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.

Dr. Flora Murray 1869-1923 and Dr. Louisa Garrett Anderson 1873‑1943

Holy Trinity, Penn, Old Churchyard, Plot F.19

Dr. Louisa Garrett-Anderson and Dr. Flora Murray

Ten years ago, I was contacted by Dr Jennian Geddes who was researching the Women’s Hospital Corps (WHC), a group of female doctors and nurses which had been set up in 1914 to treat military casualties.   A flat granite memorial stone in the SW corner of Penn churchyard records the names of the two very remarkable women doctors: Flora Murray (8th May 1869 – 28th July 1923) and Louisa Garrett-Anderson (25th June 1873 – 15th November 1943), who in their 40s had founded the WHC and who lived at Paul End (now Gatemoor Grange) off Pauls Hill, close to the church.

Before WW1, it was still rare for a woman doctor to see male patients and women were excluded from training for general medicine and surgery.  Both women had been very active in the suffragette movement. Louisa Garrett Anderson, whose mother, Elizabeth, was the first ever British woman doctor, as well as becoming established in her profession, was politically active, taking a keen interest in suffrage activities.  She was a member of: the London Society for Women’s Suffrage; the London Graduates’ Union for Women’s Suffrage (where she chaired the inaugural meeting); the Women’s Social and Political Union; the United Suffragists (Vice-President); and the National Political League.  On 4 March 1912 she smashed a window in Rutland Gate in protest at a speech made by an anti-suffragist Cabinet minister. She was arrested and sent to Holloway Prison for 6 weeks with hard labour.  Flora Murray had nursed many of the suffragettes after forcible feeding in prison.

Florence Nightingale’s Death Certificate

It is intriguing to note a connection between the suffragettes and Florence Nightingale, since it was Louisa Garrett Anderson who, in 1910, signed Florence Nightingale’s death certificate when she died at her home in London, aged 90.

Louisa G-A was already in Penn by 1911 when she is recorded as living in Stone Lodge, probably now Stone Cottage, the first cottage at the top of Pauls Hill.   By 1912, she had bought the land for Paul End which was built in 1913.   This was the very year in which unknown suffragettes tried to set light to Penn Church, which must surely have been a considerable embarrassment to Louisa!

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, forcibly exiled in England from his kingdom of Punjab, provides another unexpected local connection with a leading suffragette as both she and Louisa were members of a suffragette deputation to the Prime Minister in 1910.  Sophia and her sister Catherine came to live in Hammersley Lane during WW2 – possibly as a result of having known Louisa?

Another notable local suffragette was Mary Gawthorpe, who was living in Penn (address not known, but perhaps with Louisa G-A?) in October-December 1912, when she called for a National Hunger Strike from the Penn address and was later interviewed by the Daily Mail on ‘Penn Common’.

When the First World War broke out, Flora Murray and Louisa Garret Anderson founded the Women’s Hospital Corps (WHC), and recruited women to staff it.  Believing that the British War Office would reject their offer of help, and knowing that the French were in need of medical assistance, they offered their assistance to the French Red Cross. The French accepted their offer and provided them the space of a newly built Claridges Hotel in Paris as their hospital.  They ran a very successful hospital staffed and run entirely by women.  Before returning to London in 1915 they opened another hospital at The Chateau Mauricien near Boulogne.

Dr Flora Murray & Dr Louisa Garrett-Anderson, Endell St, 1916

Then, in January 1915, they were offered the chance to run a hospital in London where most of the casualties were then going to.  They were given large old workhouse premises in Endell Street in Covent Garden. This they transformed into a 573-bed military hospital which opened in May 1915.

Flora Murray was the Doctor-in-charge and was the first woman to be recognized as a Lt Colonel equivalent by the British Army.  She was an anesthetist and Louisa Garrett Anderson, a Major equivalent, was the Chief Surgeon.  The hospital had a staff of 180 women who referred to them both as ‘the C.O.s’.   They operated together.
The illustration shows Louisa Garrett Anderson, the surgeon in the middle of the group, with Flora Murray as the anaesthetist.  The large oil by Francis Dodd was commissioned in 1920 by the Imperial War Museum to record the work of the hospital. It was not unusual for 20 to 30 men to go to theatre in a day.   Weekly lectures were given to the young staff about women’s rights and their duties as citizens and flags were flown in 1918 when a law was passed giving suffrage to women over 30 and women over 21 who were householders.  Younger women had to wait until 1928.  Both women were awarded the CBE for their war work,

Endell Street hospital was amazingly successful and one of the reasons for this was their attention to the psychological needs of the soldiers.  Great emphasis was placed on creating a calming and home-like environment with fresh flowers in every room, brightly coloured blankets, standard lamps for reading, and ‘our gentle merry young orderly girls who feed them with cigarettes, write to their mothers and read to them.’  When it was finally closed, in December 1919, they had treated 26,000 patients in the four and a half years of its existence, almost all of them male.

