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

Page 4 of 18


It is widely known that Francis Edward Cobbold (1853-1935) #233, (generally known as ‘FE’), after providing for his wife Beatrice (Bea) Sarah Child (1869-1951) #225, left a legacy of life-changing proportions to what was then the Royal United Kingdom Beneficent Association (RUKBA), now Independent Age.  The charity invested the money wisely abiding by FE’s stipulation that only the interest should be used and then for helping old folk stay in their homes.  ‘The effect of this magnificent legacy on the development of the activities of the Association can hardly be over-emphasised,’ wrote Sir John Maude.

What is not so widely known, and the Trust has only just discovered, is that FE, one of Australia’s great pioneering pastoralists, also endowed two cottages for the Old Colonists Association of Victoria.  OCAV is a leading not-for-profit provider of independent living, and assisted living & aged care in Victoria founded in 1869 by a crop of prominent Melbourne leaders which included George Selth Coppin.  Celebrating their 150th anniversary this year the Association has 4 villages: Lieth Park in St. Helena, Braeside Park in Berwick , Rushall Park in North Fitzroy, and Currie Park in Euroa.

The Trust is grateful to Ruth Richardson for a photograph of Nos. 6 and 7 Henty Avenue, Rushall Park, which are the two ‘Cobbold’ cottages built in 1930 of grey limestone brick with tiled roof with a little spire atop, endowed by FE and his wife in memory of his sister, Sarah Jane Cobbold (1841-1918) #227.

LT. A. N. O. P. HILL-LOWEAugust 2019

Due to the generosity of Caroline Taylor #638 on the web family tree, the Trust has been able to acquire a fine oil on canvas portrait of Lt. Arthur Norman Ommanney Peter Hill-Lowe 1920-1943 #14050.  Dated 1949 the artist, who used the monogram GR or CR is, as yet, unidentified.  The Trust is most grateful to Caroline.

Lt. Hill-Lowe was born in Tenbury, Worcestershire in 1920 and enlisted in the Royal Armoured Corps on 25th August, 1939.  He was appointed to an Emergency Commission as a 2nd. Lt. in the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards on 27th July 1940 and was posted to the 57th Training Regiment on 19th July 1842.  He embarked for the Middle East to join 3rd Hussars later that month and arrived in Egypt on 21st September.  He was killed in a train crash near Aleppo, Syria on 3rd February 1943.

He came from a distinguished military family.  His father was Captain Arthur Noel Vernon Hill-Lowe (1892-1964) #14048, North Irish Horse and Shropshire Yeomanry, who was the son of Commander Arthur Hill Ommanney Peter Hill-Lowe RN 1849-1910 #14046 who was in turn the son of Admiral Arthur Lowe (1814-1882) #1016.  Admiral Lowe’s father-in-law was Sir John Acworth Ommanney (1773-1855).

On Wednesday 3rd February the Aleppo to Pererat train had a head-on collision 80 km out.  27 soldiers including 3 officers were killed.  The following Sunday saw a big military funeral, each coffin on a 15cwt truck travelling through the town.  Beside the graves a firing party of 21 men fired a volley and the ‘Last Post’ was played in what was a very moving ceremony.  He is buried in the British War Cemetery in Aleppo, Syria in plot 2 at C3 which is cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


Hitherto the Trust has thought that four large albums of Elizabeth Cobbold (1765-1824) #58 paper-cut Valentines were prepared, one for each of Elizabeth’s four boys, Robert Knipe (1792-1859) #100Charles (1793-1859) #102Richard (1797-1877) #106 and Edward (1798-1860) #108; each containing Valentines produced from 1816 onwards.  Of these, Richard’s album is in the Trust and Charles’ album is in safe family hands but on loan to the Trust for research purposes.  The other two were broken up by an antique dealer and sold off as framed pictures.  Over the years the Trust has acquired two more small and rather crude albums containing Valentines for 1810 and 1813.

Recently two more mid-sized albums have come to light dedicated to Robert Knipe, her eldest son; one bearing the date 1812 and the other 1813.  They are in safe family hands but have satisfactorily broadened our knowledge.  Volume two tells us that Valentines for 1809-10-11 were owned by the Rushbrooke family.  We know that Elizabeth stopped cutting Valentines in 1822 but we did not know she had produced any before 1810.

