ID: WW01_021 / Winifred Hone

TitleTollesbury people - Winifred Hone Memoirs


The Hon. Kenneth Watson then O.C. Devon Regiment stationed at Salisbury, a very kindly and considerate man. His troops regarded him with great respect and affection, as so they should, although it does not always follow that kindness received is kindness returned. One of the outposts was situated at the most desolate and remote end of the light railway known as the 'Crab and Winkle' at the beginning of the pier which no longer exists. They lived in disused railway carriages with no protective clothing supplied to the soldiers at this desolate spot. The Hon. Kenneth Watson, out of consideration for his men, provided them with water boots and oilskins. The outpost was about one and half miles from the village and you could only get there by walking on the sleepers. On wet nights he liked to take a large container of soup or coffee they could reheat. I frequently went with him to help carry the container. Another post was in the Square which he also supplied soup or coffee on wet nights. When he went on leave he asked me to continue this operation. Not knowing the military significance of this order 'turn out the guard'. One wet night entered the front door of the shop which was in complete darkness, I had rather a low voice in my early days and I knew a few words of German as my mother had been educated in Koblenz. So in German I called out 'turn out the guard'. It certainly turned them out. Owing to the result of this military command I decided to content myself by knocking on the door when delivering refreshment.

The NCO's and troops organised a farewell party for him with the help of our local vicar at the village hall and presented him with a farewell present consisting of a case of pipes. He accepted them with grateful thanks mixed with humility. Later that night he instructed me to return them to the Sergeant Major as he could not, under army regulations, accept presents for doing his duty, but to make the Major keep the secret as the last thing he wanted to do was hurt the feelings of the loyal subscribers.


Another interesting person was Captain Sorencon skipper of the large sailing ship the ST. GEORGE. He had been bringing cargos of glycerine which the country was in need of and costing a tremendous price. Litigation was pending over the last consignment and the cargo lying unloaded in Liverpool docks. Captain Sorencon saw an advert in the yacht and sails disposal column of a magazine. This advert bought him to Tollesbury to buy the SAMPHIRE, a beautiful yacht built of mahogany and teak, which was lying in a mud berth. Much to the horror of the workmen engaged in fitting her out for sea he ordered her to be scraped down and painted white inside and out. Craftsmen had a great regard for lovely wood, but not for white paint. To cut a long story short he wanted the boat as a delayed wedding present for his bride the pretty daughter of a Liverpool bank manager who was then living in Sweden. He intended to sail the SAMPHIRE back to Sweden but not before he had purchased all sorts of lovely things for her as well as barrels of butter, chests of tea, sacks of flour, bales of pure silk, white fox furs and a huge amount of coffee. As he didn't speak very good English I accompanied him to London on these shopping sprees for his wife. Unfortunately the SAMPHIRE with its fabulous contents sunk before reaching her destination, but the crew were saved.

AuthorWinifred Hone
SourceMersea Museum / Wendy Brady