Cobbwebs News & Views

Here the Trust provides News & Views that are of interest to the family and to a wider audience.  They can be downloaded as PDF documents. 

Cobbwebs stay in this section for up to 6 months. Thereafter they go to the Cobbwebbs Archive.

Cobbwebs News & Views

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The Trust is pleased to report the following acquisitions, some by purchase and some by gift.

The Trust is grateful to all donors including those who have provided information for the family tree and material for the archive.


  • Plymouth, Bronze Age to Today (2019) by Chris Robinson 
  • A Rainbow Palate (2020) by Carolyn Cobbold #644
  • A state of Fear (1986) by Andrew Graham-Yooll
  • A Dictionary of Mottoes (1983) by L G Pine
  • William Strode (1600/01-1645) (2009) Selected Poems edited by Tony Frazer
  • Waldringfield (2020) by The Waldringfield History Group
  • Carol Christmas (1941) by Joan Cobbold #398 

Documents and Pictures

  • The Troubling History of Food Dyes by Phil Hewitt
  • Pictures of cemetery at Wimborne St. Giles (Lady Elizabeth Somerset #6553)
  • Rev Charles Davy #2436, extract from Letters on subjects of Literature.
  • The Scottish Grouse Season from Country Life 1935
  • Envelope addressed to Felix Cobbold #201 dated 1880
  • Silhouette Valentines cut by Elizabeth Cobbold #58
  • Patent Application No. 7632 for Manufacture of Gas by Edward Cobbold #108
  • Botany Bay, published July 1819
  • Obituary of Margaret Mary St. Aubin #611
  • Residuary Account of estate of John Cobbold #56

MOVE TO KNEBWORTH 3 December 2020

At the same time we have announced that as a registered charity in good standing with the Charity Commission The Cobbold Family History Trust is now recognised by Amazon Smile so that 0.5% of the value of your Amazon purchases will come to the Trust at absolutely no cost to you.  The scheme is explained below.  A number of Friends and Family have already agreed to support us in this way.  If you are an Amazon customer please do likewise.  Thank you.

MOVE TO KNEBWORTH 2 December 2020

This year’s Christmas card which accompanied the letter announcing the Trust’s move to Knebworth in Hertfordshire contained information about Knebworth House, about the Knebworth House Education and Preservation Trust (KHEPT) and about the Lytton Cobbold family who have lived at Knebworth for over 500 years.

KHEPT are the new custodians of the already much cherished Cobbold archive. There is no safer home than another registered trust in good standing with the Charity Commission.

MOVE TO KNEBWORTH 1December 2020

This letter has been sent this month to all friends and family members for whom we hold a postal address.

Due to an error Henry Lytton Cobbold’s email address was incomplete. It should read:

Initial reaction from friends and family is very encouraging; the wisdom of the arrangement and the security it offers are much appreciated by friends and family alike.

GOOD NEWS!..November 2020

…from Knebworth and Chichester

Martha Lytton Cobbold #666 on the web family tree, and chatelaine of Knebworth has been unanimously elected President of Historic Houses, the UK’s largest collection of over 1600 independently owned historic houses (of which of course, Knebworth is one) ranging from imposing castles and impressive palaces to hidden small sleepy medieval manors. 


Morwenna Gray Lytton Cobbold #672, Martha’s daughter has announced her engagement to Phillip Horatio Bush son of Mr and Mrs Graham Bush of Smeeth in Kent.


Dr Carolyn Cobbold #644, who lives near Chichester (and whose book A Rainbow Palate was the subject of a Cobbweb last month) finished 10th on a short list, chosen from thousands, for the BBC Woman’s Hour 30 most powerful volunteer women who had worked for the environment.  Her selection was for co-founding the Manhood Peninsula Partnership which resulted in the protection of 399 hectares of important and biodiverse habitats from flooding.



The Families behind Stonecroft

Cobbold, Bartlet and Barnes sounds like a legal practice but in fact they were respectively brewers, doctors and soldiers.  John Wilkinson Cobbold (1774-1860) #77 on the web family tree was the 4th generation brewer who was the first of three Cobbolds to marry into the Chevallier family.  He married Harriet Temple Chevallier (1775-1851) #78 at Aspall in 1796 and their 4th child (of 14) and the eldest daughter, was Mary Caroline (1802-1876) #119 who married Dr Alexander Henry Bartlet (1800-1887) #120.  They were married at St. Clements in Ipswich by Rev. Richard Cobbold (1797-1877) #106, of Margaret Catchpole fame. 

It was their son, Dr John Henry Bartlet (1829-1917) #2884 who endowed the Bartlet Nursing Home in Undercliff Road, Felixstowe, (now apartments) with a legacy of around half a million pounds; it being constructed by the architect H Monro Cautly between 1923 and 1926) incorporating the remains of Martello Tower R). 

John Henry’s sister, Lucy Caroline Bartlet (1838-1936) #3179 married into the third of our triumvirate of families.  Her Husband was Christopher Hewetson Barnes (1833-1884) #3185 and their son was Maj. Henry Marshall Barnes (1869-1946) #7245, about whom we have learned more lately, (through the kindness of Nigel Goslin), was educated at Marlborough College and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.  He was commissioned into The Royal Field Artillery and served his country throughout the First World War, spending some time as a Captain and Adjutant in the Northumberland Artillery.  After retirement he joined the well-known Ipswich printing company of Norman Adlard & Co. Ltd. and became its Chairman in 1925.  He also held directorships in Hadden Best & Co. Ltd. and Dindings Rubber Estates Ltd

Major Barnes was a former member of Ipswich Town Council and had been a member of the old Board of Guardians and a governor of the Northgate Schools.  A Freemason, he was a Past Master of the British Union 114 and the Gippeswik 4254 lodges.  One of his main hobbies was the cultivation of Sweet Peas and his exhibits at the Woodbridge Flower Shows won him the cup for the class many years in succession.  Other hobbies included the breeding of Airedales and poultry. 

