18 April 2017

St Helen's Churchyard, Hangleton.

Judy Middleton 2003 (revised 2017)

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The south side of St Helen's churchyard

St Helen's churchyard, Hangleton is situated in a particularly exposed place and many old inscriptions have been completely obliterated by the battering of wind and weather.

The following notes record details about some of the interesting people buried there.

Dame Henrietta Barnett (1851-1936) and Revd Samuel Augustus Barnett (1844-1913)

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Revd Samuel Augustus Barnett & Dame Henrietta Barnett
Henrietta Octavia Weston Rowland was born on 4 May 1851, the youngest of eight children, a clue to her place in the family hierarchy being provided by her second name Octavia. Her father, Alexander Rowland, was a merchant who imported essences and oils from the West Indies. Her forbears founded Rowlands Macassor Oil Company.

Although her family was wealthy, Henrietta had a keen social conscience and she enjoyed working for charity. It was during her voluntary work that she met her future husband Revd Samuel Augustus Barnett and the couple married on 28 January 1873. Revd Barnett was an Anglican clergyman and social reformer who was born at Bristol and educated at Wadham College, Oxford. He was actively involved with poor people in London and served as Rector of St Jude’s Church, Whitechapel from 1873 to 1902.

During these busy years Henrietta co-founded the Children’s Country Holiday Trust while her husband founded the Family Welfare Association and in 1884 Toynbee Hall. The latter institution was the first university settlement to allow students to see at first hand how the other half lived in the East End and to interact with them; the experience must have proved an eye-opener for many a gilded youth.

Beatrice Webb (1858-1943) social reformer and economist, described the young Mrs Barnett as ‘pretty, witty and well-to-do’. Henrietta was also blessed with enormous energy and self-confidence, which other people could find somewhat daunting but nobody could deny she had a warm and caring personality.

Her ultimate dream was to purchase a huge tract of land where people of all classes could live together in neighbourliness. In 1904 she formed the Garden Suburb Trust and in 1906 the Hampstead Garden Suburb Act received the Royal Assent. The land was acquired from Eton College Trustees. The first two cottages were built in 1907 and in 1909 Princess Louise came to open Waterloo Court, a block of flats for single ladies. There were some luxurious houses for the wealthy and simple cottages, many of which unfortunately did not have a bathroom. No public house was allowed within the estate although there was a clubhouse.

True to her beliefs, Henrietta thought a church should occupy the most prominent position at the centre of her suburb and she commissioned Edwin Lutyens to design one; Eric Gill designed the foundation stones. The church was called St Jude-on-the-hill, no doubt as a tribute to their old church in Whitechapel. The church was opened in 1911. For her sixtieth birthday Henrietta’s friends clubbed together and paid for a tower and spire to be added to the structure. A Free Church was built on a site opposite and there was also a Quaker Meeting House and a synagogue.

The Hampstead Garden Suburb was a pioneering scheme and became famous throughout the world. Henrietta was made a Dame of the British Empire as a tribute to her work.

A school for girls in the estate was named after her and in 1994 it had 650 pupils and came top in a survey of state school results. In 2006 it was stated that Ofsted had recommended the school three times, an accolade that has only been afforded to six other schools.

In 1913 the Barnetts retired to Hove where they took a house on King’s Esplanade but Henrietta’s husband died the same year and she moved to 12 Wish Road on the west side of the road. In around 1930 she moved to 45 Wish Road on the west side of the road where she remained until she died in 1936. Her ashes were buried in the churchyard of St Helen, Hangleton where her husband was also buried.  

In 1985 a plaque was unveiled at 45 Wish Road, which was funded by the Hampstead Garden Suburb Archives Trust.

Betty Law, who lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb and attended the famous school, had always been an admirer of Henrietta Barnett. Miss Law could remember seeing her as a child and she resolved to find out where her heroine was buried. After undertaking some research she found the plot in St Helen’s churchyard in 2004. But she was dismayed to see it was somewhat neglected and weed-strewn while the stone badly needed attention. Miss Law lost no time in approaching the school and other institutions connected with the Barnetts including Toynbee Hall and a restoration fund was set up. The stone and grave were restored in time for Henrietta Barnett’s birthday in May 2005.

