreed to a separate application seeking permission to remove a nineteenth century staircase to allow the creation of a void for new stairs to give the impression of a ‘grand hallway.’

The scheme was opposed by Purbeck district council’s conservation expert along with English Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Conservationists argued that the staircase was worth preserving to show how the house had developed over the centuries. At a planning committee meeting to decide on the application, Cllr Fred Drane said: “It does not appear to me to be something of great importance. I would suggest we allow the staircase to be removed.”

Cllr Malcolm Shakesby said: “There is nothing in what we have got here that recommends me to think it’s worth preserving – it has got no beauty in my mind at all.” After hearing that English Heritage had not visited the house, Cllr Shakesby commented: “If English Heritage are going to make these sorts of decisions they should take the trouble to investigate it.”

Daily Echo (Bournemouth , Wednesday 3 March 2004

2003: Family wins approval for manor house work

Well-known Purbeck family, the Scotts, have won permission for a series of alterations to an historic manor house they hope to make their family home. The former owners of Encombe House, which was sold for a reported £16 million, plan to set up home at Afflington Manor Farm between Corfe Castle and Swanage.

Proposals for a complex and wide-ranging package of alterations have been the subject of 18 months of negotiations with planning officers at Purbeck district council. The grade II listed former manor house was originally a 17th-century courtyard house – it was more recently used as accommodation for farm workers. Members of the planning board agreed to the removal of 19th-century partitions – provided they are surveyed and recorded – to make way for a “manorial chamber”. Permission was also given for a swimming pool, with the conversion of pigsties to boiler and changing rooms. Members of the planning board visited the site before making their decision on the cumulative effects of a wide-ranging series of proposed alterations.

Cllr Elizabeth Rudd said: “I think we are really lucky to have an applicant willing to spend the money and the will to do this. This building has been vacant for a month and there is already damp in it,” she added. “There have been lots of historical and archaeological reports and negotiations that have been going on.” Several councillors raised concerns about the building’s current three-storey staircase but it was not part of the set of proposals needing their decision. Cllr Julie Wheeldon said: “I was amazed how shambolic (the house) was and what a tremendous task it is for the people having to restore this.”

Daily Echo (Bournemouth), Tuesday 2 December 2003

2001: Lord it up by buying a local title

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a titled aristocrat, the chance could be yours – if you’re prepared to pay the right price.

A number of Lordship titles based in Purbeck are up for sale at auction and prices are expected to fetch around £8,000.

Among the feudal titles available are the Lordships of Stoborough, Langton Wallis, Affrington and Worgret.

The Lordship of Worgret lies in the borough of Wareham and the title is being offered for sale by the daughter of the third and last Baron Alington. As title holder your manor would include one of the oldest churches in the country, St Mary’s – the supposed burial place of Anglo Saxon kings. It also covers a number of ancient barrows where Bronze Age burial urns have been found.

The Manor of Stoborough is believed to have once been part of Wareham Priory. An account of priory possessions during the time of Henry VIII includes assized rents in ‘Stowbarowe’ to the value of 9s2 and a half d. The title was acquired by John Scott, third Earl of Eldon, who then passed it to his second son Sir Ernest Stowell Scott KCMG who died in 1953. It is being offered for sale by this branch of the family – David Eldon Scott, a great nephew of Sir Ernest still lives at Encombe House, Corfe Castle.

The Manor of Langton Wallis lies at the west end of the parish of West Langton. It was probably the ‘Langetone’ which at the Domesday Survey in 1086 belonged to the wife of Hugh Fitz-Grip. It was acquired by the third Earl of Eldon in the 19th century.

The Manor of Afflington just south east of Corfe Castle was sold to Lord Chancellor Eldon in 1822 and is now up for sale by his descendents.

All the titles are being auctioned by private treaty sale by London based Manorial Auctioneers – one of several companies selling titles around the country. They can be contacted on 020 7582 1588.

Bournemouth Echo, Saturday 29 December 2001

1952: Recollections of a former vicar

Extracts from ‘From the crack of the pistol‘ (published c. 1952) by F.S. Horan, Vicar of Kingston from 1932-1938:

Quot Homines, Tot Amici

I found my Chilton experience of a country parish a help at Kingston. Muriel and I soon got going and found plenty to do, visiting the cottages, the school and the distant farms, of which there were several.