In March 1905 he had married Louisa Gibson Blaikie (1877-1960) #10562 who had been born in Kussowlie in the Punjab to Dr Walter Biggar Blaikie (1847-1928) #10563, an Edinburgh educated lawyer and civil engineer who in the 1870s was in India building a palace, a post office, a church, a hospital and a gaol.  Walter became a distinguished printer widely known for his special deep purple end papers known as Blaikie endpapers as well as being an astronomer and an expert on Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

Major Barnes and Louisa made their home at Stonecroft in Stone Lodge Lane, Ipswich where they lived until he died in 1946 and she followed in 1960.



A remarkable story of guts and grim determination with a silver lining.

The telephone rang and on the other end was a Royal Marine Colonel telling me aboutGerald Tatton-Brown (1951-1988) #1946 on the web family tree and their participation in the Three Peaks Race in 1981. Tragically, Gerald died in an air accident only seven years later but he left a profound memory with Lt. Col. Brian Seage. The Trust is grateful for his account reproduced in full below.

Gerald Tatton-Brown

The Three Peaks Race 1981

In 1981 I was keen on marathon running and had run several in the Spring and all under 3 hours.  A friend, Andrew Higginson, asked if I fancied running 3 marathons in 4 days.  Andrew described the race as a sailing and running race and I was aware that the Royal Marines had put teams into the race in the past.  He knew a skipper, a local farmer, who wanted to use the race to try out a new under 30-foot yacht he had designed and possibly gain some publicity for the revolutionary design which included a hydraulic lifting keel that enabled the vessel to operate in very shallow water.  As I was not good enough to represent the Royal Marines I jumped at the chance to give the Three Peaks a go.  And so I met the skipper; Gerald Tatton-Brown.

The Three Peaks race requires a yacht and a team of 5.  Three to sail the yacht and two to do the running.  The race starts at Barmouth in North Wales and sails to Caernavon where the runners run from the quayside to the top of Snowdon and back.  It then proceeds by sea to Ravenglass and the runners run from the landing point to the summit of Scafell and return to the yacht for a passage to Fort William and a run to the peak of Ben Nevis and back to the yacht where the race ends.  For the runners that amounts to 3 marathons in 4 days with the marathons taking in peaks that in total amount to over 11,000 feet of climbing.

I managed to persuade Colour Sergeant Danny Blatchford Royal Marines to be the other runner.  Danny was an excellent road runner and I excelled off road as a sort of fell runner.  We were driven to Barmouth in time for the race start and for the introduction to the crew Gerald had put together.  The boat builder that had built Whisperer was one, Peter Williams (I think) and the other was a chum of Gerald’s, Lord David Davies.  So, on 27 June 1981, a farmer, a boat builder, a noble lord and two Royal Marines took Whisperer out of the harbour at Barmouth to the start line of the 1981 Three Peaks Race.  

After around 17 hours of tacking and pushing a strong tide, Gerald and the sailing crew got us into Caernavon in fourth position and the running began.  Danny led on the road and I led on the ascent and descent of Snowdon.  We departed Caernavon retaining our fourth place and headed for Ravenglass.  The timing of the tide was such that Gerald chose the Menai Straits route which also suited the shallow draft qualities of Whisperer and we sailed North with tide and wind behind us.  Approaching the Britannia road / rail bridge we were headed by the wind and the tide took us backwards under the main arch.  This worried the runners, but the sailors soon had the yacht back under control and we reached Ravenglass safely and still in fourth place.  Having a retracting keel proved to be a boon for the runners.  Other yachts were confined to deeper water and their runners had to wade or row ashore.  Danny and I stepped ashore into inches of water and were soon on our way towards Scafell.  This run has a long road route as the approach to the foot of Scafell and it was here that Danny had to work hard to keep me going as I found the road work boring.  But I enjoyed the run up Scafell and kept Danny going there and on the really tedious return route.

All of the yachts had to wait for the tide at Ravenglass to come in and float them off.  On returning to the harbour I noticed a very smart car and an even smarter woman standing beside it.  We were introduced to Lady Davies as the runners and she asked how it had gone and where we would shower and change.  She was not impressed by my response that a sponge down on the yacht would suffice and directed her husband to get a room at the hotel so that we could bathe and rest until the tide returned.  Danny and I enjoyed delightful hot baths and a change into our track suits and a snooze whilst the crew explored the delights of the bar downstairs.  

The tide rose and we set off for a longish trip around the Mull of Kintyre and on to Fort William.  We had retained our fourth position.  On board was a large hamper provided by Lady David Davies and it had Fortnum and Mason on the side.  Amongst other delicious food it had two Dundee fruit cakes that the crew decided were for the runners.  Well we did hint at such!  The cakes disappeared inside Danny and me very quickly and then it was time for a well-earned sleep.