We do not know exactly how the Valentines were distributed at the time, but this much we do know: there were Ladies Valentines and Gentlemen’s Valentines; up to eighty were cut in a single year; normally a verse was composed for each; they were placed in separate baskets and brought into the party when it was well under way.  Every unmarried guest was invited to come and pick a Valentine from the appropriate basket.  The verses were read out to the assembled company and often much mirth ensued.  There was undoubtedly some match-making going on and we know of one case where romance and marriage resulted.

Prior to 1814 when the family moved into Holywells the Valentine parties were held at the Cliff and at that time the event was known as a Lottery, a term confirmed in the earlier albums.  The Valentines preserved in these albums were duplicates of those distributed.  One account says that they were cut from multiple sheets of paper but this would not have been as easy as it sounds.  They were cut with scissors using a technique, Scherenschnitte, learned from Germany.


The Trust is very sad to report the death of two family members both of whom were keen supporters of the Trust and its work.

  • Jan Talbot #670 died aged 90 and Martin Riley died aged 75, both on 24th June 2019.  We send our condolences to their families and friends.

The Trust is pleased to have been given two interesting items for the Archive:

  • Mrs Delia Golding donated a leather-bound, gilt-edged subscription book “St. Clement’s Church” which was presented by the parishioners to Churchwarden William Harvey Orvis on 25th January 1909 expressing their sympathy for his illness and wishing him a speedy recovery.
  • Mr Steven Painton donated a panel of ceramic tiles from the hall floor of Brownhill House, near Southampton together with a number of photographs prior to it being demolished for housing.  Brownhill House, built in 1867, was the home of Augustus Hills Cobbold from 1896 until his death in 1931.  Five of his grandchildren were born in the house.

The Trust is grateful for help given, often with family tree information, by (in no particular order):

Gareth Scott, Brian Graham, Ruth Richardson, Clare, Rosalyn Davies, Rob & Cheryl Phare, Carolyn Anthony, Sally Patrick, Michael Gibbs, William Oswald, Malcolm Puttick, Annemarie Josey, Ian Welch, Paul O’Brien, Simon Toynbee, Charles Marment, Nick Moger, Simon Bentley and Tim Riley.


The generous gift of Delia Golding, the Trust has acquired a lovely leather-bound, gilt-edged subscription book which was presented by the parishioners to Churchwarden William Harvey Orvis on 25th January 1909 expressing their sympathy for his illness and wishing him a speedy recovery.  The dedication was endorsed by the Rector, the Curate, the other Churchwarden and over 200 parishioners

A personal message is added by a signatory “H.L. Ipswich (designate of Stepney)”.  This entry is not understood and if anyone can explain, we would love to hear from them.

There are 5 Cobbold signatories:

Adela Harriette Cobbold (1837-1917) #187.  John Patteson’s widow.

Evelyn Anna Cobbold (1873-1959). #322.  Adela’s daughter and wife of Herbert St. George Cobbold

John Dupuis Cobbold (1861-1925) #307.  Adela’s eldest son.

Winifred Evelyn Cobbold (1892-1965) #450.  John Dupuis’s daughter aged 17.

John Murray Cobbold (1897-1944)

 #448.  John Dupuis’s only son aged 12.


Without question the Trust’s most important acquisition this month is a silver Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service Reserve badge (No. 211) worn by Sister Theodosia Agnes Cobbold during service in the Boer War.  She is #1893 on the web family tree.

Other acquisitions include:

  • The Complete George Cross by Kevin Brazier
  • Swefling Rebecca Cobbold, a novel by Barbara Grantham Hicks
  • Twenty-Five Shades of Graves by Jeremy Cobbold
  • An article from the Intellectual Observer 1863 on The Portuguese Man-of-War by H Noel Humphreys
  • Three articles from the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science 1862 & 1865 on Gyrodactylus Elegans, Entozoa and Coenurus by T Spencer Cobbold (#174).
  • A large package of miscellaneous Tolly Cobbold ephemera including an album of advertisements.

The Trust is grateful for help given, often with family tree information, by (in no particular order):


Geoffrey Elborn, Hamish Thoms, Derek Wilson, Ruth Richardson, Geoffrey Buchler, Clare O’Keefe, Carolyn Anthony, Simon Watson and Brian Graham.  Please accept apologies for anyone omitted inadvertently.