“What are the special needs of this place?” was a question I asked myself. It had a rather pleasant feudal atmosphere about it. Nearly all the men worked on the Encombe Estate. The polite manners of an earlier generation had not quite died out. ‘Sir’, ‘Mam’, capping and even a curtsey from an aged inhabitant, lent a nice touch of dignity to everyday intercourse; yet there was a delightful sense of cameraderie in all our relationships. The children under the care of Miss Broad and Mrs Cottrell, in our village (church) school, which I visited regularly, rose politely and gave me a cheery chorus of welcome when I appeared. Muriel, as always, was my great help in a hundred ways. She took over the Sunday School, and it was everything to me to have her opinion on the various village problems which arose from time to time. She was quick to help in any emergency of sickness or trouble.

Our great stand-bys in the village were Mr. and Mrs. Tom Joyce, and Mr. Gerald Loxton.

Joyce was the village blacksmith – a pillar of the church, and one of the nicest, friendliest, staunchest men who ever stepped. His wife was as nice as he was, gentle and refined. She had been the village school mistress. They both knew the village inside out, and were wise and understanding. It was a great help to discuss with them any plans or alterations that one might have in mind.

Sir Ernest was the Vicar’s warden, and Gerald Loxton, the People’s warden. Gerald could see further through a brick wall than most people and had a delightful, dry, Dorset sense of humour. I was very fortunate in having such men as Joyce and Loxton. They are proofs of what wonderful help laymen can be in a parish.

They weren’t the only ones I learnt to value and love at Kingston. We had so many willing helpers in all our plans and schemes for the good of the village. There was a keen spirit of co-operation – nearly everyone was glad to pull his weight in the village life. Some have passed on: I can see them now. Gilbert Dorey, the Estate woodman, with a natural musical talent and a wonderful mastery of the beautiful organ in the church, that he loved and played so well. Mrs. Orchard, the postmistress, our untiring helper in the W.I. and in all our socials, and in every project. Bill Hooper, our most reliable Captain of the Bells. George Hunt, always ready to help in anything, a very kind, open-hearted fellow. I salute them all!

There were a good many young men in the village who seemed rather at a loose end. I was keen to get into touch with them, and found the Boys’ Club Room helpful for this purpose. There we played games of an evening, and arranged cricket club fixtures and so on.

The Kingston Cricket Club was quite a going concern. A certain Ernest Hixson was Captain – a tricky left-hand bowler; and we had a redoubtable demon bowler in one of the Dorey family – Arthur. With a long run and a hop, skip, and jump, he would deliver a ball calculated, on a rough village wicket, to strike terror into the most intrepid batsman.

Ken Orchard (son of Charley Orchard and Mrs. Orchard the postmistress) was our champion heavy-weight slogger. He used to stride up to the wicket with his bat over his shoulder, a broad assured grin on his face – a Hercules, but for the leopard skin. Fielders fell back – he took his centre – and then with every ball bowled it was “six” or “out” with him. Ken certainly didn’t believe in slow cricket – he quickly brought any match to life. We had fixtures with most of the villages round and our Kingston boys generally gave a good account of themselves.

When the cricket season was over, I suggested play-acting during the winter months. How would they like to try a One-Act play as a start? At first they were shy; but I got them going. We started with Shivering Socks, an appropriate title for us at the moment! They came and rehearsed, undisturbed, at the Vicarage.

On a given day we gave the performance. The only place we had for such an outbreak was the small village schoolroom, where all socials and functions – even dances – had to be held. The audience, packed like sardines, too perspiring even to boo or cat-call – took it well on the whole and let themselves go at the end with a round of applause. Thus a Kingston Dramatic Society was started and on we went to further triumphs!

We found much unexpected talent among young and old. Little did we think that before long England – and even Canada – would lend an ear to us – that, in fact, we should broadcast! But so it proved.

We couln’t have done it without outside help. The person in the village to whom we owed most was Mrs. Fenwick-Owen. She and her daughter, Morvyne, were very keen on the dramatic effort: they loved acting, and realised what a good thing it is for a village to get people out of their shells and give them a form of self-expression combined with lots of fun. “Mrs. F-O” was untiring in the help she gave, and was always so jolly about it – rehearsing, producing and suggesting plays.