I woke up after about 6 hours and went to the cockpit to chat with Gerald.  He then undertook to teach me a bit of sailing and so I took the helm and under the guidance of the Skipper sailed us up towards the South of Scotland.  It was great fun and Gerald was an excellent teacher.  Eventually we entered Loch Linnie and the approach to Fort William and a large yacht was making up ground on us.  We landed at Fort William retaining our 4th place but with another team close behind us.  Gerald shouted ‘Make sure you keep 4th place’, as Danny and I raced off towards the town and Ben Nevis beyond.  It was a hard ascent in deteriorating visibility but Danny kept up well and urged us both on as the other team seemed at one stage to be closing on us.  To ensure we did not lose our coveted 4th place we chose the almost vertical descent down a scree run back towards the harbour.  This worked well though there were a couple of skinned knees on the way.  Breathless, sweaty, tired and bruised, we retained our position and Whisperer, her crew and runners were 1st in Class of under 30- foot boats and 4th overall.  A tremendous achievement for an original and unique yacht, its scratch crew and runners.

My impression of Gerald Tatton-Brown was of an extraordinary visionary with great ideas and the will to make them real.  A leader with a deft touch and an ability to weld together a crew in short order and a man with the time to teach others so that they would benefit from his experience.  Highly self-disciplined but with deep humour and obviously an adventurer.  It is a memorable delight to have spent those few hectic days in 1981 with Gerald.

Lt Col Brian Seage OBE BA(Hons) Royal Marines



As the actress said to the bishop…

A race at Ascot in August commemorated Lillie Langtry (#1243 on the web family tree). We all know she was Edward VII’s mistress but did she also inspire the phrase “as the actress said to the bishop”? She and the Bishop of Worcester were admiring roses during a country house weekend, so the story goes, when he pricked himself. “How’s your prick?” she inquired at lunch. “Throbbing,” complained the bishop. The butler was so surprised he dropped the potatoes! 

Better to die in a brewery…

I feel no pain, dear mother, now

But oh! I am so dry!

O take me to a brewery,

And leave me there to die!


Better to collect Old Masters…

In later life if you want to take a mistress, choose somebody older

-better to please an old mistress than disappoint a young one.

Better to collect Old Masters than old mistresses

-when the time comes to part with them, they fetch more money!


Back in May 2017 I wrote about Carolyn Cobbold (1962) #644 on the web family tree, who has achieved much whilst remaining pretty much under the radar.  Following a degree in Mechanical Engineering and raising a family we found her at the forefront of a campaign to provide one of the first Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans in the UK for the Manhood Peninsula in Sussex.  This was followed quickly by an MSc dissertation on the use of yeast in bread leavening technologies which was published in The Silence of Science.  Later in 2017 she was awarded a PhD for her contribution to the understanding of the use of coal-tar derived dyes in foodstuffs from which came a Research Fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge and an appointment to a Fellowship of the RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce).

Her book A Rainbow Palate – How Chemical Dyes Changed the West’s Relationship with Food was published last month.  Hasok Chang, who is Professor of History & Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University writes:

"If you thought food coloring was not a serious subject in the history of science, this engaging and accessible book will show you very quickly just how wrong you were. Cobbold tells a wonderful story of complex and fascinating mutual interactions of science, commerce, industry, government, journalism, and law, about how powerful interests jostled around the use and regulation of potentially hazardous synthetic chemical dyes in food. This is a neglected aspect of the celebrated developments in organic chemistry and the dyestuffs industry in the late nineteenth century. In Cobbold’s detailed account, reaching across several countries, we witness how political and legal systems were at a loss to know how to manage and regulate the impact of a formidable and fast-moving field of science, while scientific experts found themselves unable to control the use of their creations or the narratives told about them. A Rainbow Palate is an illuminating cautionary tale of how an important unintended consequence of cutting-edge science can work itself into the very fabric of our daily lives without a clear plan on anyone’s part." 

If you are fortunate enough to have access to this book, please read Final Words on page 198 even if nothing else.



It is 125 years ago this year that Christchurch Mansion was given to the people of Ipswich by Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) #201 on the web family tree.  Over the years the Friends of Christchurch Park have done much to enhance the Park for people’s enjoyment and, being a lively and highly active group, it will do still more in the future.  I was privileged to be invited to speak at the anniversary AGM but sadly under pandemic rules the AGM was cancelled so I provided a little article instead which we reproduce for you here.  Somehow, I was persuaded to answer Ten Questions.  To my dismay, as I am not much good at self-publicity, these were recorded on the back page of the newsletter, Anthony.


The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria.  It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch.  There is no limit on the number of individuals honoured and admission remains at the sole discretion of the monarch.  The reigning monarch is at the apex of the Order as its Sovereign followed by the Grand Master.  Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was the first Grand Master appointed in 1937, a position she held until her death in 2002.  Princess Anne was appointed Grand Master in 2007.

At auction recently the Trust acquired a grant of the Royal Victorian Order awarded to Reginald Louis Secondè on 9th November 1968.  The grant is signed by the Queen Mother and by Lord Cobbold (1904-1987) #490 on the web family tree, who was Chancellor of the order at that time.  It also has a facsimile signature of Queen Elizabeth II.

After retiring from being the Governor of the Bank of England in 1961 Kim Cobbold (as he was widely known) became Lord Chamberlain to the Royal Household in 1963 a post he retained until 1971.  It was during this time that he served as Chancellor to the Royal Victorian Order.

