Author Archives: Peter Strutt

General Sir Francis Warde, KCB





Their pedestal memorial stands at the front of the church in front of the South Transept.

General Sir Francis Warde:

Francis Warde was born c.Dec 1790, Westerham, Kent,
almost certainly at Squerryes, the Warde family seat.
Warde Family Tree: (From
Francis married Annabella Adeane 14 December 1832 at St Marylebone (Middx).
1841 Census: Living in Shooters Hill Plumstead.  His wife, Annabella, is described as “Ann Ward”, His Occupation is “Army”. Both showed their birthplace as “Kent”.

12 May 1866. Made Colonel Commandant Royal Artillery,
1871 Census: Widower, with a manservant at Cambridge Terrace, Paddington,
Occupation: Lieutenant-General (Retd.) 15th Brigade Royal Horse Artillery.
May 1873: Knight Commander of the Bath.
Died at Reading, May 1879. Aged 89, Buried, Holy Trinity, Penn Street, Bucks.

Annabella Adeane:

Parents: Robert Jones Adeane (1763-1823) of Babraham Hall, Cambridge.
High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire, 1822-23.
He married, 26 August 1785, Annabella, daughter of Sir Patrick Blake, 1st bt,
of Langham Hall (Suffolk), four children:
I. Charles-James, b. 14 June, 1786; d. young.
II. HENRY-JOHN, heir to his father.
III. Annabella, (1787-1864), baptised at Langham (Suffolk), 1 July 1787;
married Lieut.-Gen. Sir Francis Warde, 14 December 1832,
at St Marylebone (Middx), no children;
IV. Louisa, m. Rev. William Barlow, Prebendary of Chester.

Annabella Adeane died 28th January, 1864, at Woodside Lodge,
now known as Woodrow High House, Amersham, Bucks..

General Sir Francis Warde: Military Career

2nd Lieut 4 March 1809. 1st Lieut 8 March 1812. 2nd Captain 3 July 1830.
Captain 15 June 1840. Bt Major 9 November 1846. Lieut Colonel 7 May 1847.
Colonel 13 September 1854. Major General 8 March 1860.
Lieut-General 24 August 1866. General 15 Apr 1877

Served in the Peninsula War, June 1812 – Apr 1814.  (Between Napoleon’s empire & Bourbon Spain for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars). (Brigade Major 6/9th Brigade April- October 1813.
Assistant Adjutant-General, October 1813 – April 1814).
Present at siege of Cadiz.

Present at Waterloo, 18 June 1815 in Lieut Colonel Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross’s Troop & with the Army of Occupation.
Served in Malta 1830 -­1832.
Colonel Commandant Royal Artillery, 12 May 1866.
Knight Commander of the Bath, May 1873.

From ‘Wellington’s Men Remembered, Volume 2’

Waterloo 200

June 18th 2015 at 11 am officers and soldiers from the 1st regiment – Royal Horse Artillery based at Larkhill, gathered at Holy Trinity Penn Street to lay a wreath in honour of General Sir Francis Warde, who fought in the Battle of Waterloo. This wreath laying mirrors the act of remembrance by the Royal Artillery exactly 100 years ago on 18th June 1915 despite WW1, and the wreath is the same design, featuring laurel, corn-flowers and red roses. The ceremony was conducted by Lt/Col Nick Launders, who spoke of the Battle of Waterloo when Wellington led a united international army from a number of European nations fighting against the ambitions of a dictator wishing to control Europe. The event was coordinated with the help of Stuart Reid of the High Wycombe branch of the RA Association.

Penn Street & Holmer Green church newsletter 5/7/2015.

Sir Alan Hughes Burgoyne MP

Lieut-Colonel Sir Alan Hughes Burgoyne, was MP for Aylesbury, and died in office in aged 45, 26th April 1929.  His funeral and burial at Penn Street was held on 1st May 1929, The Revd. E.M. Davies (Vicar) and his predecessor, the Revd. Arthur Browning officiated.  Sir Alan’s wife, Lady Irene Victoria Easor, died just 9 months later, 12th February 1929, aged only 48.

Sir Alan and Lady Burgoyne lived at Finchers in Beamond End, and had a London town house at 33 Eaton Terrace.

A brief biography from the Australian Newspaper Archive: Trove:

“Sir Alan Burgoyne was born in1880 and completed his education at Queen’s College, Oxford. He was a man of varied interests and was prominent in parliamentary, scientific and naval spheres, and was a great traveller. He published several works on phases of the war, under the sea and on land, and founded the Navy League Annual in 1907. It was while in Port Arthur, in 1903, that he was arrested by the Russians on a false charge of spying. He was director of several commercial interests, which included the Australian Wine Importers, Ltd. He owns considerable property in Australia. During the war he served in France, Italy, Palestine and India, and was made a Lieut.-Colonel in 1918. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a skilled engineer, and a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society Council. He married in 1906, Irene Victoria Easor, second daughter of Earl Macdonald.”

