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 6 of 16


(#644 on the family tree)

Meeting Carolyn at home or with her family gives you absolutely no idea of the enormity of what she has achieved, all of it without any song and dance and all whilst bringing up three children, the youngest of whom is now over 21.

Following a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, London, where she met her husband, and several moves dictated by his job, Carolyn found herself living just inland from the south coast at Birdham in Sussex. Since University she had been freelance writing for an American insurance journal with a particular interest in climate change and corporate liability and environmental risk.

Hence it is not surprising in the late 1990s to find her campaigning for more integrated spatial, water and coastal planning on the low-lying Manhood peninsula, south of Chichester. Carolyn and another local resident persuaded the Dutch Institute of Spatial Planning to hold their annual workshop – a five day conference – on the Manhood in March 2001. The workshop led to a range of new ideas about more sustainable coastal management and spatial planning for the area, described in Going Dutch, a publication Carolyn co-authored. As a result of the Going Dutch initiative, Carolyn founded the Manhood Peninsula Partnership, a multi-agency and community partnership. Since 2001, the MPP has been instrumental in raising substantial funds and encouraging more integrated working between local and government authorities and the public to improve the area’s environment, habitat, drainage, flood issues and coastal defence.

In 2011 the MPP published one of the first Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans in the UK and in 2013 Medmerry, the largest coastal realignment project in Europe, was completed to protect the peninsula from rising sea levels. The site contains 300 hectares of important biodiversity habitat including mudflats, reed beds, saline lagoons and grassland, creating new intertidal habitat important to wildlife on an international level. In 2014 the Medmerry scheme won many major national awards for engineering, ecology and public engagement, including the prestigious Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award.

But even before Medmerry was completed we find Carolyn developing her interest in the History of Science with the publication in September 2010 of her dissertation (for an MSc), Yeast, A Problem – The rise of alternative bread leavening technologies in the 19th century. The following year she is a post graduate speaker at Swansea University on Baking Soda in the 19th century and later at Imperial College, London on The silent introduction of synthetic dyestuffs into 19th century food, later published as a chapter in The Silences of Science.

Her pioneering involvement on the Manhood is not forgotten when she is invited to speak to the Climate Change Conference in London in December 2014 but her interest in foodstuffs persists with the publication in early 2017 by Cambridge University of an article warning of the dangers of abandoning EU regulations after Brexit. There is much that the Science Historian can contribute to today’s food environment.

Finally, at a ceremony in the Senate House in Cambridge on 29th April 2017 Carolyn was awarded a PhD for her dissertation An investigation into the introduction and use of coal-tar derived dyes to colour food, 1856-1914.

Carolyn now has been awarded a Research Fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge to pursue her studies of food history. She is a Council Member of the Society of the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, and spoke at one of their conferences recently at the Royal Institution, London. She is also speaking at the British Society for the History of Science annual conference in York in July 2017.

Carolyn was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in 2016 for her work on coastal management, integrated planning and community engagement. She is a Governor of the Matthew Arnold Secondary School in Staines and worked part-time as a volunteer for a homeless refuge 2015-2017.


The Trust is pleased to record the following recent acquisitions:

‘The Sprain’d Ankle’, an original watercolour signed by Richard Cobbold (1797-1877) measuring about 260mm x 210mm in a heavy wooden frame painted 1850.

A Marriage Register for St Mary Key, Ipswich for 1813 to 1837.

An original watercolour of The Lodge, Felixstowe dated about 1840, artist unknown.

An original watercolour by M. Bellamy of the Boat Inn, Woodbridge which closed in 1957 and is now a private dwelling.

In the Bosom of her Father, the Life & Death of Emily Bulwer Lytton by Henry Lytton Cobbold and Mary Letitia Greene.  Published by the 39 Production Company in 2 volumes having 992 pages and 465 images.

Photograph by Stearn of Cambridge of W. N. Cobbold, Corinthian and England footballer.

Tolly Cobbold Decimal Currency Calculator – “Thank goodness a pint is still a pint!”

Photograph of a Cobbold pub in Kersey, Suffolk with cyclists.  