Sir Reginald Secondé (1922-2017) was a British diplomat who served as Ambassador to Chile (1973-1976), Romania (1977-1979) and Venezuela (1979-1982).  He was the son of

Lt. Col. Emile Charles Secondè and Dorothy Kathleen Sutherland.  Educated at Beaumont and King’s College, Cambridge, he served as a Major in the Coldstream Guards in WWII.  He married Catherine Penelope Sneyd-Kynnersley in 1951 and they a son and two daughters.



The Trust is pleased to report the following acquisitions, some by purchase and some by gift.

The Trust is grateful to all donors including those who have provided information for the family tree and material for the archive.


  • The album of Elizabeth Cobbold paper-cuts, originally given to her son, Charles (the gift of a very generous family member).
  • The Greater Light, a Compendium of the Life and Works of Martin Shaw written by Stephen Connock and Isobel Montgomery Campbell.
  • International Business in the Nineteenth Century – The Rise and Fall of a Cosmopolitan Bourgeoisie by Charles A Jones of Warwick University. (1987)
  • My Mother Told Me by Charles Chenevix Trench. (1958)
  • Gold Run by Robert Pearson – The Rescue of Norway’s Gold Bullion from the Nazis. (2015)
  • Akenfield, Portrait of an English Village, by Ronald Blythe, c. 1960
  • Poems by Mrs Elizabeth Cobbold (1825) with Bookplate of Felix Thornley Cobbold.
  • Line upon Line Russian Reader by Col. Jamieson FGS, Indian Army (1847-1924)
  • Born to New Zealand, A Biography of Jane Maria Atkinson (1989)
  • The Secret Art of Lobbying by Darcy Nicolle (2019)
  • Collotypes of Ipswich and Felixstowe. C. 1900
  • Carol Christmas by Joan Cobbold, Music edition, (1941)
  • Ipswich, “A town to be proud of”, published by the Ipswich Society.
  • Joint Line, Spring 2020, journal of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Society.
  • Patent Application 1838 No. 7632 for manufacture of Gas etc. by Edward Cobbold.
  • A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales (1819)


Tributes have continued to pour in following the death of legendary Ipswich Town patron and former director Major Philip Hope-Cobbold (1943-2020) #577

Renowned across Suffolk not only for his passion for his beloved club but also for his warmth and generosity, he was the last of a long line of Cobbolds to serve on the club’s board.  His family had helped form the club and paved the way for domestic and European glory.  He attended his first game at Portman Road as a young boy in 1950 alongside his uncle ‘Mr John’ and was appointed a director in 1995.  Tributes have come from around the sporting world, with those who hold Town close to their hearts wanting to share their fond memories.  Ipswich Town director and friend, Richard Moore said Philip’s spirit must be kept alive at the club and recalled fans’ joy at meeting him on away days particularly during Ipswich’s European heyday.  “In the spirit of Ipswich Town Football Club we must keep him alive and treasure those special moments.”  TalkSport presenter Georgie Bingham, an Ipswich Town fan, said Mr Hope-Cobbold “epitomised” what Ipswich was.  “This man was the life and soul of every gathering he was at and a very old family friend” she said.  Former Ipswich captain Matt Holland added: “Incredibly sad news.  What a fantastic man with a great sense of humour who will be deeply missed by all the Ipswich Town family.”

The East Anglian Daily Times, from which the above is extracted went on:

Family History

No family has played such an instrumental role in the history of Ipswich – and Suffolk – quite like the Cobbolds.  Their association with the region stretches hundreds of years after the first Cobbold brewery opened in Harwich in 1723, before moving to Cliff Lane in Ipswich in 1746.  The brewery would later merge with Tollemache in 1957 to become the famous Tolly Cobbold brewery, which eventually became part of Greene King in 2005.  Away from beer, the philanthropists are well known for their role in securing the future of Christchurch Park, with Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) #201 buying the mansion in 1895, then at threat of demolition, and returning it to the Ipswich Corporation and the people of Ipswich.  They helped kick-start development of Felixstowe and funded a First World War memorial wing at Anglesea Road Hospital, as well as a children’s wing and a tennis court for nurses.  It is no surprise so much of Ipswich Town’s glorious history came thanks in part to the Cobbold family.  It was indeed the Cobbold family who helped form ITFC in 1878, with then Ipswich MP Thomas Clement Cobbold (1833-1883) #191 serving as the club’s first president.  Five family members would serve as chairmen.  A visit to Highbury, the former home of Arsenal, saw club president John “Ivan” Cobbold invest the funds to turn the club professional in 1936.  He died after a bomb fell on the Guards Chapel in 1944.  The family’s ties with the club continued after the war, with Ivan’s son John appointed a director aged 21 in 1948, later becoming chairman himself at the end of the 1956/57 season.  It was under his tenure that Town were crowned league champions in 1962, before a battle with cancer saw him step down to continue as a director in 1976.  Before his death in 1983, aged 56, the club had lifted the FA and UEFA cups and cemented themselves in history as a power house of English football.  The family handed over the reins to John Kerr in 1991 but have remained in Town folklore since. 

The East Anglian Daily Times’ summary echoes much of what The Cobbold Family History Trust has been seeking to research, record and safeguard over the first 15 years of its life.

MAJ. PHILIP HOPE-COBBOLD (1943-2020)July 2020

It is with the deepest regret that we report the death of Major Philip Hope-Cobbold (27th December 1943-8thJuly 2020) #577 on the web family tree.