Margaret Grace Bide (1912-1960)

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Margaret Grace Bide (1912-1960)

Margaret was the wife of Revd Peter Bide the first Parish Priest of St Helen’s in nearly 400 years in 1955, their close family friend was one of the greatest Christian writers of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis

Mabel Frost Bodinnar (1880-1948)

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Mabel Frost Bodinnar (1880-1948)

Mabel Frost was the wife of Sir John Bodinnar who Served as Commercial Secretary and Head of the Supply Dept. of the Ministry of Food through most of the Second World War. Sir John was a former Mayor of Calne. There is a present day Sir John & Lady Bodinnar’s Trust based in Calne, Wiltshire, a charity for the relief of poverty, which makes grants to individuals in the Calne area.

Lt James Anstruther Bogle-Smith (1897-1944) 

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Lt James Anstruther Bogle-Smith (1897-1944)

Lt James Anstruther Bogle-Smith served in France from 1915 to 1918 with the 1st Kings Dragoon Guards.
In 1919 he was sent to the North West Frontier and is mentioned in the Regiment’s history during actions in the Khyber Pass. His father was Lt-Col Stewart Bogle-Smith of the 1st Kings Dragoon Guards.

Revd Vicars Armstrong Boyle (1858-1928) 

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10th August 1860 Sophia Courtney-Boyle 14th June 1908,
9th March 1858 Vicars Armstrong Boyle 5th November 1928,

6th June 1866 Ada Drummond-Boyle 3rd November 1953
He was born in Dublin, the only son of David Boyle, barrister-at-law. His father decided he should be educated in England and so he attended Uppingham School and later Christ Church, Oxford where he obtained his BA in 1881 and his MA in 1889.

A fascinating sidelight into his time at Oxford was that he was a contemporary of Oscar Wilde and moreover since they were both undergraduates from Dublin, they had something in common. Wilde presented himself as something of an aesthete and he was great company with a terrific sense of humour. But he also worked extremely hard and obviously he would not have been awarded a First in Greats as well as the Newdigate Prize if he had been careless in his work. According to Boyle, Wilde often left social gatherings early in order to continue with his studies.

After university, Boyle seemed all set to follow in his father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in law and he began to read for the Bar at the Inner Temple. But it seemed he had a change of heart and a call to the priesthood when he became one of the first residents at Toynbee Hall. This was a pioneering welfare settlement in the East End of London founded by Revd Samuel Augustus Barnett (1844-1913). It was the first settlement enabling university-educated men to live in close contact with their poor neighbours and work for their welfare.

Barnett was rector of St Jude’s Church, Whitechapel, from 1873 to 1902 and Boyle was curate there from 1885, the same year he was ordained deacon and the following year he was ordained priest. According to Mrs Barnett, Boyle was much more than a mere curate because he helped her husband as confidential secretary and colleague. She also said Boyle possessed a fine brain and when Barnett wrote Perils of Wealth and Poverty it was the trusted Boyle who acted as editor. Mrs Barnett was none other than Dame Henrietta Barnett, founder of Hampstead Garden Suburb. The Barnetts and the Boyle families became lifelong friends and the Barnetts retired to Hove when Boyle was still vicar of Portslade and rector of Hangleton. The Barnetts and Boyle were even buried in the same churchyard at St Helen’s, Hangleton

In 1891 Boyle made a dramatic change of direction when he became assistant chaplain at St George’s Church, Cannes and no doubt his congregation consisted of wealthy English people enjoying the sun and social life of the French Riviera. It certainly gave him a different perspective; one acquaintance recounted that she was at school in Brussels when Charlotte Bronte was a teacher there and remarked unkindly that Bronte was very ugly. When talking about a recent harsh winter, a luncheon guest called Mrs Ogle stated she remembered very well the dreadful winter of 1812 when she was twelve years old. It was also the year that the weather defeated the ambitions of Napoleon and forced his army to retreat from Moscow. On another occasion at Grasse, Boyle had the nerve-wracking experience of preaching to Queen Victoria and recollected that he made sure his collect was about duty.

