People

Netley Marsh People

Emma Wheeler - June 27 1935
Emma Wheeler - June 27 1935

Local Names The small villages of Netley Marsh and Woodlands have been home to many families through the years. Many of the names reoccur through the generations, with many still evident today.

Common surnames in the graveyard (more than 4 graves) include: Avery, Baker, Bessant, Biddlecome, Blake, Broomfield, Collins, Cull, Gould, Green, Humby, Hunt, Hurford, Kimber, King, Lowman, Maidment, Marsh, Osman, Pearce, Smith, Stride, Wheeler, and Wort. Many of the owners and tenants of the local estates are buried in the graveyard. If you are looking for ancestors in the graveyard, you might find it useful to consult the list of monumental inscriptions recorded in the graveyard in 1857-2009 by Alec Coutts (available to view in the Christopher Tower Reference library at the visitor centre in Lyndhurst).

Titanic connections With its proximity to Southampton, many residents worked at sea. Some were aboard the Titanic when it sank in 1912.

The Dean family Eva (nee Light) and Bert Dean, both publicans from London, had decided to take their children Bertram Vere (2 years old) and Elizabeth Gladys ‘Milvina’ (2 months old) to start a new life in Kansas. The family boarded the Titanic as third class passengers in Southampton. Bert was lost in the sinking, but Eva and the children boarded lifeboats and survived. They settled with Eva’s parents at Bartley Farm on Ringwood Road. Eva died in 1975. Bertram Vere was the secretary of the Anchor Darts team that met at the Gamekeeper pub for 25 years. He died in 1992 and his ashes are scattered at St Mary’s Church in Eling. Milvina was the last living survivor of the Titanic until her death in 2009. Milvina Close, off Woodlands Road, is named in her honour.

Mabel Bennett (survivor) lived at Netley Toll Gate and Ashurst Bridge Road
Frederick Charles Godwin (victim) Ringwood Road
Tom Warwick (victim) Ringwood Road
Frederick Kenchenten (victim) son of Elizabeth (nee Brixey), Netley Marsh
William Edward Bessant (victim) Bears Lane, Calmore. The Titanic and the city of widows it left behind written by a descendent Julie Cook tells the story of William’s family.
Enter the above names into this website https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/ to discover their stories.

The Manor Houses and Estates Local historian Sue Lawrence has been researching the manor houses and the families who occupied them. Their stories can be found on our Netley Marsh Parish History Group Facebook page
Use the search facility to find the following:
Tatchbury Manor House (Timson, Gooch)
Loperwood House (Lt Matthew Munro RN, Captain John Taylor, Henry Stanley Robert Pearce, Major John Waterhouse)
Shorne Hill (Curwen, Captain John Wyndham Rennie, Tonge family)
Great and Little Testwood Houses (John de Palton, the Paulet family lived here for 350 years, Honourable Palk and assorted ghosts!)

The stories of the occupants, largely with military connections, make good reading, for example: Sir Daniel Fulthrope who was a dog handler with the Shackleton expedition of 1926. On reaching South Georgia, he became ill with Pneumonia and had to return home to Tatchbury where he died soon after.

Local historian John Trinder discovered a fascinating story about Captain James Charles RN of Little Testwod House, buried at St Matthews. Having begun his life at sea aged 15, Captain Charles died aboard RMS Aquitania on its homeward passage to Southampton on his final sailing before his retirement. Read the full story here:

Memories At memory recording sessions, locals spoke fondly of past landlords: Vic Green (Cricketers), Don Reeves (Royal Oak) and Dickie Toop (White Horse). These men were also responsible for many of local sports teams: football, cricket and darts. Vicars and teachers were also noted as people who made positive impressions in village life. In the gallery you will see many photos of villagers from days gone by.