We wrote a Cobbweb in August 2012 under the title An Olympic Centenary which highlighted the almost unbelievable talent of three generations of the Bournes; Gilbert (1861-1933) #4912 on the family tree; his son Robert (Bob) (1888-1938) and his son Robert (1918-1995).  In addition to being one of only 2 families who have provided three generations of oarsmen in the same boat (Oxford) they all had careers of exceptional merit.  Recent research has shown a gaping void in the story thus far.  Third generation, Robert had a younger brother, John Wilfrid (1922-1999) who possessed a talent every bit as formidable as that of his siblings and forebears.  Here is his story as entered on the family tree.

From his childhood, it was clear that Wilfrid had a remarkably powerful intellect.  While only 10 or 11, he would exchange Greek iambics with his elder brother during their pillow fights, and he never lost his gift for pointed quotation from the Classics.  But it is as a pillar of the Lord Chancellor's Department from 1956 to 1982 that he will be remembered.

The second son of Robert Bourne, MP for Oxford City, (#1187 on the family tree) and Lady Hester Bourne, eldest daughter of the fourth Earl Cairns and granddaughter of Lord Chancellor Cairns, he went, like his father and grandfather before him, to Eton, entering as a King's Scholar and becoming Newcastle Scholar and, in 1940, Captain of the School.  He obtained the Ella Stephens Greek Scholarship to New College, Oxford, and took a First in Mods in 1941 before joining up.

Commissioned in the Rifle Brigade, he served as signal officer with the 1st Battalion from November 1942 to May 1945, being demobilised in December 1945, and returning to Oxford to read Jurisprudence, in which he obtained another First.

He was called to the Bar in 1948, obtaining the Harmsworth and Eldon scholarships; was offered a seat in Stevenson's chambers, and joined the Oxford circuit.

In 1956, after eight years in chambers he entered the Lord Chancellor's Office at the age of 34 as one of the small group of lawyers working close to the Lord Chancellor.

He served for many years as secretary to the Law Reform Committee, where his speed and clarity of thought, deep knowledge of the law, and sound grasp of practicalities contributed much to reports such as the review of the law of evidence in civil cases, on which the Civil Evidence Act 1968 was based.

In 1977 he was appointed to the paired offices of Clerk of the Crown in Chancery and Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor.  This involved him in a good deal of administration, and brought him into contact with the Bar and the judiciary in his capacity as adviser on judicial and other appointments.  He took a lot of trouble over this, but was never a popular figure with that constituency, perhaps because he was a shy man and no extrovert.  Yet beneath his shyness Wilfrid Bourne was a very kind and generous person, taking great pleasure in his family and in teaching his grandchildren Pelmanism and racing demon.

John Wilfrid Bourne, barrister: called to the Bar, Middle Temple 1948; staff, Lord Chancellor's Office 1956-82; Principal Assistant Solicitor 1970-72; Deputy Secretary 1972-77; Clerk of the Crown in Chancery & Permanent Secretary 1977-82.  CB 1975, KCB 1979, QC 1981.

Abridged from The Independent 15th November 1999.

CHERRY HAMBRO immortalised by Noel CowardApril 2017

Lady Hambro, (#2333 on the family tree) who has died aged 83, was the widow of the banker and Tory grandee Lord Hambro, and before that an actress, model and television announcer, a fearless pilot in Tiger Moths and the first, trailblazing  fashion editor of the new Telegraph magazine in the 1960s.  She was the middle of three daughters of Sir John Huggins, the governor of Jamaica from 1943 to 1951.

Noel Coward once sat at the piano at King's House, the governor's residence, and made up a song about her.  It began: "Now Little Cherry Huggins was a glamorous soubrette / And everyone adored her from the vicar to the vet. / She seemed to try with eagerness to pass her school exam. / But everybody realised she didn't give a damn."

Cherry inherited her mother's blonde hair, good looks and drive: Jocelyn Stevens, publisher of Queen magazine, nicknamed her "the Bulldozer".  From Roedean she went to Rada, where she won the Silver Medal and took the professional name Cherry Hunter (because she was always hunting for a job).

She started her first proper job at Vogue in New York and London.  She spent her salary on flying lessons at Fairoakes Aero Club in Surrey, gaining a pilot's licence at the age of 22, an achievement which, along with her colourful personal life brought her to the attention of newspaper diarists.  Her flying career was not without incident.  A few days before she got her licence she luckily escaped harm in a car accident - "It was wet, I skidded, the car did a complete somersault, but I wasn't even scratched" she said and then almost crashed her aeroplane whilst taking off on a solo flight. 