6. John Sedgwick Gregson GC (1924-2...June 2019

“John Gregson won the George Cross for saving the life of a shipmate during a torpedo attack in the Mediterranean in 1942. Gregson was serving as an apprentice on the 'Deucalion', a merchant vessel of 7,500 tons. The ship was one of a convoy of 14 that left Gibraltar an August 10th 1942 with the object of breaking through to the beleaguered island fortress of Malta with much needed food and fuel supplies.

 But after being attacked by two Heinkel torpedo bombers, the Deucalion was hit on the starboard quarter; one of the holds burst into flames and the order was given to abandon ship. Lifeboats were being lowered and the blaze was spreading rapidly when one of the AA gunners was found pinned down under a raft. Gregson helped to get the gunner free but the man had sustained severe injuries and when it proved impossible to get him into a boat or on to a raft there was no alternative but to drop him overboard. Gregson dived into the sea after him but, in the darkness, he could not find a life boat so he towed him a distance of about 600 yards to a ship which picked them up. The citation stated:

 "But for Apprentice Gregson's gallant action undertaken with complete disregard of his own safety, the injured man would have had little chance of survival".

Gregson was invested with the Albert Medal by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on March 30th 1943. In 1971 when the Albert Medal was revoked by Royal Warrant Gregson elected to keep the original medal he received from the King, rather than exchange it for the George Cross. Amongst his other medals, he also held the Lloyds War Medal for Bravery in Saving Life at Sea. This medal was instituted by Lloyds of London in 1940 to be awarded to officers and men of the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets for exceptional gallantry at sea in wartime.

John Sedgwick Gregson GC (1924-2016) #10872 on the web family tree

5. Lt. Cdr. Malcolm David Wanklyn V...June 2019

We can do no better than to reprint our Cobbweb of August 2017

“The ship and her company are gone, but the example and the inspiration remain.”

Thus wrote Their Lordships of The Admiralty (unusually) when reporting that H M Submarine UPHOLDER (Lieutenant Commander M D Wanklyn VC DSO** RN) had been lost. It was April 1942.

Under the command of David Wanklyn UPHOLDER’S first war patrol was from Portsmouth to Gibraltar early in 1941. Thereafter Mediterranean patrols typically lasted 2 to 3 weeks with 10 days between to refuel and rearm in Malta. These supposed rest periods were frequently interrupted by air-raids upon which UPHOLDER dived to the bottom of the harbour. In a little under 12 months Malcolm David Wanklyn and his crew were credited with sinking over 93,000 tons of enemy shipping and damaging a further 34,000 tons.

The sinking of ‘Conte Rosse.’ This attack was to earn Wanklyn the award of the Victoria Cross, the first awarded to a submariner in World War II. Here is the citation:

On the evening of 24th May 1941, whilst on patrol off the coast of Sicily, Lieutenant-Commander Wanklyn in command of His Majesty’s Submarine UPHOLDER, sighted a southbound enemy troop convoy, strongly escorted by destroyers. The failing light was such that observation by periscope could not be relied on, but a surface attack would have been easily seen. UPHOLDER’S listening gear was out of action. In spite of these handicaps, Lt. Cdr. Wanklyn decided to press home his attack at short range. He quickly steered his craft into a favourable position and closed in so as to make sure of his target. By this time the whereabouts of the escorting destroyers could not be made out. Lt. Cdr. Wanklyn, while fully aware of the risk of being rammed by one of the escort, continued to press on towards the enemy troopships. As he was about to fire, one of the enemy destroyers suddenly appeared out of the darkness at high speed and he only just avoided being rammed. As soon as he was clear he brought his periscope sights on and fired torpedoes, which sank a large troopship. The enemy destroyers at once made a strong counter-attack and during the next 20 minutes dropped 37 depth charges near UPHOLDER. The failure of his listening device made it much harder for him to get away, but with the greatest courage, coolness and skill he brought UPHOLDER clear of the enemy and safe back to harbour.

David Wanklyn was the Royal Navy’s top submarine ace, the most successful submariner in the Western Allied Navies and the most highly decorated Royal Navy hero of the second World War.