We were greatly handicapped at Kingston for want of a village hall for social activities. When I went there I saw this was an urgent need. There were two churches – the new and the old. The old church, though it bore signs of its Norman origin in the walls, and had an Elizabethan bell, had been re-built only some fifty years before the new one arose.

The new one was almost a miniature cathedral, and stood upon a hilly eminence. It was built in 1887 by Lord Eldon (the father of Sir Ernest Scott), of Purbeck stone and marble, in the Gothic style. Street, the architect, was given carte blanche and made a wonderful thing of it. Grand and imposing, it cast the little old church – a stone’s throw away – into the shade. Our services were held in the new church: the old church was hardly ever used.

What a pity I thought, not to make some use of the old church? Could it not still serve a good purpose? Could we get leave to turn it into a Village Hall? I talked this idea over with Sir Ernest Scott and members of the Church Council, and they were quite willing for me to approach the Church Authorities at Salisbury with the suggestion. This I did, with the welcome result that permission was granted. The Union of Benefices Measure allowed such a change to be made where there was a redundancy of churches: so we obtained leave to transform the old church into a Village Hall.

It took time and effort to do this; but the great work was accomplished at last, thanks to the many willing workers in the village who came forward to give their voluntary help – especially the young men of the Boys’ Club. They took off their coats and slaved away in their spare time – reflooring the building, making a platform and doing a hundred things. So, by its own voluntary labour, Kingston had a village hall.

Some other places besides Kingston benifited from our labours. ‘Chaddy’ [Revd. R.M. Chadwick] was thankful to purchase the pews, stained oak, plain and good, for the chapel at Forres. He had them scraped and now they look beautiful in their new setting. The altar and fittings were given to the Infirmary Chapel at Wareham. The attractive candelabra now hang in Arne’s tiny church which survived the bombing there. Memorial tablets were transferred to the new Kingston Church.

The Village Hall has proved an untold boon to Kingston. Scouts and Cubs and Brownies, which we started, have functioned there. A flourishing Kingston W.I. which we also started, has had it for all their meetings and doings ever since. It has served for village dances, concerts, whist drives and shows of all descriptions.

When the Second World War came, I don’t know what Kingston would have done without it as a place for the flood of evacuated school children that descended on the village to be schooled, helped, entertained and catered for in all conceivable ways. Indeed, it came just in time for Hitler’s outbreak and its consequences!

The Village Hall was not only used for secular purposes. We sometimes had religious services there – especially in Lent – and lantern lectures on various subjects. It was quite invaluable to us. Through this strange metamorphosis the old church had come to life again and was able to do something for the new church which greatly needed help for there was no endowment for the upkeep of that majestic building. It wanted a better system of heating and lighting and the organ was crying out for repairs. Where was the money to come from?

The old church by becoming a village hall, where funds could be raised throughout the year by shows and sales and other things, was able to make some welcome response to the appeal of its new neighbour. More was needed however than it could manage so I got busy and staged a Fete on a large scale in the beautiful grounds of Encombe, by permission of Sir Ernest Scott.

Sir Ernest was dubious about it at first; thought it was a big undertaking and felt people would never want the long walk from Kingston down to Encombe and back again. But I advertised it terrifically. Went down to Swanage to broadcast it. Booked buses to run right down to Encombe. Went to great trouble with George Bartlett, the proprietor of the Eldon Arms, to get a licence to have a bar on the Fete grounds to give the villagers a chance of having their pint down at Encombe instead of leaving the side-shows to go back to Kingston for a drink.

The W.I. arranged for large numbers of teas (and how well they organized them!). We got a Band to play for us and to wind up the Fete with dancing on the lawn by moonlight.

The day came. It was August: there were many visitors about – and posters on all the hoardings. People came in flocks from Swanage, Langton and Worth Matravers, Corfe Castle and Wareham – from all round the countryside – had a great time and emptied their pockets for the benefit of our Church Fund.

We raked in £170, and the fete was such a success that it has become an annual affair. In August 1937 it was opened by Leslie Banks who had a holiday cottage at Worth Matravers, the charming little village on the coast near St. Aldhelm’s Head. He was always ready to do a good turn.