His passing marks the end of a 142-year era. The Cobbold family has been associated with Ipswich Town Football Club since its formation in 1878. Philip’s grandfather, John Murray Cobbold (widely remembered as ‘Capt. Ivan’) (1897-1944) #448 put up the money for ITFC to turn professional in 1936. Over the next 55 years, 5 of the 6 Chairmen were Cobbolds.

Philip became a director of the Club in 1995 and remained in post until 2007 staying on as club Patron until his death.

He was a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and served for 30 years in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars in Germany, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Canada and Oman.

Since inheriting Glemham Hall from his uncle, Patrick in 1991 he has created a thriving events business there specialising in weddings.

Cdr. DAVID MARK FELL RN (1886-1948)June 2020

We are indebted to Dick Cobbold (1939) #622 on the web family tree, his siblings and many of Mark’s cousins for this biography produced during, and perhaps partially because of, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020. The participation of every contributor across four continents is applauded and appreciated.

David Mark Fell (1886-1948) #3964, or Mark as he was better known lived in interesting times. Born the year before Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in London he survived two World Wars seeing action as a submariner in the Mediterranean in the first, and as a Staff Officer H M Submarine Service at the Admiralty in Whitehall, London, in the second.

At age 13 Mark embarked on his naval career, albeit one can surmise this was much to the chagrin and disapproval of his father, Sir Arthur (1850-1934) #4583, who is on record decrying the military life as too much time wasted and laying about idle, albeit perhaps this was in reference to the Army, since there is a picture of Mark age 4 or so in a sailor suit.

Mark enrolled as a cadet in Dartmouth, in “a training ship” in 1899 or 1900. We know this was HMS Britannia, the RN officer training establishment in the 1800s to 1905. This Britannia (ex-HMS Prince of Wales), a wooden 3-deck ship-of-the-line was the fourth such ship to bear this name, having served as a battleship in the early-1800s. She was retired as a training ship in Portsmouth in 1864 before being moved first to Portland and then finally to Dartmouth, until in turn being retired in 1905 and the Britannia Royal Naval College then being sited ashore. The training syllabus focused on mathematics and seamanship, although other topics were included and varied over time, with the training lasting typically for two years. As we know from naval training, the syllabus would also have included navigation, both celestial and pilotage. Another ship from 1864 onward, a 2-decker “Hindostan” was moored end-to-end with HMS Britannia with a gangway to provide accommodation for the cadets. RN officer training course was 2 years, so it is assumed that Mark graduated from HMS Britannia as a midshipman at age 15 in 1902. Subsequent training of RN officers was then at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, that we know today.

It is thought that Mark joined the RN submarine service around 1911 with a spell on HMS Mercury for submarine training. His first child, Phoebe (1912-1997) #489 was born 19 July 1912 in Southsea, adjacent to Portsmouth, where Gosport is the submarine base. It is known he served in submarines in Scotland and research documents provided his progression through the officer ranks. He spent several years at sea in surface ships and even major warships gaining experience and expertise in navigation, watch keeping, seamanship, communications, mines and leadership skills. His record of service shows:

Midshipman1903 HMS Cornwallis- Battleship
Sub Lieutenant1905 HMS Roxburgh- Cruiser
Lieutenant1909 HMS Talbot-Cruiser
1911 HMS Mercury- Depot Ship
Submarine training- Portsmouth
Lieutenant1913 submarine A12- Ardrossan
1915 H-Class (H-2)- Canada/Italy
Lieutenant Commander
(promoted 29 Aug 1917)
1915-1917 sub Flotilla- Brindisi

1918/19? E31-Harwich

Retired1925/26- Tauranga, New Zealand
Commander1939 (exact date?) London
Retired1944- Gobions, Essex

Mark is listed among the officers in HMS Mercury 2 April 1911, located in Portsmouth harbour. (See picture with more than 20 submarines nearby and Admiral Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory in left background). HMS Mercury was a Submarine Depot Ship, reclassified from previous service as an IRIS 2nd class cruiser.

His whereabouts post war before leaving for New Zealand are sketchy. The information above shows his post war commands and Chatham dockyard postings but exact dates are not known. There are pictures of Mark and family in Dedham, Essex with Peter (1921-1979) #6922 about 2 years old, putting the picture about 1923. Dedham is 12 miles west of Harwich so it is possible Mark was in command E31 in Harwich at the time. It is possible he was elsewhere and only in early post war days was in Dedham, commuting on weekends from Portsmouth or Chatham.

Another documented early career record of Mark is in “The Disposition of RN Submarines at the outbreak of War, 4 August 1914”, JD Perkins. This listing shows Lt. David Mark Fell HMS Pactolus, Ardrossan (9th Flotilla), in command submarine A12. Ardrossan is approximately 25 miles SW of Glasgow on the Scottish west coast. So, we know he had risen through officer ranks to Lieutenant by 1909 and was probably fairly senior in the rank of Lt. at the time of assuming command A12 in 1913. Mark is shown as a Lieutenant Commander in 1915/16 while operating in the Adriatic and Dardanelles campaign, while research shows his official promotion date in 1917.

In 1915 the Royal Navy initiated its H-Boat Submarine Project with the first keel being laid down in Canada on 11th January. Despite the very ‘Colonial Autocratic’ behaviour of the British Government the project was a big success, with the first 2 boats H-1 (Lt Wilfred Pirie) and H-2 (Mark Fell) finished first on budget and on-time, with commissioning in Quebec City on 25 May 1915 and H-3 and H-4 following a month later….wow, compare that to today’s cost and schedule overruns on modern weapon systems! Another 6 H-boats were built for the Royal Navy in the contracted batch of 10, and 8 more were built in rapid succession and delivered to the Italian navy in 1916.