Lt. Cdr. Malcolm David Wanklyn VC, DSO** RN (1911-1942) #9837 on the web family tree

4. Lt. Cdr. Patrick Noel Humphreys ...June 2019

Patrick went to Britannia Royal Naval College in 1926.  Although the United Kingdom was, of course, neutral in the Spanish Civil War, Lieutenant Humphreys was serving on board H.M.S. Hunter on the 13th. May 1937, when it was mined off Almeira. This caused an explosion underneath the Stoker Petty Officers' and Torpedomens' Mess Decks, and the ladder was blown away. In order to reach the ratings on these decks, Lieutenant Humphreys and four others under his command had to jump down eight feet, into three feet of oil fuel. Although Humphreys and the other four were in danger of falling through the shattered mess decks, they dragged both living and dead out from the wreckage and the oil fuel. Some of the rescued had swallowed oil fuel, others were severely burned, and all would have died if they had not been rescued so quickly. Lieutenant Humphreys was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal for this deed. When the George Cross was inaugurated, on the 24th. September 1940, his E.G.M. was exchanged for the new medal. Before the Second World War broke out, Humphreys joined the Fleet Air Arm. He took part in the raid on the Italian fleet at Taranto, and was mentioned in dispatches. in 1942, he was appointed to form and command the first Fleet Air Arm night fighter squadron. Unfortunately, the next year, he was killed in a take-off crash from West Malling Airfield in Kent. The inscription at the base of his gravestone, "They shall mount up with wings as eagles", is taken from the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 40, Verse 31.

Sadly, no image of Patrick is available at present.  He is buried in Plot CC1, Grave 108 in Maidstone Cemetery, Kent.


Lt. Cdr. Patrick Noel Humphreys GC, RN (1913-1943) #1961 on the web family tree

3. Dudley Graham Johnson VC, CB, DS...June 2019

Dudley served with the 3rd Wiltshire Regiment during the second Boer War transferring to the South Wales Borderers on 4th July 1903 where he was Adjutant from 1909 to 1912.  Serving in China with 2nd Bn. at the outbreak of WWI, he was awarded the DSO for his actions on the night of the 5th/6th November 1914 in Tsing-tau, China.  The citation was posted in the London Gazette on 16th March 1915.  He then saw service in Egypt and Gallipoli from March to June 1915.

He joined The Royal Sussex Regiment in November 1916 and was the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Bn. from March 1918 until April 1919.  He was awarded the MC on 1st January 1918.  It was during the assault on the Sambre Canal on 4th November 1918 (a week before the Armistice) that he was to perform the action which led to the award of the Victoria Cross.

The 2nd Infantry Brigade, of which 2nd Bn. Royal Sussex formed part, was ordered to cross the lock south of Catellon.  The position was strong and before the bridge could be thrown, a steep bank leading up to the lock and a waterway about 100 yards short of the canal had to be crossed.  The assaulting platoons and bridging parties, Royal Engineers, on their arrival at the waterway were thrown into confusion by a heavy barrage and machine gun fire, and heavy casualties were caused.

At this moment Lt. Col. Johnson arrived and realising the situation at once collected men to man the bridges and assist the Royal Engineers and personally led the assault.  In spite of his efforts heavy fire again broke up the assaulting and bridging parties.  Without any hesitation he again organised the platoons and bridging parties and led them at the lock, this time succeeding in effecting a crossing after which all went well.  During all this time Lt. Col. Johnson was under heavy fire which, though it nearly decimated the assaulting columns, left him untouched.  His conduct was a fine example of great valour, coolness and intrepidity, which, added to his splendid leadership and offensive spirit that he had inspired in his Battalion, were entirely responsible for the successful crossing.

Dudley Graham Johnson VC, CB, DSO*, MC (1884-1975) #6128 on the web family tree. 

2. Bernard Cyril Freyberg VC, GCMG, ...June 2019

It is believed that in April 1914 Bernard Freyberg served as a Captain Volunteer with the Mexican Carrancistas during the Mexican Civil War.  He deserted in late July on hearing of the impending war in Europe, and with a price on his head, he hitchhiked to get a steamer for New York.  He eventually arrived in Liverpool on 24th August.  He caught a train for London in order to enlist in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  (He was born in Richmond, Surrey but brought up in New Zealand).  He was told that all officer places had been filled, and he was advised to try the newly formed Royal Naval Division.  He approached Winston Churchill, and gained his encouragement to win a temporary commission as a Lieutenant RNVR on 8th September 1914.  He was allocated to the Hood Battalion to command A Company.  He was known as ‘Khaki Jack’ as he arrived in khaki whereas most officers were still wearing naval blue.  His fellow officers in A Company were known as the ‘Argonauts’, and included Rupert Brooke.