There was a comprehensive full page report on Sir Alan’s life and work in The Bucks Examiner, Friday May 3rd, 1929. (PDF file 900k, opens in a new window) .

The striking Celtic Cross memorial stands at the rear of the Church.

Ellen Wilkinson & The Twixtlands Five

From time to time the Penn & Tylers Green Residents Society receives enquiries from people outside the immediate area, usually concerning matters of local and social history, often linked to their own family stories …

One such enquiry, received just before Christmas, concerned the final resting place of one Ellen Cicely Wilkinson who with others lived in Penn Bottom in the Autumn of 1939. Now, I imagine Ellen was not typical of those that enjoyed the rural atmosphere of Penn Bottom between the wars, she was the MP for Jarrow, had led the Jarrow March and was a founder member of the British Communist Party, she had travelled to Russia and met Leon Trotsky, and following the Labour Party landslide in 1945 she became Minister for Education and died in office in 1947.

Although keeping a London flat she must have retained fond memories of Penn as she is buried in Holy Trinity Penn Street.

However, there is still more to be told, as Ellen shared the house in Penn Bottom – known as Twixtlands – with other notable socialists of the era.

Probably best known was Herbert Stanley Morrison, he of the Morrison shelter widely promoted and used in WW2. One-time leader of the London County Council, he became Home Secretary in the Coalition Government 1940-1945 and then Deputy Prime Minister in Clement Attlee’s 1945-1951 Labour Government.

The third Labour MP present that Autumn was John Jagger who had represented Manchester Clayton since 1935, a committed trade unionist he became Morrison’s PPS in 1940 until his death in a road accident 1942.

This accident took place in Clay Street Penn Bottom when his auto-cycle collided with a motor car driven by a local farmer, Jagger was on his way to Beaconsfield station to catch a London train.

The remaining two residents were Anne & Doris Wilkinson, sister & sister-in-law to Ellen, Anne was a staunch supporter of her sister throughout her political career both sharing various London addresses for many years.

Ellen Wilkinson 1947 and her sister Anne, 1965 (Front of Church)

So, within Twixtlands had resided political figures of considerable national & international reputation and there had been iconic visitors as well, Mahatma Gandhi among them … and yes it still stands today as Little Penn Farmhouse

This article would not have been possible without reference to the “1939 Register”, it provided the Government with a snapshot of the civilian population of England & Wales just after the outbreak of WW2.

It was taken on 29th September 1939 and was used in the introduction of Identity Cards & Ration Books. It later played an important role in the launch of the NHS. It can be viewed on both the Find my Past and Ancestry websites.

Ron Saunders, P&TG Village Voice, February/March 2019.

Ellen Wilkinson died 6 February 1947, aged 55, at St Mary’s Hospital, London and was buried in Penn Street churchyard, 10th February, 1947.

There is a very comprehensive biography of Ellen Wilkinson on Wikipedia.

Sir Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver KBE

Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver was born 4 May 1890 in Johannesburg, the eldest of three sons of Hugh Edward Campbell Beaver, of Montgomeryshire, and his wife, Cerise, daughter of John Eyre, of Anglo/Irish extraction.  He was an engineer, industrialist, and founder of the Guinness World Records (then known as Guinness Book of Records).

Hugh Beaver was educated at Wellington College, Berkshire, after which he spent two years in the Indian Police force from 1910. In 1921 he returned to England, before joining Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, Engineers. In 1931 the firm was commissioned by the Canadian government to conduct a survey of its national ports. He spent seven months in Canada, during which time he was asked to supervise the rebuilding of the Port of St John, New Brunswick, which had been destroyed by fire. He was a partner of the firm from 1932–1942, and director general and controller general of the Ministry of Works from 1940–1945.

In 1946, he became a managing director of Arthur Guinness, Son and Co Ltd and stayed there until he retired in 1960.

He was greatly involved in the efforts to rebuild Britain and the British Empire after World War II, and was a co-opted member of Lord Reith’s Committee on New Towns 1946–1947, a member of the Building Industry Working Party 1948–1950, director of the Colonial Development Corporation 1951–1960.

Hugh Beaver was chairman of the Committee on Power Station Construction 1952–1953, where he advised on the Great Smog of 1952 in London. As a result of his advice on smog, he was made chairman of the Committee on Air Pollution 1953–1954, which resulted in the Clean Air Act 1956.

He was also interested in the promotion and application of science, and as a result was chairman of the Advisory Council on Scientific and Industrial Research 1954–1956, and chairman of the Industrial Fund for the Advancement of Scientific Education in Schools 1958–1963. With Sir Alan Wilson, he was a key sponsor of the creation of St Catherine’s College, Oxford by Alan Bullock.

