Samuel Feake’s memorial, Henham,

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My chum Malcolm Woods happened to visit the Church of St Mary The Virgin in the Essex village of Henham the other day and found this amazing memorial to one Samuel Feake and family. He described the ship carved on the urn as ‘particularly delicious’.

I’ve left the images nice and large so that folks will be able to read the inscriptions.

The Henham website has this to say:

‘Samuel Feake was Governor of Fort Bengal, and Chairman of the East India Company. Of his family, his wife died at sea on her way home, and three children died in India: another son died at a later age in India, which took a great toll of their family. Samuel Feake, two sons, and the last of the family, Mary, are buried in the family vault here. Their hatchments, showing the arms of Feake, Hampton, and Cruse, are in the church: a hatchment, or funeral escutcheon contained the coat of arms of the dead person within a black lozenge-shaped frame, and hung over the principal entrance to the house for about a year after death, when it was often placed in the parish church. The ground of the hatchment is black round the arms of the deceased, and white round the survivor.’

I’m left wondering how this grand and successful chap should have been denied any honours in his lifetime. Did he do something wrong, I wonder, or did his demise simply catch his betters by surprise? That must have happened a lot…

My thanks to Malcolm, of course.

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A Southwold memorial explained

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UK Home Built Boat Rally member John Lockwood has been in touch with a photo of the ship commanded by brave Captain David W Simpson MBE when he met his death.

Captain Simpson is today remembered by a memorial plaque outside Southwold’s Sailor’s Reading Room.

John writes:

‘I know you like following interesting threads. In connection with the memorial plaque included in yesterday’s post, I have attached a picture of the West Isleta, later the Empire Merlin, built in 1919 in Seattle, managed by Ropners Shipping, and torpedoed by U-boat U48 about 190 miles west of Cape Wrath.

‘The thought of a 70 year old captain working on that open bridge in the North Atlantic in winter makes me appreciate what a tough lot merchant navy sailors were in those days.  Incidentally Captain Simpson was previously Master of the SS Wandy, which attacked and sank a German U-boat in WWI.

‘Regards,  John’

I certainly do like a good story! Many thanks for the old photo and information John.