Our first ambitious venture in the acting line was a performance of the Morality Play, Everyman. We were fortunate in getting a talented actress, Miss Joyce Bailey, as our producer and to play the part of ‘Everyman’. Two artist friends of ours – near neighbours – Miss Jane Welsh and Miss May Wilson were our mainstays. Miss Welsh was assistant producer, and Miss Wilson was mistress of the robes – and much more besides. These two gifted people provided all the dresses and props and, with a wide experience of producing and acting, helped us in all our doubts and difficulties. Without them, our production could never have reached such a high pitch.

Everyman has a big cast, so that friends from round about and many of our own villagers were roped in for the parts. I was ‘Death’. Muriel, ‘Faith’. Skrimmy was ‘Goods’ and was brought onto the stage in a wonderful chest, out of which he emerged with arms and face covered in gold paint – from which he suffered afterwards. Sir Ernest Scott started the play off by reading the prologue from the stage.

It was a great success at Kingston and also at Swanage where we played it for two nights at the Mowlem Theatre. It was felt to be an exceptional production for  a small village. So the Kingston Players had made a good start.

This was only the beginning of many plays that village talent provided. Those who didn’t act themselves were only too ready to help behind the scenes. Ken Orchard (the Hercules of the Cricket Club) was our lighting expert and he never failed us. The plays we did after Everyman were generally produced by Mrs. Fenwick-Owen and gave scope for all and sundry, both male and female, to show their capabilities.

We were keen to do a Dorset Dialogue play – so one day Mrs. Fenwick-Owen and Muriel returning from a W.I. meeting in Dorchester, called on Mrs. Thomas Hardy at Max Gate to ask if her husband had ever written a short play suitable for village acting. She at once gave them a privately printed copy of The Three Wayfarers – a play adapted from one of his Wessex Tales which, she said, was very dramatic and would be most suitable. So we got going on that and performed it with success both at Kingston and at the W.I. Drama Festival at Dorchester.

This was the play we were asked to broadcast. Francis Dillon of the B.B.C. Western Regional saw us do it at the Dorchester Festival  and arranged with Mrs. Fenwick-Owen, who produced us, to broadcast it from our Village Hall. We were naturally elated.

Francis Dillon came and stayed in Kingston for a week, and put us through our paces for the broadcast. We were tremendously interested in the arrangements for it, especially for the “noises off” which were done direct from Bristol and made to synchronise exactly with our spoken words. It seemed wonderful! We had many rehearsals through the week. On the day, it went without a hitch and, so far as we know, was heard by listeners from John o’Groats to Lands End, and certainly in Canada by the relations of some of our broadcasters. It was a Red Letter Day for the Kingston Players.

We once made a new departure, and tried our hand at a … Minstrel Show – male and female … It took some doing to collect good jokes and patter. Muriel went about with a red note-book and wrote down all she could get hold of. Then we had to fit them in with the songs and dancing. We had full audiences at Kingston, Corfe Castle, Langton Matravers and Swanage. Sir Ernest, in the audience at Kingston, was absolutely convulsed with laughter. He himself supplied one of our best jokes.

For a time much interest was taken in Folk dancing. Miss Ruth Dawson came over from Langton Matravers to teach us. Several of the older people were beautiful dancers – George Hunt and Mrs. Senneck especially.

I could count on those who helped most in social activities to help in religious activity too – as sidesmen, choirmen, bell-ringers or anything connected with the Church. We were all good mixers. I think our strenuous work in creating a Village Hall had helped us in this: it had drawn us together in a very matey way.

One Lent we had a Village Mission taken by the Diocesan Lay Missioner, Mr. C. S. Agar. It was very well attended and we had special meetings for men, women and children, besides the daily Mission Services. The Mission was a help to many. It was to Muriel and me.

On Good Fridays we generally had a Sacred Cantata in the evening, such as Stainer’s Crucifixion, Maunder’s From Olivet to Calvary and Darkness and Dawn. These were arranged by our good organist, Gilbert Dorey, who took infinite trouble over the practices. We had an augmented choir for them – Muriel, and Morvyne Fenwick-Owen (who had a charming voice which she later took on stage proper), and several other women from the village were in it, as well as extra men. The Cantatas were very much appreciated by the village and many who came from outside.