By 1892 Boyle changed tack again and was to be found lecturing at Burton-on-Trent, a town boasting of being home to at least 50 breweries. Boyle stayed there until his move to Portslade.

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The marble memorial to Sophia
 in St Nicolas Church Portslade
Vicars Armstrong Boyle arrived at Portslade with his sister Sophia Courtney Boyle. They were delighted with Portslade, which was then still a rural Sussex village with farmers and shepherds while oxen were used for deep ploughing. Boyle was inducted as vicar of St Nicolas, Portslade and rector of St Helen’s Hangleton in June 1899.

Miss Boyle assisted her brother in ministering to the needs of the parish. He needed all the help he could have because in the 1914 Directory it was noted his responsibilities covered an area of 3,384 acres, consisting of Portslade Village, Portslade-by-Sea, Hangleton and part of Aldrington.

After nine valiant years at Portslade Boyle began to consider it was time for pastures new. But his plans were thrown into confusion by the illness and death of his beloved sister on 14 June 1908 aged 47. He was so touched by the outpouring of affection and sympathy shown by his parishioners during her illness and his bereavement that he decided he could not bear to leave them after all. Her marble memorial states:

She was his constant companion and fellow worker, brave, intelligent, faithful, simple, generous. She gladdened many lives with her continual joy, and inspired them by her high-hearted enthusiasm.

copyright © D.Sharp
This window was in memory of Sophia Courtney Boyle
and it was stated that ‘330 sorrowing friends’ subscribed to the cost of
 this stained glass window in St Helen's Church.   
left:- St Helena, centre:- Thou art the King of Glory. O Christ (Tu rex gloriae Christe), 
lower centre:- angel holding an image of first Easter morning, right:- St Nicolas.

In 1909 at the age of 50 Boyle married Ada, younger daughter of Colonel Egerton Todd of the 81st Regiment. New life was injected into the parish by the arrival of an energetic young curate who was happy to work with the men’s club as well as acting as guide to the football and athletic enthusiasts. But when war broke out the curate left to do his bit by becoming an army chaplain and Boyle was left to soldier on.

Boyle and his wife enjoyed entertaining their famous and talented friends at Portslade vicarage; they included such luminaries as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Lord Sackville, the Marquess of Cholmondeley, and Maria and Arthur Patterson. The conversation around the dining table was sparkling and thought-provoking. We know this from a delightful and unexpected source, namely Bess the parlour maid. As part of her duties Bess had to remain in the dining room until the last course was served and she always said her education started right there. Although Portslade-born Bess must have been a bright child, she was obliged to leave school at the age of twelve to help out her mother with family chores. She was born Annie Elizabeth Passiful (1895-1982) but was called Bess.

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The St Francis window at 
St Nicolas Church Portslade
 was installed in memory of
 Revd Vicars Armstrong Boyle.
Bess started work with the Boyles on 1 June 1913. When she was still new Mrs Boyle told her she was going to have to ‘maid’ a very important guest who suffered from rheumatism and needed help with washing and dressing plus Bess would have to do her hair. Bess had no training in being a lady’s maid and felt daunted by the task. But she need not have worried because she and Henrietta Barnett got along just fine and Mrs Boyle complimented her on her work. In fact Barnett and Bess built up a rapport despite the social divide and when Barnett wanted to know about conditions of the workers at the Portslade Brewery, it was to Bess she turned for information. Likewise, Barnett believed in the uplifting power of fine paintings and gave Bess a calendar with a different famous painting for each month. Bess was even invited to take Sunday afternoon tea with Barnett at her home in Hove. Bess admired Barnett the most out of all the guests she encountered at the vicarage. Bess found life with the Boyles so congenial that she stayed with the family for 17 years.

After twenty years at Portslade, Boyle retired in July 1919 citing ill health. Among his leaving presents was a most generous cheque for 100 guineas together with an album containing the names of all the subscribers and a silver-chain purse for his wife. By 1925 Boyle and his wife were living in Menton in the south of France.