She nearly married the dashing racing driver Mike Hawthorn, but decided against it, realising that cars would always be his first love.  He was killed in 1959 when his Jaguar careered into a tree off the A3 Guildford bypass.  Undaunted, she was soon engaged to her flying instructor, the aviation ace Peter Twiss DFC, the first man to fly at more than 1,000mph.  Their daughter Miranda was born the following August but the marriage was dissolved not long after.

In the late 1960s she joined John Anstey for the groundbreaking new colour supplement he was to launch and edit, Weekend Telegraph.  "Fashion had been so boring after the war" she remembered many years later.  "Suddenly women were sexually liberated.  We knew what to do with our bodies and we wanted to express our sense of freedom through fashion."  Not all fashion editors are stylish in person but Cherry was.  And she was serious about fashion.  She teamed up with photographer chums like David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson and Cecil Beaton to shoot bold photo spreads in faraway places.  She ran pictures of girls standing on ice bergs in Greenland, or in chiffon evening dresses underwater in the Bahamas, with weights tied to their ankles to sink them to the bottom and blasts of oxygen administered between shots.

At Salvador Dali's house at Cadaques in Spain she photographed his protegee, Amanda Lear, on rocks by the sea, dressed in Balenciaga. The erratic artist decided to pour petrol on the water and set light to it.  (We are not told what happened -Ed.).  Despite the exoticism of the locations, however, she felt that designs in those days had an essential simplicity.  "A dress is a dress," she would say.  "In my day they all ended up on the floor at the end of the night anyway."

After 10 years of this she was offered the editorship of Harpers& Queen magazine but she turned it down, because she had decided instead, in 1976, to marry Charles Hambro, later Lord Hambro, (whose mother was Pamela Cobbold 1900-1932).  Now she threw her energies into shooting parties, travelling and looking after Dixton Manor, Hambro's house in Gloucestershire, where she was said to provide the most delicious dinners in the county.

It was a happy marriage until his death in 2002 and the couple had a wide circle of friends.  She pushed her easy-going husband to take up new projects, such as improving the Conservative Party's finances as honorary treasurer.

Cherry Hambro's greatest pleasure was walking her beloved golden retrievers and she will be remembered as someone who spoke her mind, unedited.  She is survived by her daughter.

Abridged from the Daily Telegraph 15th April 2017


Now enjoying well earned retirement, Ringwould Jaguar was a superstar Australian Stock Horse bred by Jim and Augusta Saunders named after Ringwould House in Kent built by Sir John Soane in 1813 for Augusta’s 4 x great grandfather, the Rev. John Monins (#4023 on the family tree). We will return to our equine subject in a moment but firstly we should just touch on the relationship of the Cobbolds to 4 great historic families: Monins, Chevallier, Kitchener and Tatton-Brown.

Rev. John (1786-1853) had a son, Rev. Richard Eaton Monins (1813-1852) who married Emily Chevallier (1824-1893). Their son, Major Henry (Joe) Monins (1851-1920) married Edith (Edie) Cobbold (1863-1947). Their daughter, Adela Monins (1893-1986) who was born at Ringwould married Capt. H F C Kitchener (1878-1928) who became Viscount Broome on the death of Lord Kitchener in 1916 and their daughter, Lady Kenya Kitchener (born 1923) married Capt J S Tatton Brown (1905-1971). Their daughter, Augusta Tatton Brown (born 1955) married Jim Saunders (1935-2012) whose mother was also a Tatton-Brown.

A synopsis of Ringwould Jaguar’s career has recently been entered as Augusta’a biography paragraph at #2100 on the family tree but the following vignette about him and his rider, Sonja Johnson shows what a gutsy pair they were right from the beginning.

This is one of the best photos of Ringwould Jaguar, taken in 2004 at Sydney, the selection event for the Athens Olympics. He had had a near fall on the cross country; there was a bounce going into the water, he had met bounces into water at the last two courses, all similar big rails, so he over jumped (that’s what you use bounces for, to make them sharper) and just about went under water on landing. Sonja was washed off (she has a series of spectacular photos) but he didn’t fall, so they were able to carry on. At the next water, she took a longer route to be ‘safe’ and he stepped into a hole with his off hind. Twisted the hock, said “OUCH” so she pulled him away from the fence, but he then was OK so they carried on. Finished the course, passed the vet, and then he said ‘by the way my hock hurts so much you’d better get the float to take me back to the stables’. Of course Sonja went into panic mode, called on all the team, vet, farrier, physio etc, got an X-ray machine brought in, which showed no major damage, so they did ice and tens machine most of the night and next morning he passed trot-up! Then he was the only horse to jump two clear rounds in the SJ, (New format for Athens); so incredibly brave of him! Of course next morning it was swollen and barely moving so he couldn’t go to Athens, which is why they went on to win their second World Cup qualifier at Warwick (the first one was at Melbourne in June) and then fund-raise to go to Pau where they enjoyed further success. They were the only combination to have won two qualifiers. Remarkable!