Mark Fell sailed from St. Johns Newfoundland in command of H-2, crossed the Atlantic to Gibraltar, in what is deemed the first crossing west to east of the Atlantic by a submarine. His wife, Clare (1891-1981) #3965 was in Teignmouth, Devon, England in 1915 but made a trip to see Mark, arriving in July in Gibraltar and departing in September. It looks like their second son, Dick (1916-1977) #6921, was conceived on this visit. Mark then operated out of Brindisi, and in 1916 was appointed flotilla commander and promoted Lieutenant Commander during tenure at Brindisi. Clareand the young Fell family, augmented with the arrival of “Uncle Dick” in 1916, resided in Italy, Venice and then Rome, until the end of the war when Mark and family returned to England in the period 1918-25. Mark’s exploits and nickname “mad Mark Fell” from escapades in the Dardanelles/Gallipoli campaign 1916-17 require additional research. Mark in Italy was knighted by King Vittorio Emanuele III in 1918 before the return to England. The original citation/scroll (dated 15 Feb 1918) in Italian is in the possession of Jeannie Cobbold (1940) #3088.

1918 has Mark back in England having been promoted Lieutenant Commander. He saw service in H2 (400 tons), E31 in the North Sea around the time of the German surrender and then in the latest class submarine the L7 out of Gosport.

Mark, with Clare and his 4 children left Southampton 4 April 1926 in SS Ruapehu of the New Zealand Shipping Company Ltd. Various brief written comments about Mark’s time in Tauranga mention his farm and prize-winning cows. In 1931 Mark, Clare and Phoebe, before her 18th birthday, left New Zealand for a 6 month visit to England (April – September) to present Phoebe at court (King George V and Queen Mary). They enjoyed 3 summers that year, two in New Zealand and one in England! Mark’s sister Winifred Fell (1883-1978) #8512 was married to Jim Whitehead (1880-1955) #8514, Assistant Commissioner London Police. Phoebe’s uncle Jim led the parade of cars to Buckingham Palace, with Phoebe’s car immediately behind Jim mounted in full dress uniform on his splendid white horse.

Not a lot is known about Mark and his family’s time at Bureta Farm. Phoebe married Temple Cobbold (1904-1983) #488, 31 December 1932 (they were 2nd cousins), with her brother Tony (1914-1998) #4389 attending as best man. Tony apparently left Bureta about then in hot pursuit of a female called “Bubbles” and two years later sailed for England in 1934, arriving 20 Jan 1935 at the Port of London, age 20. He married Dorothy June Ada Warwick (1911-2007) #4390 in 1938. Philippa (1933) #619 was born in Mark’s Bureta farm 1 November 1933 with Clare’s sister Louise (1870-1951) #6892 also present during one of her visits to New Zealand. Louise left for England the next day.

Mark, Clare and Peterleft Bureta and New Zealand behind, arriving Southampton on SS Mataroa, 29 April 1939. Dick apparently left earlier to join the RN in the gathering storm days of WW2. Mark and family lived in Long Sutton, Somerset on a small farm, where the record for pre-war registration for rationing and other purposes appears. Philippa has recollections of “granny” Clare selling milk from a horse and cart and ladling milk from a churn before eventually moving to Essex. From memories and photos, it seems Mark, lived in or near Woodham Ferres in 1941, as he is seen here as a full Commander (3 stripes) with son Dick as a Lieutenant (2 stripes). Dick was in the RN Fleet Air Arm during the war, retired as a Commander and continued with his golf prowess. Mark commuted to the Admiralty, Whitehall, London during the war years where he was a senior staff officer, submarines. Somewhere in the 1940-45 period he bought Gobions farm and retired there in August 1944 towards the end of the war (VE Day May 1945).

Gobions is recorded as a very old historic farm located 4 miles south of Billericay, Essex. As mentioned previously, Mark and family lived in the northern part of Essex in the 1920s during his days in command E31. Mark and Clare, post WWI and WW2 lived in 3 homes in Essex and indeed along with Suffolk, this part of East Anglia clearly features prominently in the many homes of Mark and Clare, and later Clare after Mark’s death. Mark was an active dairy farmer at Gobions with a small herd of short horns and a pair of Jersey cows.

Phoebe and her 4 children, now living at Takapuna beach near Auckland after a break up in her marriage, left New Zealand in 1945. They sailed on a converted troop ship SS Rangitoto, 25 September from Wellington, transiting via the Panama Canal, arriving Southampton 5th November, 1945. The family was met by Mark who had arrived by train from Essex to welcome his daughter and family.

Mark and Clare left Gobions behind (about 1946) and lived briefly first at Woodbridge, Suffolk and then settled at 5 Wentworth Terrace directly across the road from a typical North Sea shingle beach and ¼ mile north of the Moot Hall, in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Mark died very shortly and granny Clare stayed on for a few years, then briefly in Kensington before buying, living in, upgrading and reselling a succession of houses in Suffolk before settling in Bungay, Suffolk, with a brief interregnum in Hertfordshire to run a girls’ finishing school with Phoebe. Phoebe also had a succession of houses in Suffolk, settled finally in Bungay, where she lived for many years, before succumbing to a stroke, while visiting her daughter Ann (1935) #620 who had converted an old farmhouse into a delightful home, in Normandy, France. Ann moved back to England and lives today in the same Bungay house owned by her mother.