Following training in Kent, they embarked to Dunkirk on 2nd October 1914, and then on to Antwerp.  Whilst in the trenches at Antwerp, Freyberg was severely burnt on the hand on the electrified barbed wire system.  He was hospitalised at Ostend before returning to Britain.  In March 1915 the battalion was deployed to Turkish waters around Gallipoli.  Following training at Port Said they prepared for the Gallipoli landings.  A platoon from A Company was to land and light flares at intervals along the beach to fool the Turks into thinking a full scale landing was happening.  Freyberg believed that it could be done with just one or two swimmers with less risk.  Freyberg’s request was turned down, but he made the swim alone and succeeded in his mission.  For his actions he was awarded the DSO.

During the Second Battle of Krithnia on 8th May he was wounded in the abdomen and evacuated.  He returned in mid-June and was appointed Temporary CO of the Hood Battalion.  He was wounded again on 25th July and was evacuated to Egypt until August.  He left the peninsular on 27th February 1916 to head for Marseilles and then England for ten weeks to recover from his wounds.  He went to France to rejoin the Battalion on 1st May and transferred to the Royal West Surrey Regiment as a Captain and Temporary Lieutenant Colonel on 19th May, but remained to command Hood Battalion.

On 13th November 1916 at Beaucourt-sur-Ancre, France, after Freyberg’s battalion had carried the initial attack through the enemy’s front system of trenches, he rallied and re-formed his own much disorganised men and some others, and led them on a successful assault of the second objective, during which he suffered two wounds, but remained in command and held his ground throughout the day and the following night.  When re-inforced the next morning he attacked and captured a strongly fortified village, taking 500 prisoners.  Though wounded twice more, the second time severely, Freyberg refused to leave the line until he had issued final instructions.

He was evacuated to London where he recovered for three months, and was gazetted for the Victoria Cross.  He returned to France in February 1917 and was appointed Temporary Brigadier-General and Commander 173rd Brigade from April to September 1917.  He was wounded in five places by a shell-burst during an attack on St. Julien, Ypres on 19th September and reverted to Major on relinquishing command on 15th November.

On 2nd January 1918 he received his VC from King George V at Buckingham Palace.

Bernard Cyril Freyberg VC, GCMG, KCB, KBE, DSO*** (1889-1963) #3174 on the web family tree


1. Alexander Edward Murray VC, DSO, M...June 2019

As Lieutenant Viscount Fincastle, before he had inherited his father’s Earldom, he was posted to India, and became Aide de camp to the Viceroy of India from 1895 to 1897, and served in the Dongola Expedition in 1896 being awarded two medals.  In 1897 he served in the Frontier War, Malakand, with the Guides Cavalry, and took part in the action at Landakai, having his horse shot from under him.

During the fighting at Nawa Bali, in Upper Swat, on 17th August 1897, Lieutenant-Colonel R. B. Adams proceeded with Lieutenant H. L. S. MacLean and Viscount Fincastle, and five men of the Guides, under a very heavy and close fire, to the rescue of Lieutenant R. T. Greaves, Lancashire Fusiliers, who was lying disabled by a bullet wound and surrounded by the enemy’s swordsmen.  In bringing him under cover Lieutenant Greaves was struck by a bullet and killed – Lieutenant MacLean was mortally wounded – whilst the horses of Lieutenant-Colonel Adams and Lieutenant Viscount Fincastle were shot, as well as two troop horses.

Fincastle was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 9th November 1897, and received his medal from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 28th February 1898.

Alexander Edward Murray VC, DSO, MVO 8th Earl of Dunmore (1872-1962)  #1722 on the web family tree


Our family tree includes 4 recipients of the Victoria Cross and 2 recipients of the George Cross.  These were awarded between 1897 and 1942.  Sadly, none of the recipients is still living but we will be remembering them this month as part of our commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944.