They later became Olympic Silver Medallists.


It is very unusual in publishing circles for the same text to be published the same year under the same title by two different authors, but this is what happened in 1912 with Wayfarers in the Libyan Desert.

Many family members will be familiar with this first book by Lady Evelyn Cobbold (#308 on the family tree) 1867-1963, (there were two more to follow) which is, as the title suggests a travelogue, presented in diary form, of her expedition with Frances Alexander between 23rd February and 13th March, 1911.  (This is more than 3 years before her famous meetings with T E Lawrence in Sinai in1914 and Cairo in 1915).

Lady Evelyn’s version was published in London by Arthur L. Humphreys.  The Trust has known that another version was published in America but had not seen it until a copy was acquired this month.  This was published by G.P.Putnam’s Sons – The Knickerbocker Press – in New York also in 1912.  Although differences in the text itself are mainly cosmetic there are substantial differences in pagination, chapter titles and in picture selection and captioning, presumably to make it more acceptable to trans-Atlantic readers.

The other mystery is who was Frances Gordon Alexander and how did she and Lady Evelyn know each other well enough to undertake such an expedition; and did they stay in touch afterwards?  Our researches, such as they are, suggest that Frances was a member of New York society who had married Allen Gouverneur Wellman the year before the expedition.  The American version was sufficiently well regarded to be taken into the Library of Congress.  The Trust would love to hear from anyone who has light to shed on this matter.

This small extract from the opening chapter of Evelyn’s book gives a flavour of their experience.  We are two pilgrims, seeking warmth and sunshine, only too anxious to shed the dust of Cairo from our feet.  With joyous anticipation we enter the motor that whirls us along the shaded avenue to Mena, that long road where East and West jostle.  Behind the great hotel, on the edge of the desert, a medley of Bedouins, camels and donkeys are waiting – the little world that will convey us into the unknown desert.

Our caravan consists of twelve baggage camels, two dromedaries, a sand-cart and pony, and five riding donkeys, while our Arab retinue number twenty-three, without including our dragoman, Fadlallah, and his small son Toulba, who soon deservedly earns the name of Terrible.  We have four sleeping tents for our maids and ourselves, kitchen and dining tents, and a smaller one, carried on a dromedary, to be pitched during the day, while we take lunch and siesta.

Lady Evelyn was 43 at that time.

St. MARY at the QUAY, IPSWICHMarch 2017

Recently re-branded as Quay Place this glorious Ipswich church built in the 1540s provides space for events, meetings and wellbeing therapies brought about by a partnership between Suffolk Mind and the Church Conservation Trust with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Its former wealth, reflected in fine decoration and carving and a spectacular double hammer beam roof, stems from its dockside position and the patronage of prosperous merchants. Thomas Pounder and Henry Tooley graced its congregation and Thomas Eldred prayed here prior to one of the first circumnavigations of the world.

Generally Cobbolds chose St. Clement’s for their nuptials but examination of entry no. 123 of the St. Mary’s Marriage Register (1813-1837) reveals the union by licence of Rev. John Edge Daniel (#4328 on the family tree), single man and Mary Aldrich (#4327), single woman on 1st January 1830. The officiating minister was Rev. Spencer Cobbold (#69). Most entries are witnessed by just 2 or 3 family members but in this case, for no apparent reason, no less than 14 signed the register. Was this simply a display of popularity or might John’s father, Rear-Admiral Hierarchus Daniel have lived up to his name and ordered a 3-line whip?

Those signing included Mary’s father John Aldrich (#87); her brother John Cobbold Aldrich (#3778); her sister Sarah Elizabeth Aldrich (#4329); her cousin Harriet Cobbold (#132) and Rev. Thomas Cobbold (#51) father of the Officiating Minister. The surprising absentee is Mary’s mother Mary Cobbold (#86) although the marriage took place some 9 years before her death. Another 10 family members from both sides signed.