After Boyle died in 1928, his widow Ada lived for a while with Boyle’s cousin Dr Helen Boyle, the celebrated pioneer woman doctor who founded Lady Chichester Hospital at Hove. Boyle and his wife were sympathetic towards women’s rights, which was not surprising considering the family connection with Dr Boyle.

The St Francis window at St Nicolas Church was installed in memory of Revd Vicars Armstrong Boyle.

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 Sir George Dance (1857-1932)
Sir George Dance (1857-1932)

Sir George Dance is buried on the west side of the churchyard and his memorial takes the form of a Celtic cross. He died on 22 October 1932.

George Dance was knighted in 1923 for his services to the theatre. He was an enormously successful theatrical manager and had several companies touring the country at the same time. He also wrote the words for several popular songs, two of which became favourites of Vesta Tilley, as well as the book for operas and musicals. One of his most popular creations was Chinese Honeymoon and he earned a fortune from it. Gay Parisienne also enjoyed a long run. When he died his estate was worth the large sum of £150,000. How different his financial experiences were compared to his near contemporary the theatrical impresario Andrew Melville (1884-1938) who lived at Whychcote, Portslade and died virtually penniless.

In 1898 George Dance married Grace Spong and they had two sons. Her surname is unusual; was she perhaps related to Revd Ambrose Spong (1842-1912) a celebrated pastor of the Congregational Church in Hove? Revd Spong was buried at Hove cemetery where his memorial stone is also a Celtic cross.

Henry Edmunds

Henry Edmunds and his wife are buried near the south door of the church. Henry Edmunds died in 1757 at the age of 57 and she died in 1769 aged 51. Henry Edmunds’ inventory is the only old one surviving for Hangleton and it is fascinating to learn that as well as owning 21 sheep and some beehives, he was also the possessor of three silver spoons and the usual household effects.

Sir Hildebrand Aubrey Harmsworth (1872-1929)

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Sir Hildebrand Aubrey Harmsworth (1872-1929)
Sir Hildebrand Aubrey Harmsworth is buried on the south side of the church. He was the fifth son of Alfred Harmsworth and there were ten children in the family. Hildebrand and his four brothers grew up to become distinguished newspaper magnates and politicians, including Lord Nothcliffe and Lord Rothermere. The Harmsworth family has been described as the most influential Press dynasty this country has ever known.

Hildebrand was regarded as the family joker and he enjoyed himself with Comic Cuts. But his more serious side came to the fore in 1900 when he helped to found the New Liberal Review. He too became a journalist and has been described as the most eccentric of them all.

He was sole proprietor of the London evening paper The Globe from 1908 to 1911. However, it did not bring him much joy because it lost him £80,000 before he sold it. But he did manage to amass a comfortable fortune from his shareholdings in the Amalgamated Press and the Mail although unfortunately he was said to have lost most of it in the slump.

In 1900 he married Kathleen Mary Berton from New Brunswick and the couple had four sons. He died in April 1929. Revd Noel E.C. Hemsworth, rector of Hangleton, and Bishop Russell Wakefield conducted the funeral at St Helen’s Church.

Lady Harmsworth continued to live at Hove. From 1929 to 1931 she occupied the whole house at 3 Adelaide Crescent. Then she moved to 3 Grand Avenue Mansions where she stayed until the late 1960s. 

The Hardwick Family of Hangleton

The Hardwick family was associated with Hangleton for generations and there are three large altar-type tombs to them in the churchyard. Unfortunately, weathering means that one of the few words it is possible to pick out is ‘William’ a favourite Christian name with the family.

According to family legend the Hardwicks were tenants of the important Sackville family at Hangleton Manor for 200 years and did not cease farming there until 1914. Their farm was reputed to produce the best milk in the neighbourhood of Brighton; their cows being grazed on the Downs with a plentiful supply of water.