One Good Friday morning we had a Procession of Witness through the village, with hymns and a short address, which I have on the rising ground opposite the Post Office. Sir Ernest Scott, the Choir, and a number of others joined us in the witness. Our Easter services were always delightful, full of life.

After his ordination ‘Chaddy’ came up several times of a Sunday and preached at Evensong. Sometimes we exchanged and I went to Forres Chapel.

Muriel found some good helpers among the girls for her Sunday School work – especially Irene Sansom (now married with two little boys of her own). For a time Miss Joan Muspratt kindly came up from Swanage to take the class of older girls.

I was anxious that, with all our considerable social activities, we should put first things first, and I think that everyone knew I was keen on this: while at the same time I did not wish to draw a hard and fast line between secular and sacred – bearing in mind the words of Archbishop Magee: “There is nothing secular but sin”.

We had a strong British Legion contingent in the village, and we made much of every 11th of November. On the Saturday evening before Remembrance Sunday, we assembled in force at the Eldon Arms (now the Scott Arms). There we had a truly wonderful Dinner – with Sir Ernest Scott in the Chair. With speeches and a sing-song we kept it up pretty late. My usual song was Father O’Flynn. It was a most enjoyable re-union. Mrs. Bartlett, the Proprietress, excelled herself each year with her marvellous Roast beef, roast fowls, plum pudding and apple tart and other things. She was a striking old Victorian character immensely respected and very dignified in her glossy black silk; rather grim till you got on the right side of her – but she certainly delivered the goods.

On Remembrance Sunday we always had a packed church for the Service. Our British Legion men came in force, and the Swanage Legion Band. They were marshalled and paraded to church by our Charley Orchard, who had served in the Dorsetshire Yeomanry, and now marched in front of the Ex-servicemen like a Drum Major.

Inside the Church we had a moving Service – the Silence, the special hymns, the Bugle Calls sounded by Gerald White (our gardener), the placing of a wreath against the War Memorial Tablet, and at the close, the March off to the tune of “Onward Christian Soldiers” played by the Band.

The congregations at our usual Sunday morning Services were greatly helped by Oldfield (Co-educational) and Spyway (Preparatory) Schools, who came along and added considerably to our numbers. When Forres Chapel was built, Oldfield missed the schools’ service I had taken at All Saints’, Swanage, and which was discontinued; so they came up to Kingston in buses on alternate Sundays all the time I was vicar there. The Hicksons of Oldfield and the Warners of Spyway, were long-standing frends and we were always very glad to see them with their bus loads of boys and girls whom they brought along because they liked our simple short service.

St. James was our patron Saint – one of the “Sons of Thunder”. Our Cathedral-like Church, dedicated to him, lent itself well to services on special occasions, such as the Remembrance Service and Harvest Thanksgiving and the big Festivals.

In the Summer months, too, it came into its own with Summer visitors, and Scouts and Guides from camps near by. So then we had very good morning congregations and hearty services and were glad of the size and beauty of St. James’s Church. It was an impressive and worshipful place.

The Church Tower commanded a grand view towards Corfe and Poole Harbour beyond. It had a fine peal of eight bells, and we had a hefty team of keen bellringers under the Captain of the Bells, Bill Hooper.

Every New Year’s Eve was the occasion of another dinner at the Eldon Arms, with Mrs. Bartlett going strong as ever in the matter of beef, puddings and apple tarts. This was the Choir and Bellringers’ Dinner. It was kept up with song and merriment till about 11.15pm when we all adjourned to the Belfry where we rang the Old Year out and the New Year in, had a prayer, and then closed with the hymn “Father, let me dedicate all this Year to Thee”.

During my time at Kingston I was much indebted to the Agent of Encombe Estate, Mr W. E. Candy, who invariably gave his willing help and co-operation in all that was undertaken for the good of the Village. He was one of the School Managers, served on the Parochial Church Council and on the Village Hall Committee; and gave valuable help as Hon. Treasurer of the Fetes we had at Encombe. If I was ever in any difficulty I could always count on his sound advice.

Mr. Candy had entered the service of the third Lord Eldon (Sir Ernest Scott’s father) as long ago as 1890, and continued to serve the same family when Sir Ernest Scott became the owner.