Interestingly the register is titled St. Mary Key, Ipswich and many of the entries are similarly identified. Is this a variation in spelling or does it derive from the church’s location on Key Street? This wedding took place some 12 years before construction of the adjacent Wet Dock, opened when John Chevallier Cobbold (#114) was Mayor and for which he was a commissioner. The overmantle from Thomas Eldred’s house in Fore St which celebrates his exploits was donated by the family to Christchurch Mansion where it can be seen to this day.


Simon Heffer writing in the Daily Telegraph earlier this month reminds us that the Wool Churches of East Anglia are not only a testament to man’s self interested route to heaven but also a legacy of glorious architectural experience.  Holy Trinity, Long Melford in Suffolk he says has long taken the garland for the finest wool church of all, and deservedly so.  Here Edward Cobbold, 1798-1860 (#108 on the family tree) was Rector from 1830 until his death.

 “Seen majestic on its eminence beyond a vast greensward as one approaches from the great mile-long village street, it could be a cathedral.  The village’s cloth merchants funded its building in the last decades of the 15th century, developing an older, smaller church that had stood since the 1380s.  The names of those merchants – notably the Clopton family – are engraved on the walls, enjoining those who read them to pray for their souls, over the fine perpendicular windows for which they paid, and in the Lady Chapel.

Outside, the most elaborate flushwork abounds, and an upward feeling is given not just by the tower (which was raised still further by Bodley in the 1890s) but by the many windows in the elevations.  Inside, one gets an overwhelming sense of distance – the nave and chancel combined are 153ft long – and then notices the fine furnishings, mostly 19th century but lacking that cultural vandalism with which Victorians so often approached church restoration.  Then one takes in the superb stained glass, some of it 15th century depicting some of the church’s donors kneeling in prayer: there is no better medieval glass in Suffolk.

Above all, the church abounds in fine funerary monuments, not least to one of those donors, John Clopton, who died in 1497, and lies in a chest of Purbeck marble”.


Through the years 2014 to 2018 our minds rightly remember the events a century ago.  There are many War Memorials commemorating the brave young men to whom we owe our freedom, but there are not that many to the women who cared for the sick and wounded.

One such person is Daphne Marian Jervis-White-Jervis (#1444 on the family tree) who was born, a twin, at Freston Hall, Suffolk.  In her late teens she became a member of Suffolk Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) 46, and at the personal invitation of the Duchess of Atholl she went to work as an unpaid orderly in the auxiliary military hospital which had been set up in the ballroom at Blair Castle.  Whilst there she contracted and died of WWI ‘flu’ on 10th January 1919.  Her name is recorded on the Freston war memorial erected by public subscription in 1921 which depicts Victory with a laurel wreath in one hand with the other raised to the heavens indicating the source of that victory.

Another is Stella Willoughby Savile Cobbold née Cameron (#348) of whom The Times correspondent wrote in 1918: “Military hospitals owe so much to the work of war hospital supply depots that I would pay a last tribute to Stella Willoughby Savile Cobbold, who died at Boston after a short illness on December 2nd.  Mrs Cobbold inaugurated the first of such organizations at Ipswich on August 7th 1914, and within a week had contrived to get a large number of drugs and dressings to the front. This example was speedily followed in other places, and many of the largest organisations throughout the country owe their inspiration to meetings addressed by Mrs Cobbold.

She never refused to help or admitted the existence of any difficulty of transport or otherwise that could not be overcome.  Owing to family reasons connected with the war Mrs Cobbold was latterly obliged to take a smaller share in public work.  She was the daughter of Dr and Mrs C Cameron, and the wife of Lieutenant-Colonel C J F Cobbold.”

Both died of WWI ‘flu’ within a few weeks of each other.


John (#5218 on the family tree), born in Ellesmere, Shropshire in 1924, married in Cockermouth, Cumberland in 1947 was lost at sea in 1950. He had joined the RAF and risen to the rank of Flight Sergeant and was with 202 Squadron (based at Aldergrove) on a meteorological flight 15 miles off Barra Head in the Outer Hebrides when his plane, a Halifax ST 798 was lost on December 29th.