Also according to family lore the Hardwicks came from the north and claimed to have the celebrated Bess of Hardwick in their family tree. It is said the Hardwicks were invited to move south to try and keep control of the smuggling activities notorious in the area and ended up being involved in the ‘trade’. At any rate the Sussex Weekly Advertiser (28 February 1791) contained a mention of William Curtis, lately a labourer employed by Mr Hardwick of Hangleton Farm, who was thought to be guilty of smuggling in Hampshire and a reward of £150 was offered for information leading to his arrest.

Hardwick baptisms at St Helen’s Church were as follows:

William and Sarah Hardwick (Parents)

28 December 1773 John
3 July 1775 Sarah
29 September 1776 William
21 June 1778 Philadelphia (buried 5 April 1796)
16 January 1780 Elizabeth

John and Mary Hardwick (Parents)

17 March 1802 Louisa
4 August 1803 John George
19 May 1805 William
31 May 1807 Maria (buried 24 March 1808)
17 July 1808 Mary Maria
28 October 1810 Henry
23 May 1813 Charles
26 June 1816 Alfred
24 June 1817 Arthur

Alfred and Jane Hardwick (Parents)

21 June 1874 Ada
30 July 1876 Blanche

Alfred Edwin and Marian Hardwick (Parents)

16 October 1897 Muriel Gwendoline
15 October 1899 Kathleen
26 December 1903 Doris Nowell

Percy and Edith Mary Hardwick (Parents)
(Dairy farmer, 2 Lewers Terrace, Hove, now Church Road)

28 June 1903 John Percy Lynton
16 September 1904 Neville William
5 November 1911 Joyce Mary

John Percy Lynton and Marjorie Howard Hardwick
(Pembroke Gardens, Hove)

23 August 1941 Jane Howard

William Hardwick

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William & Sarah Hardwick

He was probably the first member of the family to live at Hangleton and her served as church warden in 1771 and 1797. In the Land Tax Assessment of 1785 William Hardwick was the assessor for Hangleton and Aldrington and he collected the sum of £110-16s It was also recorded that he occupied lands owned by Lord George Germain. In the same year he held the post of gamekeeper to the Duke of Dorset.

William Hardwick died on 6 February 1799 and his wife Sarah died on 5 November 1831 aged 87. Their son William died aged 66 and he too had held the post of gamekeeper to the Duke of Dorset.

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William the second son of William & Sarah Hardwick

John Hardwick

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William the second son of John & Mary Hardwick

The 1841 census recorded that 65-year old John occupied Hangleton House (Manor) with his wife Mary aged 60 and their four unmarried children, Mary, 27, and Charles, Alfred and Arthur plus six other people. John, Charles and Arthur were all farmers while Alfred was a chemist.

The 1861 census recorded the same six family members together with the additional information that John Hardwick farmed 1,300 acres and employed no less than 56 men. It seems that although John Hardwick was a tenant at Hangleton, he owned some plots of land at Portslade as recorded in the 1841 Tithe Map. This property included the following arable fields:

Cowdown Piece
Dungates (occupied by Thomas Blaker)
Dungate Lane Piece (occupied by Thomas Goddard)
Garden in Vallands Laine, cottage and barn (occupied by Charlotte Peters)
Field by Tenantry Down

The Hardwicks were connected by marriage to other local landowners. For example Jane Hardwick married John Blaker at St Helen’s Church 31 October 1797 while Hugh Fuller, a landowner in Portslade and Aldrington, was a cousin. When Hugh Fuller died in 1851, he left John Hardwick £200 and his cousin Mary Maria Hardwick, daughter of John Hardwick, his house and contents plus several cottages in Portslade.

John George Hardwick

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John George Hardwick and his wife Eliza

He was the son of John and Mary Hardwick and following family tradition he became churchwarden of St Helen’s Church in 1828. When John Brooker Vallance of Hove signed his will on 10 October 1850, he named J.G. Hardwick as one of his trustees. J.B. Vallance died 26 February 1852.

