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 17

Where are the poppies now?September 2017

Anthony Cobbold’s story

I’m the Keeper of The Cobbold Family History Trust,   Having marched down Whitehall with 8 family members to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, my eldest son bought a ‘Tower of London’ poppy for the Trust.  Later I laid another wreath at the Menin Gate to commemorate the 35 Cobbolds who died in WWI and it reflected the Trust’s values to frame and preserve that poppy.

In addition to the poppy itself and its certificate, the framed tribute includes a picture of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red and, importantly, the names, regiments and death dates of every one of those 35 fatalities.

The Trust believes that we must understand the past for the benefit of future generations.  If a family history trust is ‘for family – for ever’ then remembering family members who made the ultimate sacrifice is prime.

This poppy is doing the work of 35.

Anthony Cobbold

September 2017

Note:  Anthony Cobbold is a first cousin (twice removed) of Field Marshal Plumer GCB., GCMG., GCVO., GBE., who inaugurated the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres on Sunday 24th July 1927.  Hence his visit had special poignancy.

Silken StrandsAugust 2017

The Trust is pleased to have acquired the following items: 

  • An Election Poster for the Ipswich Constituency for the General Election on 12th January 1906 promoting Felix Cobbold (#201 on the family tree) and Daniel Ford Goddard, the successful Liberal candidates.
  • An advertising card dated c.1882 issued by the Brown Chemical Co of Baltimore promoting Brown’s Iron Bitters – The Best Tonic, featuring Lillie Langtry (#1243), The Jersey Lily.
  • Seven books by James Runcie (#3786) bringing the Trust’s collection up to date.
  • Profile Warship 16, HM Submarine UPHOLDER, published 1972, the ship captained by David Wanklyn VC DSO** RN (#9837)
  • Centenary of the First World War – Passchendale – the Third Battle of Ypres – 31st July 2017 – the gift of Vanessa Griffith (#8606) who attended the Commemoration.
  • The Golden Hour by Claire Belberg who is a family member but cannot be identified as she writes under a pseudonym.
  • Three Cobbold & Co / Cobbold & Co Ltd. Brewery ledgers – Town (1905), Country (1908) and Private (1934)

The Trust would like to thank everyone who took part in or donated or helped in any way with the most successful Cobbold History Charity Ride earlier this year.

SIR THOMAS PLUMER (1753-1824)August 2017

Sir Thomas Plumer(#855 on the family tree) came to public attention largely because of his success in two important legal cases; those of Sir Thomas Rumbold, Governor of Madras in 1783 and of Warren Hastings, whose case has the distinction of being one of the longest in British legal history between 1788 and 1795.

He was born in October 1753 in Ironmonger Lane, London, son of Thomas Plumer, a London wine merchant, of Lilling Hall in Yorkshire.  He was despatched to Eton and later University College, Oxford where he was Vinerian Scholar in 1777, the same year as he entered Lincoln’s Inn being called to the Bar in 1778.  He was elected a fellow of University College in 1780 and was awarded the Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 1783

In addition to his successful defence of Sir Thomas Rumbold and Warren Hastings he also successfully defended Viscount Melville against impeachment in 1806 and assisted in the defence of the Prince of Wales the same year.  By 1807 he was Solicitor General, had been knighted and was the MP for Downton in Wiltshire.  He became Attorney General in 1812 and Vice Chancellor of England the following year.  1818 saw him appointed Master of the Rolls, a post in which he served until he died in 1824.  He was buried in the Rolls Chapel on 1st April that year.

His granddaughter, Fanny Hannah married Sir Harry Parkes (#849/50) and his great grandson became the famous WWI Field Marshal Lord Plumer (#2546).  It was the latter’s daughter, Eleanor Mary Plumer (#2555), champion of women’s education, who pioneered St Andrew’s Hall (1927-1931) and later became Principal of St. Anne’s College, Oxford from 1940 to 1953.  Amongst St. Anne’s recent graduates was Jack Cobbold (#1038)

A fine portrait of Sir Thomas (artist uncertain) came on the market recently.  The provenance was good in that the picture was identified as coming from his mother’s family, the Thompsons of Kirby Hall in Yorkshire.  It will be seen from the many connections mentioned above that The Cobbold Family History Trust would have been a most appropriate final resting place for the portrait but it was beyond the Trust’s means.  However, the story has a happy ending; the picture was purchased by a family member and its safety is assured.