The crew members on the plane were: 

  • Sqn. Ldr. Terence Anthony Cox (Pilot)
  • Plt. Off. Donald Nattris (Pilot)
  • Sgt. Edward Arthur Keeble (Navigator)
  • Flt. Sgt. John Henry Cobbold (Signaller)
  • Sgt. John Frederick Stanley (Signaller)
  • Sgt. William Richard Martindale (Engineer)
  • Sgt. Stuart Gordon Purches (Air Met. Observer)
  • Sgt. Gerald Walklate (Air Met. Observer)

The cause of the crash has never been determined but some reports suggested the Halifax was on fire before impact. On 16th January 1951 a Fleetwood trawler, Milford Countess was fishing 20 miles west of Castle Bay, Barra when they found the body of Squadron Leader Terence Anthony Cox DSO DFC in their nets with some debris from the plane. Cox had married the daughter of a London doctor the previous March. The other crew members have not been found.


The Trust is organising The Cobbold History Charity Ride 2017 to take place on 30th April 2017 starting and finishing at Holywells, Ipswich IP3 0PG. It is a non competitive ride for Family and Friends comprising 3 routes: long, medium and short, (the longest about 100+ km) to allow for all competence levels. Under 18s will have to show parental consent and under 16s must be accompanied by a adult.

The warning order is being sent out now with first details.

If you would like to receive a copy of the warning order (without commitment) please email

Our picture shows 12 Cobbolds who rode for the Stroke Association in May 2014. They had a great ride!

SILKEN STRANDS 2January 2017

The Trust is pleased to record the following purchases:

2 portraits of Sarah Frances Cobbold née Westhorp, #151 on the family tree and her husband Dr Rowland Townshend Cobbold #150, together with two silhouettes of Richard Moseley Westhorp #1973 and his wife Anne Clayton #1974.

3 brass Registered Office plates for Tollemache’s Breweries Limited; Cobbold & Co. Limited and Tollemache & Cobbold Breweries Limited; a quantity of Cobbold brewery ephemera and a quantity of the copper printing blocks used to create the Souvenir of the Bi-centenary of the Cliff Brewery, Ipswich for Cobbold & Co., 1723-1923

An original watercolour ‘The Ratcatcher’ by Emily Caroline Cobbold #157 painted in August 1843 just under 4 years before she married Reverend John Farr #158.

‘Rhymes on Passing Events – September 26th 1919 to June 26th 1920’ by W N Cobbold #289. This is a nasty modern reprint but better than nothing for the time being. It complements some of WNC’s original publications already held in the Trust.

‘My First International’ - being interesting reminiscences of famous footballers, including W N Cobbold #289 – published about 1910 by Cassell’s magazine.

A 4-page original manuscript by Elizabeth Cobbold #58 being the draft for a play or a poem. Elizabeth died in 1824.

The catalogue for ‘Life in Georgian England 1714-1830’ an exhibition in conjunction with Colchester and Ipswich Museums staged in Nanjing Museum, China which featured Thomas Gainsborough’s ‘Mrs Mary Cobbold with her daughter, Ann in a landscape with lamb and ewe’ c 1752,oil on canvas. Mary is #32 and Ann #46. This painting was the subject of the Trust’s annual greeting card in 2012.

A post card of a 1959 AEC Regent double deck bus HPV 36 advertising ‘TOLLY COBBOLD – Your local Beers are Best!’

A 1982 Kingsway Music 45 rpm vinyl ‘Heartbeat’ produced by Paul Cobbold and engineered by Paul Cobbold and Derek Murray.

A colour post card by Raphael Tuck (Art Publishers to their majesties The King and Queen) of ‘Cobbold’s Point to Bawdsey, Felixstowe’

A post card of the Old Manor House on St Margaret’s Green, Ipswich, dated about 1913.

A print of Margaret Catchpole’s Cottage, Brandeston.

SILKEN STRANDS 1January 2017

The Trust regrets that due to the volume of work resulting from web tree correspondence and administration (accounts, compliance etc.) it is no longer possible to record here full details of gifts with donors’ names. Accordingly the Trust wishes to warmly thank the following donors with the assurance that their gifts are greatly appreciated, listed in no particular order:


Financial Gifts

  • Shirley Fowley
  • Tim Cobbold
  • John Hallum
  • Charles & Kate Cobbold
  • Fiona Brodie
  • Nicoline Boxer
  • Pat Godbold
  • Rowell Bell
  • Dick & Jeannie Cobbold
  • T & P Milling
  • Bill Humphreys
  • Martin Riley
  • Alexandra Tatton-Brown
  • Paul Heap