Alfred Hardwick

He appeared to be the only Hardwick who did not wish to pursue a career in farming and he became a manufacturing chemist in London. But unfortunately for him, his two brothers who were managing the farm at Hangleton, began to run up debts. Alfred was thus obliged to leave London and return to his roots to manage the farm instead

The Brighton Gazette (25 June 1874) carried a report about the curious case of Alfred Hardwick who was up before Hove Police Court on a charge of attempting to defraud the Railway Company. It appeared he was travelling in a first-class carriage with a ticket that had expired ten months previously. It was stated that Mr Hardwick was ‘a very impressive man’ by which description the newspaper reported concluded that the unfortunate ticket collector was somewhat overawed. Whatever, the truth of the matter, the case was undecided at the conclusion.

When Alfred Hardwick died, Thomas Dudney became acting trustee in the management of the ‘large agricultural holding of the late Alfred Hardwick’, which included land in Hangleton, Aldrington, Portslade and Henfield. By 1881 Dudney had been trustee for some years.

Alfred Hardwick’s widow Jane who had been born in Pulborough continued to live at Hangleton Manor with her children. According to the 1881 census she was aged 39 and the children were Agnes, 21, Julia, 20, Maude 8, Ada, 7 and Blanche aged four. The gap between the children’s ages lead to the supposition that Alfred was married twice. Also present in the household were five servants, a visitor, plus Thomas Dudney, farmer and trustee, who was a lodger. 

Percy Hardwick

He farmed the land at Hangleton together with his brother Alfred. In 1898 four Portslade poachers were discovered in a field of oats belonging to Mr Hardwick. Partridge feathers collected from the scene were displayed in court. Percy Hardwick said he had not given permission to any of the men to be on his land and he knew there were partridges and herons there. The men had guns but only one of them held the appropriate licence. The poachers were fined 10/- each with costs. The poachers were:

Oliver West, 3 Hangleton Court
Edward Goff, St Aubyn’s House
Alfred Percival, Speeds Cottages
George Cooper, Manor Cottages

The Hardwicks had an outlet for selling their dairy produce at 2 Lewers Terrace, Hove. This terrace still exists but is now numbered in Church Road; it is located on the south side and west of Hove Library. The premises were described as ‘a very neat shop, which has always a very clean and inviting appearance and seems cool even in the hottest weather’.

William Hamshar Hardwick

It seems probable that this man was connected with the Hardwicks at Hangleton. In 1860 he was described as a Southwick ship-owner and co-owned the 169-ton snow Julia. A snow was a small vessel like a brig and it had a trysail mast). Hardwick died on 16 March 1867 and Sarah Ann Hardwick and William Marsh Rigden of Hove, gentleman, were his executors, being also co-owners of the ship. In 1870 the Julia foundered in the Bristol Channel.

Doris Hardwick

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This Hardwick memorial records the names of Florence, Agnes, Jane, Doris, Kathleen, Julia, Ada, Blance and Horace.

She died in October 1956 aged 65 in her bungalow in Broadrig Avenue. Her father Alfred Hardwick was obliged to relinquish farming in 1914 when the Government requisitioned all 40 of his horses and he was unable to continue. Doris’ sister Kathleen lived with her and she was the last of Alfred’s family.

Major General Sir Charles Holled Smith (1865-1925)

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Major General Sir Charles Holled Smith (1865-1925)
(unfortunately the large stone Cross that once stood on the plinth is
 now laying on the grave, the metal fixings have corroded away)
He was educated at Shrewsbury and entered the Army in 1865. On 20 November 1865 he was appointed ensign in the 60th of Duke of York’s Own Rifle Brigade (after 1881 it became the King’s Royal Rifle Corps). On 19 December 1877 he was appointed Captain and in 1882 he was promoted to Major. He became a Lieutenant Colonel in 1885, a Colonel in 1888 and a Major General in 1905.

He served as a Captain in the Zulu Wars  of 1879 and was Mentioned in Dispatches and received the medal and clasp for the Zulu Campaign.

In the 1st Boer War from 1880 to 1881, he was in action at Laing’s Neck, Ingogo and Majuba.