Lt. Cdr. DAVID WANKLYN VC DSO** RNAugust 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 (#9837 on the family tree) 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 hime 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 hr 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. 

HOLYWELLSAugust 2017

Brewery Display and a ‘new’ picture

As part of our ongoing commitment to, and support for, Holywells Park the Trust is happy to have loaned, free of charge, a display of Tolly Cobbold and earlier brewery items which is housed in the old stables.  The items are a part of the collection built up by the Trust over the past few years.

Earlier this month The Ipswich Society was host to members of the Suffolk Preservation Society for an afternoon visit to Holywells park.  Guests enjoyed a walk in the park led by Adrian Howlett whose knowledge of the park far exceeds that of anybody else before returning to the Stables Café for tea.  Thereafter the Trust gave an illustrated talk about the 5 generations of the Cobbold family who occupied Holywells Mansion between 1814 and 1929.

The Trust recently acquired four sepia prints from the 1840s, three of Holywells and one of Cliff House, Felixstowe.  As these have not been seen before we show below one of Holywells dated 1845 which indicates little change since 1820 but is prior to the major changes made in the 1860s.


Glemham Hall, built around 1560 is a fine Elizabethan house bought by the Cobbold family in 1923 for Col. John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold (1897-1944) (#448 on the family tree) and now owned by his grandson Maj. Philip Hope-Cobbold ;(#577), is home to a wonderful range of events this summer, listed in the programme shown below.


April 1848. Europe in the flames of Revolution. The 19-year-old daughter of England’s greatest living author lies dying alone in a boarding house in Brompton. All the dreams of her short life shattered, a clandestine visit by the mother she has not seen in 10 years leaves her dead – her story forgotten, her mystery unsolved.

Henry Lytton Cobbold breaks into the mausoleum at Knebworth House – literally – to uncover the life and death of the first of his ancestor Edward Bulwer Lytton’s forgotten children…and finds a remarkable girl whose story is more dramatic and gothic than the most sensational of her father’s bestsellers.

A bittersweet exploration into real-life Victorian melodrama, blending original letters and manuscripts, modern detective work, humour and a deftness of touch with the dark truths of a heartbreaking family tragedy

This is a huge book in every sense. It comes in two volumes and has 992 pages and 465 images but much more importantly it is a hugely rewarding read which has appeal to at least three quite separate audiences. It is a ‘must’ for the literary historian who cannot forego the behind-the-scenes look at England’s greatest living author. For the family history man and woman, withdrawal symptoms are inevitable when it is put down and for the general reader there is the sheer fascination of the detective story as it ebbs and flows on its way to the known conclusion.

That the content is addictive is as nothing compared with the way the reader is gently led from page to page, as if by the hand, in a style of writing that never speaks at you but is always beside and encouraging you.

On all levels this is an outstandingly good book.

Anthony Cobbold. June 2017

CANADA: ALIVE, WELL and still WRITING!...May 2017

Peg, now in her 98th year lives in a seniors’ apartment in Waterloo and stars as a 'bright young thing' in their advertising, enticing viewers to “Come join the FUN.” But, that is not all; she has just completed her second book Travelling to Music which beautifully describes her adventurous trip to Europe as a chaperone to 67 teenaged band students for 7 weeks in 1962. With their first venue the Albert Hall this book is 150 pages of compelling narrative with hundreds of pictures and the Trust is delighted to have a signed copy in its library.

What happened after Jack chopped down the beanstalk and defeated the giant? You can’t expect there to be no consequences can you? Jack and the Beanstalk Continued is Shirley Fowley’s answer. It’s a small book but great fun and has a happy ending when Jack retires to a condo in the Carib-bean, and lives happily and bean-free ever after. Again the Trust is pleased to have a signed copy in its library along with about another 500 books by or about family members.

To buy either of these books email Shirley:


(#539 on the family tree)

Due in part to a new computer following an unpleasant scam your Keeper is behind with his work. His temper is not improved by the new machine having an upgraded Windows operating system.

The best birthday card this year pretty much sums up the current situation!


(#1492 on the family tree)

We are pleased to report a new website put up by potter, Margaret Tatton-Brown (#1492) in London. Our photograph shows Margaret at work in her studio. Every piece is handmade and fired to 1,260°C which means that they are not only strong but oven and dishwasher safe also.

Margaret’s pots celebrate the happiness generated by the sharing of food with friends and much of her inspiration is drawn from the natural world, particularly that found in her garden.

A few examples of her work are shown here but for many more please go to her website You will not be disappointed.


(#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.

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