Mark clearly enjoyed a successful navy career and survived the perilous occupation and early formative years of submarine service. He was a proud family man with 4 children and enjoyed a varied life at sea, and adapted his livelihood to being a successful farmer in both New Zealand and England. Anyone who served during WWI, commanded several submarines in the dangerous German submarine infested waters of the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Dardanelles and North Sea, clearly had both the skill and the “luck of the Fells” in so doing.


In a Cobbweb dated August 2019 we told that, of the 4 large albums of fine paper-cut Valentines  left by Elizabeth Cobbold (1765-1824) #58 on the web family tree, one was already in the Trust’s ownership [that of Richard (1797-1877) #106], two had been broken up and sold off as décor items and that the 4th [that of Charles (1793-1859) #102] was on loan to the Trust for research purposes. 

The Trust is delighted to announce that the 4th album has now been donated to the Trust.  This is an act of enormous generosity by a very kind family member who wishes to remain anonymous.  The Trust has thanked the donor on behalf of current and future generations.  It needs to be said that the importance of these Valentines cannot be over stated and it is estimated that over 50% of Elizabeth’s entire output is now safely in the possession of the Trust or family members.

We show a portrait of Elizabeth and two Valentines from the newly donated album.  The portrait is that used on the cover of the Trust’s recently published biography

Elizabeth Cobbold Georgian Polymath.  Copies are still available from this website or by ‘phoning 01752 89449

Copies are still available from this website or by ‘phoning 01752 89449


‘The good thing about being told to stay at home’, wrote Shirley Fowley # 4230 on the web family tree, to The Artist published in Tenterden, Kent, ‘is that I have been doing a lot of experimental painting.  I decided to do something with my backyard fish pond, which is bordered with Bamboo (yes, I can grow certain hardy varieties of Bamboo in southern Ontario).  I started by applying the colour of the water using a large paint scraper and really liked the result.  I had tried to get a spontaneous ‘abstract’ and yes, Chinese feel to my painting, but as I tried to paint the debris floating on the water the spontaneity vanished from the lower right portion of the work.  In the same issue (July 2020), in her article ‘Be your own best judge’, Hazel Soan warns about the dangers of getting picky – that is my failing.’

This month’s star letter writer will receive a Studio+ Membership to PaintersOnline, worth £49.95.  Congratulations to Shirley.

The Hon Mrs Charles Kitchener (1924-20...May 2020

The Trust is sad to announce the death of Ursula Hope Kitchener, née Luck #1489 on the web family tree at Stafford House, Dorset, gently, on Friday 10th April 2020 aged 96.  She had the reputation, which preceded her, of being ‘enchanting’ and indeed she was.  On death she was described as ‘Naturally beautiful, elegant, vivid and loyal, an indomitable conversationalist with a mischievous sense of humour.’

On 15th August 1959, in Canterbury Cathedral she married the Hon Charles Eaton Kitchener (1920-1982), the son of Viscount Broome and grandson of 2nd Earl Kitchener, who had been a founder member of staff at the Duke of York School in Nairobi.  Our picture shows what a beautiful person she was outside, and a day I spent with her in 2012 showed what a beautiful person she was inside and the joy of dozens of friends and cousins at her 90th birthday party showed that she was loved and admired universally.

Those who say we shall never see her like again are right. 

Anthony Cobbold



This poem by Marian Jervis née Campbell (1802-1861) #2766 on the web family tree was published in a collection titled ‘Gleanings. Poems.’ in 1840.

It seems particularly pertinent at this time of lockdown when, constrained, we all thirst for more of the natural world around us.

Marian lived during the reigns of George III, George IV, William IV and Victoria. Throughout the collection, there are many references to the traditional poetic language of plants and flowers known as Florigraphy; the coded significance of flowers in the 19th century culture which enabled ladies to express what they could not say in words. In 1853 she published the partly translated ‘Tales of the Boyhood of Great Painters’ and in 1854 ‘Painting and Celebrated Painters Ancient and Modern’ in two volumes copies of which are in the Trust library. Marian’s son, Col.Henry Jervis-White-Jervis (1825-1881) #183 married Lucy (1828-1916) #115 eldest daughter of John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1881) #114 in 1855.

Many of the poems in ‘Gleanings’ have been illustrated by her three times great granddaughter, Victoria Parker-Jervis (born 1963) #8700. Victoria was born in Suffolk and grew up in the village of Rendham near Saxmundham. It was at Felstead School that an exceptional art teacher, Trevor Goodman really taught her to paint and at the Chelsea School of Art that she obtained her degree. She is fascinated by the Topography of Suffolk; the bleakness of its landscape in winter and the colourfulness of its coastal towns in summer. Exactly this is illustrated by her painting, shown here, of Aldeburgh Beach, oil on canvas (58 x 83cm) used on the cover of Aldeburgh, A Song of the Seas by Tim Coates, by kind permission of the artist and courtesy of The Orwell Press.

Poem: I am never alone

I am never alone - at early dawn,
When the lark pours her joyous notes on high,
When the diamond dew-drop gems the lawn,
And the daisy opens her tearful eye -
I am never alone - with fragrant hair,
The spirit of the first young Hour is there.

In one loud paean our songs arise –
“Thanks to our God for the earth and skies,
“For the early dawn, the glittering dews,
“For the heaven of song, the glow of hues,
“For the life, the light, the love we share,
“Thanks! Thanks! For the thoughts of praise and prayer.”