He was again Mentioned in Dispatches during the Egyptian Campaign of 1882 and was awarded the medal with clasp and bronze star. He was present at Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir.

In 1883 Charles Holled Smith married Maud Mary the daughter of Major Fearnley Whittingstall and in the same year he was transferred to the Egyptian Army.

In 1884-1885 he took part in the Nile Expedition in the failed attempt to rescue General Gordon at the Siege of Khartoum.

In 1885-1892 while attached to the Egyptian Army he became Governor General of the Red Sea Littoral (lands surrounding the Red Sea) succeeding the wounded Lord Kitchener and was titled Pasha Holled Smith.

He received a royal licence on 30 April 1886 to accept and wear the insignia of Medjideh (3rd class) awarded by the Khedive of Egypt.

 In 1888 he was in command of a Brigade of the Sudan Field Force at the action at Gamaizah.

He was Commandant at Suakin (north eastern Sudan) 1888-1894.

In 1891 he commanded  the Tokar Expeditionary Force and was awarded clasp to bronze star and a 2nd Class Medjidie.

He became a Companion (Military Division) of the Order of the Bath on 30 May 1891 and on 16 August 1892 he became a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George. He was invested with the latter at Windsor Castle on 28 November 1892. The official invitation carried the information that the train left Paddington Station at 1 o’clock and carriages would be provided to convey people to the castle. Luncheon was to be served at 2 o’clock while the ceremony would begin at 3 o’clock.

From 1894-1900 he served as Commander of the Victoria Defence Force in Australia.

Holled Smith lived in Hove at 11 Albany Villas before moving to 33 Gwydyr Mansions and his funeral was held at St Helen’s Church, Hangleton, on 26 March 1925.

In November 1926 his family presented his orders and decorations to Hove Museum while some of his papers, including the invitation just mentioned, are stored in East Sussex Record Office.

During Holled Smith’s lifetime he presented to the British Museum 15 objects of ancient antiquity he had collected while serving in Egypt and the Sudan.

In Ballarat, Victoria, Australia there is a hill in Victoria Park named ‘Mount Holled Smith’ in his honour.

Edward Vaughan Kenealy (1819-1880)

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Edward Vaughan Kenealy (1819-1880)

No visitor can fail to notice this magnificent tomb of Edward Kenealy, the most splendid in the churchyard, with its polished marble and rich mosaic work. Perhaps the most interesting part of the tomb is that it was not erected by his doting family but was paid for by public subscription. It thus stands as tangible evidence of the great esteem he inspired in ordinary people. 

His fame rested on his being the defence counsel for the Tichbourne Trial, which became one of the most celebrated of the day. There were in fact two trials, one civil and the other criminal. Kenealy was not retained until the second trial, thereby putting him at some disadvantage because he was not so familiar with the vast mass of evidence as was the prosecuting counsel. Even so Kenealy defended his client to the best of his ability.

His client was known universally as ‘The Claimant’ because he claimed to be Roger Tichbourne, heir to a title and estates. But Roger Tichbourne had been presumed lost at sea aboard the Bella in 1854. The prosecution maintained that The Claimant was in fact Arthur Orton.

The trial began at Westminster Hall on 23 April 1873 and was spread over 188 days. Kenealy’s opening speech lasted a whole month, as did Lord Chief Cockburn’s summing up. In February 1874 The Claimant was declared to be Arthur Orton and was sentenced to fourteen years of penal servitude.

However, there are many aspects of the case that still present an intriguing mystery. The Claimant was recognised as Roger Tichbourne by Tichbourne’s mother as well as by Andrew Bogle, an old black servant, and other people too. Moreover, Arthur Orton’s sisters declared that The Claimant was certainly not their brother. There is also the point that the prosecution had far greater financial backing, whereas The Claimant had been declared bankrupt in 1869.

The jury added a rider that they regretted ‘the violent language and demeanour of the leading counsel for the defendant’. Within weeks Kenealy’s patent as Queen’s Counsel had been revoked and he was debarred by the Benchers of Gray’s Inn. Nothing daunted, Kenealy continued to agitate on behalf of The Claimant.     