The Victoria Cross was introduced on 29th January 1856 by Queen Victoria to reward the bravery of her soldiers in the Crimean War. Originally all Commonwealth combatants were eligible but since then Australia, New Zealand and Canada have introduced their own equivalents. Initially the VC could not be awarded to those who had died in the action but this was changed in 1902 when 6 VCs were awarded posthumously to soldiers of the Second Boer War.

The George Cross was instituted on 24th September 1940 by King George VI at the height of the London blitz. It is awarded to recognise civilian gallantry in the face of the enemy. The GC replaced the Empire Gallantry Medal (EGM) and all holders of the EGM were instructed to exchange their medals for the new GC, a substitution unprecedented in the history of British decorations. This substitution ignored holders of the Albert Medal (AM) and the Edward Medal (EM) awards which both took precedence over the EGM. The anomaly was rectified in 1971 when the surviving recipients of the AM and the EM became George Cross recipients and were invited to exchange their medal for the George Cross.  John Gregson (1924-2016) #10872 on the web family tree was one of the 16 holders of the AM who refused the option to exchange. He argued that it was the AM he had been given by George VI and it was the AM that he intended to keep for the rest of his life.

The next 6 Cobbwebs are devoted to our 6 recipients and are presented in date of award order starting with the oldest.

Maj. Robert Nevill CobboldJune 2019

The Times, on August 18th 1944 carried his obituary: 

“The news of Robert Cobbold's death in action in Italy will have come as a cruel blow, not only to his family, but to all those, in every walk of life, who were privileged to enjoy his friendship. For with him the art of friendship was a gift rich and rare, & to see him again, however often, was to experience anew a thrill of pleasure. It seemed as if care and worries were all swept aside in the warmth of his welcome, and one felt, immediately, a strange sense of happiness and contentment, and a renewed joy in life.

And how he himself enjoyed his own life, in all its varied aspects! He was supremely happy in his family business, where his compelling charm won him so many friends, and it is possibly here that he will be missed most of all. But there will be many, who, like the writer, shared with him all his other interests, who will feel that, by his passing, they have lost something precious and irreplaceable - something of the spirit of companionship and happiness which were so peculiarly his.

Those who have shot or fished with him, or seen him with his beloved dogs, or, on a golf course, running, always running, down the fairway, will know that this is so. For he contributed, all unconsciously, so much to our enjoyment that, without him, it will not, and cannot, be the same again. The spice is gone.

To his wife, who shared his happy life for so tragically few years, and to all his family - and perhaps most of all, to his father, to whom he was, as a friend has said to the writer, "a part of his daily life" - the hearts of all who knew Robert Cobbold will go out in true and generous sympathy.

Their loss is grievous, but the memories - golden, bright and happy - will always remain. "For Death he taketh all away, but these he cannot take". May these memories serve as a comfort to his family - and, indeed to us all - in the years that lie ahead".

Robert Nevill Cobbold, (1904-1944) #470 on the web family tree, was killed in the battle of Cassino in Italy on 27th May 1944 just a few days before D-Day whilst serving with the 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards.   He is commemorated at Eton, on the War memorial at Tattingstone, Suffolk and in St. Mark’s English Church, Florence.  His headstone in the Cassino War Cemetary is inscribed “In this rich earth a richer dust concealed that is for ever England”.  This puts us in mind, of course, of Rupert Brooke’s great first World War poem; so poignant that there is no apology for reproducing it here:


The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England's, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven

June 6th 1944 OPERATION OVERLORDJune 2019

This month marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  If nothing else, a family history trust should commemorate those family members who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Thirteen Cobbolds died in World War II.  Two died in June 1944.

Lance Corporal Percy Leonard Cobbold lost his life during the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day itself, 6th June.  He was a member of 242 HQ Provost Company of the Corps of Military Police.  He was just 35 years old, the son of Charles William and Lizzie Cobbold of Broadwater, Worthing, Sussex and the husband of Eveline Rebecca Mary Cobbold, also of Worthing, Sussex.  Sadly, that is all the Trust knows about Percy; we have no photograph and we cannot place him on the family tree.  If anyone is able to help please speak up.