Sometimes in the summer we let the Vicarage and trekked off for a holiday. In 1935 we let it for some weeks to a Mr. and Mrs. Milligan and their young family. We went to Chagford first for fishing … From there Muriel and I set off for the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-on-Avon. We did some sight-seeing too …Then we turned our faces towards home and this time, as the Vicarage was still let, we parked ourselves in a wizard little stone cottage on the cliffs above Dancing Ledge , called “Sea Spray”. This enabled me to do the duty at Kingston and make arrangements for the Encombe Fete and Flower Show.

Here we were joined again by Editha Roupell … She brought her young nephew and niece … They brought a tent with them … and pitched alongside “Sea Spray” … We mealed together in the cottage – or more often on the terrace, and had a great time, lots of fun. So did the two Kingston girls, Margaret Senneck and Edna Turner, whom we brought along to work for us.

The Encombe Fete and Flower Show was again a huge success. We had lovely weather. All the entrance tickets were sold, and about a thousand people came, including many Scouts and guides. Our Church Funds benefited very considerably. We were fortunate in having many good helpers …

Towards the end of 1936 we were much saddened at Kingston by Tom Joyce‘s failing health – he had been such a good friend to us. Some internal trouble developed and caused him a good deal of discomfort and suffering. He was taken to the West Hants Hospital at Boscombe, where I visited him several times. I remember him smiling up at me after a talk – it was my last visit, I think – and saying, “I’m having a rough passage, Vicar”. It was over for him just after Christmas. His wife did not long survive him. She passed on the following summer. In them we had lost two whom we could ill spare.

Dr. Dru Drury of Corfe Castle and his daughter were special friends of ours. He has an extensive practice there and in the surrounding villages, including Kingston. He is a man of many parts, a great supporter of the Church and a keen archaeologist.

Janet, living in such surroundings, could not fail to have both the historic and histrionic sense. She roped in many of us at Kingston for various plays and pageants. She now runs an amateur troupe known as “The Purbeck Players” and regularly carries off bouquets at the annual Dorset Drama Festival.

She produced The Tempest at Corfe Castle, and Kingston, and in the grounds of Encombe. I played ‘Prospero’ which meant much memorizing, but was well worth it. A Kingston girl – Dulcie Curtis, made a charming little ‘Ariel’, and Morvyne Fenwick-Owen played ‘Miranda’ with much feeling. … Encombe afforded a beautiful outdoor setting and we had a large and appreciative audience there.

Janet, now Mrs. Wilson, is an exceptionally able and imaginative producer and gets the best out of a cast. Her “Purbeck Players” today are highly skilled. They have performaed a variety of plays .. Some outstanding acting has been shown in these productions by Dulcie Curtis as ‘Velvet’, Syd Payne as ‘The Farmer’, Gerald Loxston as ‘Churdles Ash’, Mrs. Elford as ‘Araminta’ and Mrs. John Lawrence in several parts, to take but a few instances.

In July 1939, just before the awful cloudburst of World War II, a wonderful Dorset Pageant was performed in the grounds of Lulworth  Castle (by permission of Colonel Weld). Many Dorset W.I.’s contributed episodes to illustrate historic events in Dorset from earliest times. It fell to the villages of Worth Matravers, Kingston and Corfe Castle to act an episode entitled Benjamin Jesty, the discoverer of the use of cow-pox injections against the small pox. For Jesty lived at Dunshay in the parish ofWorth Matravers, and his tomb is in the churchyard of Worth’s ancient and lovely little church.

Janet Drury produced our episode. My part in it was to make a speech in honour of ‘Jesty’. A Mr. Drew drove on with Muriel in a dog-cart as “parson” and “parson’s wife”!

A date that stands out in my Kingston period is May 12th, 1937 – the day of the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. In the morning , we assembled in the Church to listen to the broadcast of the Service from Westminster Abbey – very moving and impressive.

For the rest of the day we flag-wagged, junketed and racketed: sports and races for both children and grown-ups; a fancy dress procession; ‘cakes and ale’, tea and buns for anyone and everyone; fireworks and a bonfire after dark; a dance in the Village Hall to finish with. A day to be remembered!

