Holy Trinity, Penn, Burials and Memorials


David Blakely 1929-1955

Holy Trinity, Penn, New Churchyard, Plot 48.
David Moffat Drummond Blakely, (17th June 1929 – 10th April 1955), received unwanted notoriety when he was murdered by Ruth Ellis, and the newspaper coverage that followed. David was born in Ecclesall, Sheffield, his father was a Scoittish doctor and his mother was Irish and came from Ballynahinch. His parents later divorced.

David was educated at Shrewsbury , and after his National Service in the Highland Light Infantry, whose insignia appears on his tombstone, he looked at a career in hotel management, but left that and concentrated on his real interest which was racing cars.  Initally 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 was himself an accomplished racing driver and financed the establishment of ‘English Racing Automobile’, ERA, to develop a world beating racing car.

Humphrey Cook made a generous donation to the New Churchyard appeal in memory of his wife Anne, and her two sons, John and David, and Anne is remembered on the 1978 completion plaque inside the New Churchyard wall.  Humphrey and Anne Cook are buried together in the New Churchyard, Plot 30.  Anne’s eldest son John Brian Blakely (1920-1963) lies in plot 49, next to David. The ashes of David’s nannie Beatrice Holman, who originally joined the family in Sheffield, are in Ashes plot 151.

David and John Blakeley at The Old Park.

Many thanks to David’s nephew Derek, who provided family history and photograhs ©.