Paul End was owned jointly by Louisa and Flora and was much used and appreciated as a retreat for the hospital staff to get away from the horrors of military surgery and wartime London.   After the war, from 1921, they lived there full-time.  Flora died in 1923 after a series of operations in the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London and was buried in the churchyard at Penn.  Louisa stayed on in Penn and played an active part in local affairs.  She, became a magistrate and was the second woman to be elected to Penn Parish Council on which she served from 1932 to 1940, taking a particular interest in the War memorial.  She is recorded as opening a church bazaar in Penn Street.

On the outbreak of WW2, Louisa let the house and went to work as a member of the surgical staff in the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson hospital in London.  She became seriously ill in 1943 and was at first treated in the hospital named  after her mother, before being taken to a nursing home in Brighton, where she died on 15 Nov 1943.  She was cremated at Brighton and her ashes scattered on the South Downs, but her family arranged for an inscription commemorating her friendship and work with Flora Murray to be placed on the latter’s tombstone in the churchyard at Holy Trinity, Penn.

Their shared memorial stone is headed, ‘To the dear love of comrades’, presumably referring to their suffragette days.  It records their roles at the Endell Street Hospital acknowledging that ‘God gave her strength to lead, to pity and to heal’, and concludes movingly and triumphantly, in capitals, ‘WE HAVE BEEN GLORIOUSLY HAPPY’.

Louisa Garrett-Anderson’s Will

Her will includes a generous £500 to Penn Church (about £20,000 today according to the National Archive calculator), to be invested for the repair and maintenance of Penn Church.

[The initial article (see VV No. 137, Apr 2010)  was mostly based initially on an article by Dr Jennian Geddes, ‘The Woman’s Hospital Corps’ in The Camden History Review, Vol 32 (2008), pp.13-18,  since supplemented with useful researches by Ron Saunders and Peter Strutt.

Miles Green, 1 June 2020

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.

David Blakely 1929-1955

Holy Trinity, Penn, New Churchyard, Plot 48.
David Moffat Drummond Blakely, (17th June 1929 – 10th April 1955), received notoriety when he was murdered by Ruth Ellis, and from the newspaper coverage that followed. He was born in Ecclesall, Sheffield, the son of a Scottish doctor from Glasgow and his Irish wife from Ballynahinch. His parents later divorced. He was educated at Shrewsbury , but did poorly there, his only real interest being racing cars. After his National Service in the Highland Light Infantry, whose insignia appears on his tombstone, he tried for a career in hotel management, but he was fired from that career, so concentrated on his playboy lifestyle, and his beloved HRG racing car, HLO 168, replaced by the ‘Emperor’ in 1954, in which he took 2nd place at Brands hatch on Boxing Day, 1954. Both cars were serviced and race prepared by Len Gibbs at Slade’s Garage, in Penn.

David Blakely lived with his mother Anne and her husband, Humphrey Wyndham Cook, (who she married in 1941), at The Old Park, Hammersley Lane, Tylers Green, which had been the WW2 retreat of Walter Delamare and his wife Elfrida.  The original house was pulled down in 2008 and replaced by a very contemporary house.  Humphrey Cook made a generous donation to the New Churchyard appeal in memory of his wife Anne, and she is remembered on the 1978 completion plaque inside the New Churchyard wall.  Humphrey and Anne Cook are both buried in the New Churchyard, Plot 30.

David Blakely would drive Ruth Ellis to Penn, but never let her meet his family. They  often drank together in The Crown Inn, opposite Penn Church, or at the Red Lion.

He met Ruth Ellis in 1953, when she was the manager of the Little Club in Knightsbridge, and entered into an intimate relationship with her. Not only was he openly unfaithful to her as she was to him, he was physically abusive, too. On Easter Sunday 1955, he was leaving the Magdala public house in South Hill Park, Hampstead, North London, when Ruth Ellis ambushed him, firing at him with a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver from her handbag and fired five shots at Blakely. The first shot missed him, the second caused him to fall to the ground, and she fired three more while standing over him. At this point, she held the gun to her head, fired the gun but it jammed. She dropped the gun and it fired the sixth shot from the .38 Smith and Wesson, which ricocheted off the pavement wounding a lady bystander in the hand.

At her trial, Ellis pleaded “Not Guilty.” She testified of Blakely, “He only used to hit me with his fists and hands, but I bruise very easily, and I was full of bruises on many occasions.” However, she admitted that “It was obvious that when I shot him I intended to kill him.” She was found guilty, and became the fifteenth woman, and the last, in the 20th Century to be sentenced to hanging until dead. Thomas L. Jones has written “The misfortune of Ruth Ellis was not just that she killed a man. Nor was it that his death resulted in her being hanged, the last woman ever by the British judicial system. The real tragedy of Ruth Ellis was that she died for the love of a man who did not deserve it.”

Adapted and enlarged from the Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine on Findagrave

Ruth Ellis is buried in St Mary’s extension churchyard in Old Amersham.