In August this same year a word began to echo in my mind, and a wish in my heart – “Retirement”: not from active service as a “Sky Pilot”, but from being restricted to one place for my efforts. I had now been forty years in orders, and I began to feel I should like to cut adrift from the daily humfdrum routine of parochialities and be a free-lance – free to give what clerical help and assistance I could in the neighbourhood and diocese, unfettered by a parish.

When I sent my resignation to Sir Ernest Scott, I received a charming letter from him, regretting my decision, thanking me for my work at Kingston, and saying how sorry the people would be to hear that I was leaving, for it was, he said, ‘a case of Quot homines, tot amici‘.

I could not have had a nicer nor kinder patron than Sir Ernest – always willing to help and co-operate in any way he could. He was a good sportsman, a most considerate landlord to the people on his estate and a friend to all.

My last Sunday as Vicar of Kingston was July 10th, 1938. For some weeks previously Muriel and I had been busy paying farewell visits, always a sad business: but we were cheered by the thought we were only going to live a short distance away and would often see our Kingston friends. We had an extremely happy and interesting time there and were genuinely sorry to leave. I was succeeded by the Rev. M. de Burgh Scott, long well-known to us in Swanage.

 

 

 

1938: Dorset R.A.F. Crash

Disaster in Coastal Fog – Three Men Killed near Corfe Castle – Aircraft in Flames

The three occupants of an R.A.F. aeroplane, a Fairy Swordfish, bound from Gosport to Roborough, near Plymouth, on Friday afternoon, were killed when the machine, after hitting some trees, crashed in a coastal fog, near Encombe House, the Dorsetshire residence of the Hon. Sir Ernest S. Scott, K.C.M.G., M.V.O. Hearing the noise of the crash, Sir Ernest went to the scene with some of his employees, but was unable to render assistance owing to the flames which burst from the wreckage.

The dead men were Pilot-Officer Frederick Edgar Williams, Corporal Cyril John Coles, and Leading-Aircraftsman David Samuel Hurrell.

Eye-Witness’s Story

Mr. E. Hixon [Hixson], of the Encombe Estate Office, who, with others, heard the crash and rushed to the spot in a motor-car, told a representative of this paper that the ‘plane was flying in the fog over the coast line at 2.45 p.m. and must have hit some tree on the road to Swyre Head, just outside the village of Kingston, near Corfe Castle. When he arrived the aeroplane was in flames. “There were three men in it, but we could not get near them owing to the great heat. I think the men must have been killed when the plane crashed.” The aeroplane had rolled down through the trees and then down the hill-side in the vale. An overcoat of R.A.F. blue, was thrown out of the aeroplane, and in the pocket was a handkerchief bearing the name ‘Williams, Gosport.’”

The bodies were subsequently removed to the mortuary at the Poor-law Institution, at Wareham, pending the inquest on Tuesday by the Coroner for East Dorset (Mr. R. N. Neville-Jones).

“Flying Too Low”

Coroner and Cause of Accident.

Graphic stories of the disaster were told the Coroner by witnesses and the jury, of whom Mr. S. W. Roshier was foreman, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”

The Coroner, reviewing the evidence, observed for some reason or other the aeroplane was flying very much too low round the Purbeck Hills, and one of the probable reasons for that was that there was a good deal of low cloud about, and the pilot, having lost sight of the ground, came down to see if he could see it again, and in doing so, unfortunately, came down too low and had the very great misfortune to strike some trees. Had he been a very few feet further up he would have missed them altogether and got out to sea quite safely.

How Men were Identified

Leading Aircraftsman Gwyn Lewis, of the R.A.F., stationed at Gosport, identified Pilot-Officer Williams (aged 21 and single) by his flying overalls, and Corporal Coles (married, aged 32) by his name on a piece of his trousers, which was not burned. Hurrell was aged 21 and single.

Squadron-Leader John Goodenough Elton, commanding the R.A.F.  training squadron at Gosport, stated Mr. Williams was a pupil on torpedo training course, and was on a cross-country training flight to Roborough, which witness had authorised. Williams had had just over 200 hours flying as a pilot, and he was considered one of the best pilots, being qualified in all respects. The two passengers were both members of the training squadron and on a pilot course.

Flying Low Regulations

Coroner: What are the regulations about flying low?

Witness: In the normal course of events a pilot is not supposed to fly lower than 1,000 feet, but he is occasionally forced lower by the weather.