I am never alone - at warm noon-day,
When the breeze is drank by the scorching heat,
When the lark has hushed his thrilling lay,
And the flowers shut up their odours sweet –
I am never alone – beside me lies
The Spirit of the Wood, with deep dark eyes.

My heart is stilled with flower and bird,
My soul is with that spirit heard:

Low, soft as summer’s breath arise –
“Thanks to our God for the earth and skies,
“For the glowing noon, the cooling glade,
“For the sweets of rest, the calm of shade;
“For the life, the love, the peace we share,
“Thanks! thanks! for the thoughts of praise and prayer,”

I am never alone – at evening’s close,
When the twittering birds bid earth good night,
When the insect hums round the laurel-rose,
And the bat flies in the dim twilight –
I am never alone – on bended knee
The Spirit of the Night-wind prays with me.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC and D3May 2020

‘What is D3?’ I hear you say, and ‘what is it to do with the pandemic?’

Work done by Emeritus Professor Peter Cobbold (born 1945) #10254 on the web family tree and others shows its enormous significance in the pandemic.

Current recommendations in the UK for D3 supplementation are woefully inadequate, and are predicated on what - decades ago - was found to be the level for the prevention of rickets. D3 deficiency is widespread but often unrecognised and has great significance in many chronic diseases, which has still to be appreciated in the wider professional community, let alone the public. Most researchers into D3 regard it as making a significant contribution to ending the COVID pandemic, providing recommendations for supplementation are revised upwards several fold. Emeritus Professor Peter Cobbold has provided a lay summary of this enormously important hormone.

This note is about the potential benefits of 'vitamin' D3 against COVID-19. The note was written for a lay audience but I find most medical professionals of my acquaintance were unaware, and took action personally.

What is “D3” ? It used to be called a vitamin. But nowadays the majority of research

papers, around 5000 per year, refer to it as “The secosteroid hormone D3”. D3 acts as a super-promoter to control around 2000 genes, one in ten of our genome, and plays a defensive role. And the majority of the world's population is deficient. D3 deficiency often goes unrecognised and is common in the elderly, the population most at risk from COVID-19. When I gave a talk on D3 to local U3A (University of the Third Age) several of the audience had their blood level measured with a test bought online. Two were severely deficient, but were unaware. The talk is here and covers the basics of D3 science and supplements, and shows D3 impacting an enormous breadth of disease:

D3 for COVID-19 ?

There is a possibility that D3 can help protect us against a serious, possibly fatal, bout of COVID-19. In the absence of vaccine or drug, D3 deserves serious consideration, especially as amelioration for the elderly who are most at risk of dying.

D3 will improve immune defence against the virus causing COVID-19, but the dosage is uncertain. Why? There is a long-standing disagreement between clinicians with a historical bias and scientists and clinician-scientists who take a more science-based approach. The key difference is whether D3 is a vitamin whose dose is to be determined as if it were a drug, ie minimal effective dose, or is D3 a hormone with a blood level determined by physiology. The late Dr Robert Heaney MD was a clinician-scientist with a life-long record in D3 research. In his talk he lays out the evidence that the physiological serum concentration of 25(OH)D3 (the routine measurement) is 100 to 125 nmol/L. The Vitamin D Receptor has evolved over 500 million years along with D3 so defining the physiological blood level should be a fundamental quantity in determining therapy, but is not...yet.

Heaney then defines the D3 supplements needed to get to physiological level in winter as 2000 International Units per day rising to 4000 IU pd in the elderly. His parting comment tells us his scientist team average 5,000 IU pd.

Physiological criteria point to a higher serum level than will be achieved by the more

cautious “D3 as a drug” clinicians' opinions. Most clinical trials of cautious supplements of D3 for flu have delivered uncertain results with a hint of protection only. However, when the physiologically-defined serum level is used to define 'adequate', the effectiveness of D3 jumps off the page. This Yale study compared the progression of infection in a population with 100 nmol/L or above, and below 100nmol/L (multiply their ng/ml by 2.5 to get nmol/L).

How does D3 combat viruses?

D3 is a hormone that controls expression of around 2000 genes, 10% of our genome. It has broadly defensive role and is important in modulating a host of chronic diseases. D3 protects from microbes by activating our innate immune system, the first line of defence before the adaptive immune system kicks in to generate neutralising antibodies. D3 promotes expression of genes for cathelicidin and defensins, which are antimicrobial peptides that destroy fungi, bacteria and enveloped viruses such as 'flu. Corona viruses are also enveloped and unlikely to escape destruction. Additional anti-microbial peptide actions in lung epithelia, induced by D3, are here (for experts):

Finally, how much D3 supplement do I and my family and friends take? It ranges between 2000 and 4000 IU pd. Our response to supplements will vary, but 2000 gave me 100nmol/L and 4000, 160 nmol/L, nicely physiological. It requires ca 2 to 3 months to reach a new stable 25(OH)D3 after starting supplements. However faster equilibration is possible, as in this talk:

Finally, this talk emphasises the enormous gulf between scientific knowledge of D3 and the failure of medical authorities to act:

For any Cobbolds willing to embrace the jargon, here is our latest attempt to raise awareness of D3 in protecting us all from COVID-19:

Dr David Grimes has plotted the Philippines data


- most UK elderly will be in the orange group.

Prof Em. Peter H Cobbold, PhD

(Univ. Liverpool, cell biology)




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