He was knighted in 1943 and awarded a KBE in 1956. He also received honorary degrees from the University of Cambridge, Trinity College, Dublin, the National University of Ireland, and was made an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics in 1960. He also served as President of the Royal Statistical Society from 1959 to 1960. He died of heart failure in his London home, 16th January 1967.

Several generations of the Beaver family lived at Highlands, Cherry lane, Woodrow, Amersham.

Guinness Book of World Records

On 10 November 1951, Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, went on a shooting party in North Slob, by the River Slaney in County Wexford, Ireland. He became involved in an argument: Which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the golden plover or the grouse? That evening at Castlebridge house it was realised that it was not possible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe’s fastest game bird.

He thought that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in the 81,400 pubs in Britain and in Ireland, but there was no book with which to settle arguments about records. He realised then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular. He happened to be correct.

His idea became reality when Guinness employee Christopher Chataway recommended university friends Norris and Ross McWhirter, who had been running a fact-finding agency in London. The brothers were commissioned to compile what became the Guinness Book of Records in August 1954. A thousand copies were printed and given away.

After founding the Guinness Book of Records at 107 Fleet Street, the first 198-page edition was bound on 27 August 1955 and went to the top of the British best seller lists by Christmas. “It was a marketing give away – it wasn’t supposed to be a money maker” said Beaver. The following year it launched in the US, and sold 70,000 copies. Since then, Guinness World Records has gone on to become a record breaker in its own right, with sales of more than 100 million copies in 100 different countries and 37 languages, Guinness World Records is the world’s best selling copyrighted book ever.

Wikipedia and other sources.

No 53. The Revd John Grainger, Vicar of Penn 1860-98 (cont.)

It is a full year since my last article about the arrival in Penn of the Revd John Grainger, and the many changes which he made  to  the  interior  of  the  church,  inspired  by  the  Oxford  Movement with its advocacy of a higher degree of ceremony in  worship  to  bring  it  nearer  to  that  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church. This also required ‘improvements’ to the fabric  of the church, which in effect meant the removal of any feature which was not in accord with the ideal of the architecture of the medieval Decorated period (c.1280-1380).

Thus,  as  I  noted  before,  two  galleries  were  removed,  a  two-storey  south  porch  was  taken  down  and  the  three-decker  pulpit  was  removed.  In  addition,    an  altar,  carrying  a  cross  and  candlesticks,  was  restored  after  more  than  three centuries,  although the altar was of wood rather than stone  as  it  would  have  been  before  the  Reformation.
The  eagle  lectern,  another  reversion  to  medieval  tradition,  may  have been installed around this time and the black and red Victorian tiles laid on all the floors.  The natural colour of the  oak  of  the  roof  timbers  still  survives  in  the  tower,  but  elsewhere they were stained black, probably at this stage.  The very fine, early 18th century pulpit, oak with marquetry, arrived  from  the  Curzon  chapel  in  Mayfair  when  it  was  closed in 1899.

The photograph is of a water-colour of the exterior of Penn Church by Henry Zeigler (1793-1874). He was a leading painter in his day and taught Queen Adelaide,  the wife of William IV, to whom the 1st Earl Howe was  Lord Chamberlain. The painting shows the church as it was in c.1860, just before the first significant changes were made to it since the 1730s, and  was  presumably  commissioned  for  that  reason.  The  east window was still the ‘Road to Emmaus’, installed in the 1730s and set in a brick wall.  Both were soon to be taken down and replaced with a more suitably Gothic window set in the knapped black flint fashionable at the time.

The two lancet windows in the north wall were presumably regarded  as  too  early  and  too  primitive,  and  so  the  single  lancet  was  blocked  in  (to  be  rediscovered  in  1952)  and the double lancet was replaced by a copy of the late 15th century clerestory (higher level) window on the other side of the porch. The three-light brick window in the clerestory the other side of the porch was rebuilt as a copy of the other two original 15th century clerestory windows and the lower brick window was filled in. All these changes were aimed at  producing    a  symmetrical  all-Gothic  appearance  to  the  church as you approach from the main road.

On  the  far  side  of  the  church,  Two  semi-dormer  windows  were  put  in  the  south  isle,  presumably  replacing  either  worn  out  original  14th  century  windows  or  unacceptable  later replacements.

The  first  Earl  Howe  paid  for  this  work  and  one  wonders whether his money was well spent. Fortunately, our mainly 14th-century aisle and tower were seen as correct, so what happened in Penn was only a modest example of Victorian restoration,    when    well-intentioned,  but    over-zealous    concerns to sweep away the past often carried away much of value that contributed to the atmosphere of the church.  In other local churches, such as Beaconsfield and Amersham, very little is visible of  the former medieval church.

Penn Church, North East view, c.1860, by Henry Zeigler (1793-1874).

Miles Green, November 2018