Gifts in Kind (including information)

  • Friends of Christchurch Park
  • Friends of Wortham Church
  • Rowell & JoAnne Bell
  • Carolyn Cobbold
  • Felsted School
  • Caroline Markham
  • Bernard Girma
  • Russell Roe
  • Andrew Worrell
  • Chris heath
  • Amy Fletcher
  • Erika Bulow-Osborne
  • Serge Comini
  • Roger Jacobs
  • Ian Lennox
  • Neil Clayton
  • Peter Bell
  • Erica Burrows
  • Al Simpson
  • Malcolm Dyer
  • W E Cobbold
  • The Ipswich Society

 Donors who accidentally remain nameless – please forgive us.


The Trust offers sincere condolences to the sons of John Sedgwick Gregson GC (#10872 on the family tree) who died in New Zealand on Christmas day 2016. We wrote a Cobbweb about John in September last year and reproduce below his obituary from the Sunday Telegraph.

“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.


‘This is a fitting tribute to a great man’ wrote Ben Gummer, Ipswich’s MP following the unveiling of an Armillary Sphere Sundial restored in memory of Dr John Blatchly. We have written about John before but Ben Gummer’s words describe our feelings so completely that we reproduce them here.

“John was a true universal man. A scientist, teacher, headmaster and historian, there were few intellectual avenues to which he could not turn his remarkable and capacious mind. Not that you were made aware of it; he wore his learning very lightly, which in turn meant his wisdom shone through.

His study was the physical manifestation of his mind: books piled everywhere, a wide view over Ipswich from the window, and a desk with neat piles of paper on the many matters that he was writing about at that moment. This was an intelligence that was wide-ranging, open-minded but never chaotic.

That was not why we all miss him, however: the reason we miss John is because of his kindness, his generosity and his energy. I have learned more in this job than in anything else I have ever done, the greatest lesson being that one enthusiastic person gets more done than a thousand clever or well-meaning people. You can do nothing with intelligent thoughts or good intentions, not without the energy to make them happen. And that is why we all prized John so greatly.

He gave of his energy freely, even helping me every year with a local idea for the front of my Christmas card and a suitable description within. It was John who made Ipswich appreciate its great and admirable history once again. He was a local historian of the first rank – a man who understood our town and our county better than anyone and was able, crucially, to put that in the context of what was happening in the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, at the time.

He did it because he cared about Ipswich. He recognised history as important because it made us value not just our buildings and our collective past. That is why his regular articles for the East Anglian Daily Times mattered so much to him: they helped the people of Suffolk understand themselves a bit better, and the treasures that are inheritance.

More importantly still, it showed the people of Ipswich and of Suffolk what treasures there are in our county town and what a special history we enjoy – something we are prone to forget and some in the county are prone to ignore. This passion lived not just on the page but in stone. The formerly redundant churches of St. Lawrence, St. Nicholas, St. Peter and – soon St. Clement, owe their restoration and refurbishment to John’s skilled and impassioned chairmanship of the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust.

The lovely sculpture of Thomas Wolsey, our most famous kinsman, is on Curzon Plain only because John made it so. John’s energy made things happen and it was an energy that was infectious. Five minutes in his company was always five minutes well spent, and you always left feeling better than when you started.

All of which means that his loss is a grievous one for Ipswich. We miss him immensely. How lovely to commemorate this universal man with an armillary sphere – a globe sundial – in Christchurch Park. A man of learning, of wisdom, of energy and of light”.


The Trust was pleased to be present, along with many colleagues, at the unveiling of the Armillary Sphere Sundial in the Ipswich Lower Arboretum restored by public subscription (ourselves included) in memory of the great Dr John Blatchly. John, a former headmaster of Ipswich School who wrote the foreword for Cobbold & Kin, was a good friend of the Trust and would have approved enthusiastically.

This sundial’s exact origin is obscure but it was probably installed by the Fonnereau family as the centre-piece of the gardens on the north-west side of Christchurch’s Wilderness Pond. Over the years it fell victim to at least one reorganisation and ended up in a sorry state at the back of Christchurch Mansion. Its restoration was led by David Miller, the equally enthusiastic Chairman of the Friends of Christchurch Park.