Edward Kenealy was well known in Australia because of the Tichborne Claimant case which had centred around a former Australian resident as the ‘Claimant’. In June 1880 The South Australian Chronicle reported, 'The funeral of Dr Kenealy took place on Friday at Hangleton, about a mile and a half from Brighton. There were about two hundred persons present, consisting chiefly of those attracted by curiosity from Portslade and Brighton, but including a few members of the 'Magna Charta Association' and some personal acquaintances of the deceased.' (The 'Magna Charta Association' was a political movement founded by Edward Kenealy)

Kenealy served as Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent from 1875 until he lost his seat in the General Election of March 1880.
It is interesting to note that Edward Kenealy had local connections because he lived in Wellington Road, Portslade, which in those days was a salubrious spot before the advent of Portslade Gas Works and Power Station. The 1861 census records 40-year old Edward Kenealy, barrister-at-law, living there. Also resident in Wellington Road at the same time was Charles Russell Stewart, a journalist and editor of newspapers.

David Mather Robson (1868-1947) and Eliza Robson (1870-1955)

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David Mather Robson and Eliza Robson

David Mather Robson and Eliza Robson were the parents of Dame Flora Robson, the renowned and Academy award winning actress from 1921 to the early 1980s.

The design of David and Eliza’s monument is quite significant, a ship represents where they met, the sunflowers signify their love of gardening. The monument was designed by Eric Kennington, the celebrated, sculptor, artist and illustrator, and an official war artist of both World Wars. Eric Kennington was the illustrator for T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom and also designed the tomb-effigy of Lawrence of Arabia at Wareham Church in Dorset.

Herbert and Walter Mews

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Walter and  Herbert Mews

The two men were brothers as well as business partners and prominent in local affairs as well as being owners of Portslade Brewery.

Walter Mews, who lived in Loxdale, Locks Hill, Portslade, died aged 65 on 11 March 1922 and his grave is surmounted by a rugged, granite cross.

Herbert Mews, who lived at Whychcote, South Street, Portslade, died on 5 March 1929 and was buried next to his brother after a funeral service at  St Nicolas Church, Portslade. His memorial stone is an oblong slab with an incised cross.

St Helen's Churchyard on the 'Silver Screen'

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This is the area of the churchyard used in the 1909 film 'The Boy and the Convict' the boy kneeled  by the cross (now laying on the grass) of 'his mother's grave' and the escaped convict hid behind iron grave railings two graves away

James Williamson (1855-1933) was one of the early pioneers of British film making and ran his Williamson Kinematograph Company studios at various locations in Hove until 1902 when he finally located his studios in Cambridge Grove off Wilbury Villas. Williamson's dramas and comedies were sold all across Europe and America. In 1909 Williamson produced the film ‘The Boy and the Convict’. This 12 minute length silent drama film (a feature film in its time) was a very condensed version of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. The scene with the boy at his Mother’s grave and his meeting with the escaped convict was filmed in St Helen’s churchyard by the west wall.

See also St Helen's Church history page


Census Returns
Internet searches
Slack, Kathleen D. Henrietta’s Dream (1986)
J.Middleton Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Pelling, George Reminiscences of my Aunt Bess. (Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies. Brunel University)
Toynbee Hall 
Woodruff, Douglas The Tichbourne Claimant (1957)
Additional research by D.Sharp

The Friends of St. Helen's campaigning group, has been set up to raise awareness of the plight of St. Helen's, which is the oldest surviving building in the City of Brighton & Hove, as there is a very real threat,  and a distinct possibility that this beautiful 11th century medieval church may have to close due to dwindling finances, To become a member of the Friends of St Helen’s only requires a modest membership fee annually, you do not have to live in Hangleton or Sussex or even in the UK to become a member of the Friends of St Helen’s.
 see:- The Friends of St. Helen's web page for more detailed information.

copyright © D.Sharp
The north side of St Helen's churchyard with Foredown Tower on the far hill in Portslade

Copyright © J.Middleton 2017
page layout by D.Sharp