Also killed in June, on Sunday 18th, just twelve days after the invasion, was Lt. Colonel John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold #448 on the web family tree, who ironically had been a member of Bernard Montgomery’s team planning the D-Day invasion of Europe with Dwight D Eisenhower’s staff.  Ivan went to morning service at the Guards’ Chapel the day a doodlebug exploded on the chapel killing over 120 worshippers.  A friend and fellow sportsman, Lord Alanbrooke described his death as ‘a ghastly blow to me, made all the worse by the fact that when Brian Boyle was telling me of his death, I was actually picking up Ivan’s letter off my blotting pad.  His invitation to lunch that week made a very large lump rise in my throat’.  Ivan had been married in the Guards’ Chapel some 25 years previously and had held a silver wedding thanksgiving service there about three months before.



Augustus Hills Cobbold (1854-1931) #281 on the web family tree married 3 times. One of his granddaughters by his third marriage to Ellen Stanley Townsend (1857-1933) #284 is Elizabeth Anne Jauncey (b 1928) # 433. Elizabeth has been most generous to the Trust having donated first editions of many of Richard Cobbold’s books as well as an album of Elizabeth Cobbold’s (1765-1824) #58 famous paper-cut Valentines. Our debt of gratitude is unquestionable. We have written previously about Brownhill House near Southampton, where Elizabeth was born and it is sad to report that it is about to be demolished to make way for housing having been for many years a much-loved nursing home.

We have not written previously about Augustus Hill’s first marriage to Mary Constance Eden (1852-1884) # 282. There were 2 children of the marriage before Mary died of Pneumonia aged only 32. The daughter was Alice Mary Cobbold (1879-1968) #422 who married Capt. Duncan Tatton Brown (1875-1960) #423 thereby linking the Cobbolds to the resourceful and prolific Tatton Brown family. The son, Mary’s younger brother was Maj. Neville Eden Cobbold (1882-1944) #424 whose passage on the world-famous Windjammer the Herzogin Cecilie gives rise to this story.

With Maj. Neville a passenger, the Herzogin Cecilie left Port Lincoln in Australia carrying 4,295 tons of grain and reached Falmouth in a record-breaking 86 days on 23rd April 1936. Built in Bremerhaven in 1902, she was a full-rigged, steel hulled four-masted sailing ship which proved so fast that she was purchased by Captain Gustaf Eriksson in 1921 with the express purpose of competing in the annual ‘grain races’. Feeling the effects of the Great Depression she started carrying passengers in the 1930s. Having disembarked her passengers in Falmouth she immediately set sail for Ipswich. At 3.50 the following morning in thick fog she struck the Ham Stone on Devon’s ‘Fatal Shore’. The Salcombe lifeboat took off most of the crew but she lay there stranded for seven weeks before being towed into Starehole Bay, being refused permission to enter Salcombe in case she sank and blocked the harbour. Only 464 tons of grain were saved but many of her fine accommodations and fittings were retrieved to be housed in the Alands Sjofartsmuseum, Finland.

She was the last of the truly great clipper ships and when she was breaking up in Starehole Bay thousands came to mourn her passing including Rowland Hope Cobbold (1905-1986) #407 whose 1936 photograph of her is in the Trust’s collection.


In December, Engineering Fellow and fount of all Caius knowledge, Dr Michael Wood wrote to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph to get the story straight about the origins of the Cambridge blue.

His letter, published on 24th December 2018, replied to an article entitled ‘How Eton blue became the Cambridge colour’, which stated, correctly, that ‘Cambridge blue has its roots in the second Boat Race, held in 1836.’

In his letter, Dr Wood wrote:

‘Sir – There were three Caius men in the Cambridge boat of 1836. Tradition has it that they called for R N Phillips to get a light blue ribbon to correspond with the colour of the well established flag of the Caius College Boat Club. The nearest haberdashers only had Eton Blue, which was purchased and used.

Cambridge won by 20 lengths. After this, the University Boat Club asked whether the university could take over the colour. The College graciously agreed, so the university light blue is actually Caius blue. We still carry the light blue stripe on our blades.’

Caius 1st men’s boat went Head of the River in the 2018 Lent Bumps. The club was founded in 1827 and built a new boathouse in 2016. The clock tower is a privilege allowed only to clubs that have held the May Bumps headship for 5 successive years.

The blades awarded to 2 family members commemorate crews which achieved 4 bumps in either the Lent or May events.