The Coroner: The visibility in places was very good apparently that afternoon, but over the Purbeck Hills and the particular spot where he crashed there was fog.

Witness observed it was supposition, but he thought probably the aeroplane was flying under a cloud and keeping sight of the ground, which a pilot would often do. “They should actually keep up high and wait until they came out of it,” added witness.

The Coroner pointed out that this was the second fatality which had occurred in his district within the last few months due to almost exactly the same cause – fog and low flying, and there was an instruction the pilot should keep up.

Witness: Pilots are definitely instructed not to fly low when they get in bad weather, but remain at a safe height and turn round and trace their way back into the fair weather again. The machine was completely equipped with instruments which showed its height.

The Coroner: What it really amounts to was inexperience and he was doing what he ought not to do – a dangerous procedure? – Yes.

Witness: Oh, yes. In this particular case I instructed the pilot to return if the weather deteriorated after leaving Gosport, where it was quite fine. There were special orders about low flying.

The Coroner: Which are honoured in the breach apparently.

Eye-Witnesses’ Stories

Stories of the disaster were told by witnesses – Misses Bessie Beatrice Marsh, of Orchard Hill Farm, Kingston, Mr Ernest Albert Hixon [Hixson] of Rabling-road, Swanage, a clerk employed at the Encombe Estate Office, Kingston, and Mrs. Alice Pamela Sampson [Sansom], of Encombe.

Mrs. Marsh said her husband remarked, “He is going to hit the house,” it was flying so low – within another foot it would have touched the chimney. There was a very thick mist and she was only just able to make out the outline of the ‘plane as it passed straight over the house. A few seconds later she heard a loud crash in the direction the ‘plane had gone, followed by a loud bang or explosion. She went in a lorry with her husband and found the machine in flames. It had torn right through Polar Wood and was burning fiercely on the hill-side – the sea side of the wood – just below.

Mr. Hixon [Hixson] stated there was a very thick fog. He heard the roar of a ‘plane which seemed directly over-head and apparently travelling at a very fast speed. Next he heard a crash of splintering wood.

From her upstairs window, Mrs. Sampson [Sansom] said she saw the ‘plane fall in flames half-way down the hillside, and she observed an object – what it was she did not know – roll down the hill.

Replying to Mr. R. C. Hockey, Air Ministry Inspector of Accidents, witness said she could not quite remember but she was under the impression the aeroplane hit the hillside before bursting into flames.

P.C. Cutler produced the overcoat of an R.A.F. officer, singed but not badly burnt., which he said he found near where the ‘plane crashed. Parts of the aeroplane were scattered all over the hillside, and trees in polar Wood had had their tops cut off by the plane. Later, with the assistance of other policemen, he recovered the bodies from the wreckage.

The Coroner, on behalf of himself and the jury, expressed to the relatives of deceased, the sympathy which they all felt for them in this “most unfortunate tragedy.” – Inspector G. E. Burt, on behalf on the police, associated himself with these remarks.

Western Gazette, 25 March 1938

1938: Three Killed in R.A.F. Accident

Crash near Corfe Castle

The three occupants of an R.A.F. aeroplane from Gosport were killed yesterday when the machine crashed on a hillside near Corfe Castle, Dorset.

They were: Pilot Officer F. E. Williams; No. 335,888, Corporal C. J. Coles;  and No. 526,069, Leading Aircraftman D. S. Hurrell.

The accident occurred in thick fog. The aeroplane just missed some farm cottages, tore through a small wood, came to rest 200 yards down the hillside, and burst into flames. The engine was torn from the fuselage and came to rest at the bottom of a valley, 300 yards from the wreckage of the fuselage.

Mrs. Marsh, an occupant of one of the cottages, said she saw the aeroplane come out of the fog. It narrowly missed the house and disappeared. She then heard it crash through the wood, and there was a loud explosion.

Sir Ernest Scott, who lives at Encombe House, Corfe Castle, said the aeroplane crashed about 500 yards from his home. He heard the crash and went to the scene with some of his men. There was a thick fog at the time, and it appeared that the machine, which had been flying along the top of the hill, had struck a number of trees in a wood and then fallen down the hillside. The tops of about a dozen trees were cut off.

The Times, Saturday 19 March 1938