Armillaries date back to ancient times and without going into excessive detail they are designed to show Apparent Solar Time. Adjustments are necessary to compensate for the Earth’s oval orbit around the sun and of course for its distance from the Greenwich meridian. Correctly positioned the gnomon arrow (the part which casts a shadow) will point at the North Star; but what a sad reflection of our times that our newly restored armillary was denied this most important part on grounds of the ubiquitous health & safety regulations!

The restoration work on the plinth was carried out by Suffolk Masonry Services and that on the armillary itself by expert, Robert Foster. Lifechart’s proprietor, Martin Surgey, one of our trustees, designed and produced an excellent interpretation board similar to those produced for Holywells Park.

CHRISTMAS 201616th December 2016

Here’s wishing all our family, friends and visitors a very Happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year! 


Our family tree includes a number of people who have achieved great success in their lives but remained relatively unknown to the world at large.  One such person is General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey GBE KCB DSO MC who is #11336 on the tree.

By the start of the Second World War he had reached the rank of lieutenant colonel and was commanding officer of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.  In November he was promoted to command the 13th Infantry Brigade, attached to the 5th Infantry Division, itself part of the British Expeditionary Force in France.  In common with other Allied units his brigade was forced back to Dunkirk, where it provided part of the rear-guard for the evacuation.  For his part in the evacuation Dempsey was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.  He had already been awarded a Military Cross on the Western Front in 1914.

In December 1942 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and commanded XIII Corps of the British Eighth Army during the North Africa Campaign.  He subsequently helped to plan the invasion of Sicily and personally led the assault on Sicily in 1943.  He later led the invasion of Italy across the Strait of Messina, in which his troops advanced more than 300 miles to the north before linking up with American troops at Salerno.  In North Africa, Sicily and Italy, Dempsey had gained a reputation for his expertise in Combined Operations.  This prompted Bernard Montgomery, his commanding officer, to select him to command the British Second Army in January 1944.

The Second Army was the main British force (although it also included Canadian Army units) involved in the D-Day landings, making successful assaults on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches on 6th June 1944.  Second Army made a rapid advance across France into Belgium, liberating Brussels and Antwerp in September.  On 15th October 1944, during a visit to the Second Army, King George VI knighted Dempsey on the battlefield.  It is thought he is the last person to have been so honoured by an English King on the battlefield.  Because of the fast and successful advance of more than 200 miles in a week Dempsey got the nickname “Two Hundred Miles” Dempsey.


Nicknamed ‘The Salamanda’ by Churchill for his love of fire and astonishing ability to survive, Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg (#3174 on the family tree) was honoured last week, on 5th November, 100 years to the day after he was awarded the last Victoria Cross of the Somme. Out in front he led his battalion in the capture of Beaucourt-sur-l’Ancre, storming through heavy enemy machine-gun fire and through enemy trenches. Despite having been wounded four times he refused to leave the battlefield until he had issued final instructions to his men demonstrating what the London Gazette cited as his ‘personality, valour and utter contempt of danger’.

His memory was honoured with a blue plaque at his childhood home, 8 Dynevor Road in Richmond unveiled at a special ceremony attended by his descendants and the High Commissioner of New Zealand. As a part of the ceremony a commemorative paving stone outside Richmond Station was also unveiled by the Mayor of Richmond and the present Lord Freyberg (#2401). One minute’s silence was observed, Last Post was played and a wreath was laid by Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry who himself received a Victoria Cross for bravery in Iraq in 2004.

Bernard Freyberg was arguably the most wounded man in the British Army; it is said that barely an inch of his body remained unscathed which sadly led to some ill health. Despite this he was a most successful Governor-General of New Zealand from 1945 until 1952 and later Lieutenant-Governor and Deputy-Constable of Windsor Castle. The Trust has written previously about the 1st Baron Freyberg in January 2009.

All pictures Crown Copyright

REMEMBRANCE DAY 2016 ...November 2016

The Trust believes it has a significant duty to remember, alongside all family members, those who gave their lives for our freedom in two World Wars.

Accordingly we will again post our annual memorial in the Daily Telegraph under the heading IN MEMORIAM THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE on Friday 11th November and this will be repeated in a special section of the Sunday Telegraph two days later.  The names and some details of the 48 Cobbolds killed in both wars may be found at:


We have also placed a cross in the Royal British Legion Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey which will be found in plot 266.  This is beside the footpath from the north gate to the north door of the Abbey, opposite St. Margaret’s.

Our pictures show the Field of Remembrance and our cross from a previous year.

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