The Trust is pleased to have added the following items to its archive:

  • The 14th Century History of the Cotehele, Edgcumbe and Brendon families by Tom Brendon.
  • Gates of Adventure V. Ipswich: Port of East Anglia, an article from The Geographical Magazine of June 1939, by Captain J M Cobbold, JP.
  • On the Embryogeny of Orchis Mascula, an article by T Spencer Cobbold MD
  • A new Form of Naked Eye Medusa (Thaumantias achroa) with Histological Details, an article by T Spencer Cobbold, MD., FLS. Communicated to Linnean Society, March, 1857.
  • A photograph from a 1907 magazine showing a steam driven brewer’s dray delivering to the Asylem Hotel.

The Trust is particularly grateful for financial donations received from Andrew Hughes Hallett, David Jamieson, Tim & Carolyn Cobbold, Marika Cobbold and Gill Gowing.

The Trust is also grateful for help given, often with family tree information, by (in no particular order):

Jim Harrison, Nicky Hibbin, Jane Dismore, David Rowley, Adele Mallen, Steve Painton, Neil Lupin, Vanessa Griffith, Peta Bruce, Carolyn Cobbold, Sally Hacking, Laurie Forth, Deborah Hughes Hallett, Robin Doughty, Sue Coales, Leslie Rhodes and Peter Carr.


The Trust is pleased to have added the following to its archive and is particularly grateful to all donors

  • Tales of the Boyhood of Great British Painters by Lady Marain Jervis #2766
  • Gleanings. Poems by Lady Marian Jervis #2766
  • Cricket Team Photo, early 20th Century, including P W Cobbold #324

Family tree information from (in no particular order):

Rowell Bell, Adele Mallen, Anne Young, Peter & Vicki Carr, Julian Royle, Daphne Stevens, Robert Farinella, Serge Comini, John Price, Calixte George, Sarah Banbury, Honor Wayne, Lois Mills, Walter Bonnici, Andrew Hughes Hallett, Neil Lupin, Gwyn Howells, Dick & Jeannie Cobbold and Mary Naylor.

Our thanks go to those who have made, and continue to make, financial donations to the Endowment Fund. This is the fund which underwrites the future of the Trust.Thank you.


Charlie Sharp, General Secretary of the thriving Margaret Catchpole Bowls Club, which is familiar to many as part of the pub located at the entrance to Holywells Park recently sent the Trust a substantial history of the Club which has taken its rightful place in the Trust archive.

We cannot possibly reproduce the entire history so it seems appropriate that we should  focus on the early days when the Cobbold family was much involved. The Club is named after the heroine of Richard Cobbold’s historical novel of the same name. This best seller was published in 1845 and immediately ran to 5 editions so it is little wonder that Margaret Catchpole is well embedded in Suffolk lore.

The first landlord of the pub was Cecil George Farr who had previously been on the staff of the Duke of Devonshire (#2452 on the web family tree) at Chatsworth; he took up his post on 1st January 1939 and in the spring of the same year John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold, as head of the Cobbold Brewery, agreed that a Bowling Green be laid and a pavilion built. Everything went on hold during the war and sadly Ivan was killed by a doodle-bug in the Guards’ Chapel on 18th June 1944 just 12 days after the Normandy landings which he had been helping to plan. After the war Alister Cobbold (Ivan’s nephew) #472 who had taken over responsibility for the Brewery honoured his uncle’s pledge and became president of the Club; after a false start during which roses started growing through the green sward, an excellent green was established and the Club was able to start playing matches – friendlies at first but in 1952 the Club only narrowly lost a serious match against a Suffolk EBA Select.

The Club thrived. It founded the Suffolk Triples League and proceeded to win it in the first two seasons; Derek Johnson arrived at the Club, won countless matches and went on to play for England; a prefabricated pavilion was built in1963 and, well ahead of the game, lady bowlers were admitted in 1964.  Many more successes were achieved through the years as the membership grew and members’ skills prevailed. Every member played his or her part but it is probably not unfair to single out Derek Farr (son of George) and Derek Johnson as of critical influence in the success of the Club in its first 80 years!

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Registered Charity No.1144757.|A company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales No. 7783492|All content is Copyright to The Cobbold Family History Trust © 2021