ID WW01_361 / Winifred Hone

TitleNice Families - Winifred Hone memoirs
AbstractSir Alfred and Lady Soward lived on the Island and had to suffer knowing that their eldest daughter was drowned after the torpedoing of the LUSITANIA. Lieut. E.A. Soward, their eldest son, married Alma, the daughter of an Indian Army Officer, Captain Allyster Parker and was born at sea. At a very early age she had a book of poems published, her brain was a well of knowledge and she had a marvelous command of words when writing. A fellow of the Institute of Secretaries, also fellow of the International Accountants Association, so it was not surprising that when Mersea Council, then parochial, became the West Mersea Urban District Council she was asked to become the Clerk. This position which she carried out with great dexterity ended when she married the Chairman Mr Alick Reeve. I think I can say that she was the forerunner of the career girls not prevalent in the twenties, at least on the island.

The Michells were another nice family living near the Sowards, Gladys a lovely looking red head who used to run dances at Wash's new Tea Rooms opposite the White Hart after the end of the 1914-1918 war. They were very popular, you danced to the strains of the Blue Havana Band from Clacton. They had a fabulour drummer Harry Dove that joined the band aboard the RENOWN tht took the Duke and Duchess of York on a world tour. Everything pointed to a romance between Vic Michell and Sir Alfred Sowell's daughter Biddy, she was a charming girl, you usually saw her dressed for sailing in a stocking cap stripped jersey navy skirt and water boots. She could handle a boat and practically lived on the water. When Vic returned home at a later date Biddy had adopted the new fashion of mannish-looking suites and Eton crop. This was a terrible disillusionment to Vic and put an end to the romance. His sister Marjorie married the son of Colchester's leading tailor and was always considered the best dressed girl in the neighbourhood in her beautiful tailor made suites. Certainly a splendid advertisement for the firm.

Daffy, another syster, was very young and a pupil attending the private school of St Michaels which dear Miss Stella Francis had promoted for the sons and daughters of gentlefolk. One morning Daffy was very late in arriving at school and Miss Francis asked why. Daffy distinguished herself by saying it had taken her a long time to soap two dozen glass bangles on her wrist (they were then all the rage) that her brother had brought back from Persia. The nearest thing to hygiene in those days was an iron wash stand that contained a basin and a large enamel jug and soap disk that was secreted behind the piano. Miss Francis smartly told Daffy to justify her existance by withdrawing and soaping them all off again.

Vic married at a later date and had one son Ian, such a likable and learned boy. In his late teens he used to make model planes and was so anxious to join the RAF but he was too young. He did the next best thing and joined the RAF Cadet Corp in Colchester which necessitated him cycling every night to Colchester. Mr Edward Paxman was so impressed with Ian's engineering efforts that he wanted to take him under his own wing at Paxman's works but his mother, an intelligent person but filled with stupidity over his safety as bombs were falling in Colchester too often for comfort, refused to allow him to go. He was handy with a gun and food was short. He was out shooting for rabbits with a friend [ Vincent Magson ] and stepped on a mine on the beach. It was a terrible shock to everybody that knew these two serious thinking boys that such a fate should overtake them. Vic was doing his job at the Woolwich Arsenal but had to come home to look after his bereft wife, [ so ] grim that he just wasted his life doing odd jobs and one Saturday night went home, sat in a chair, and just died. His wife never stopped accusing him of poor Ian's death, for giving him a gun and teaching him how to use it. It's a very sad story.

Read More:
Michell Family on Mersea

AuthorWinifred Hone
Publishedc1969
SourceMersea Museum / Wendy Brady
IDWW01_361
Related Images:
 Mrs Mitchell [ Michell ? ], Mrs Hone, 'Admiral' Bill Wyatt.
 From Album 1. Accession No. 2016-11-001A  FL01_068_003
ImageID:   FL01_068_003
Title: Mrs Mitchell [ Michell ? ], Mrs Hone, 'Admiral' Bill Wyatt.
From Album 1. Accession No. 2016-11-001A
Source:Mersea Museum / Owen Fletcher Collection
 A performance of Humpty Dumpty in the British Legion Hall in the late 1920s. Revd Pierrepont Edwards upper left. Alma Soward, later Mrs Alick Reeve, is front right. 

<a href=mmphoto.php?typ=ID&hit=1&tot=1&ba=cke&bid=MMC_P405_006>MMC_P405_006 </a> is another photograph taken at the same event.
</notonweb>  MMC_P579_K
ImageID:   MMC_P579_K
Title: A performance of "Humpty Dumpty" in the British Legion Hall in the late 1920s. Revd Pierrepont Edwards upper left. Alma Soward, later Mrs Alick Reeve, is front right. MMC_P405_006 is another photograph taken at the same event.
Date:c1928
Source:Mersea Museum / M.J. Gethen Collection
 Newspaper cutting Two Youths killed in Minefield. Tragic end to shooting trip at East Mersea. Youths were named as Ian Victor Michell (17) and Vincent John Magson (16).
</p><p>
...
 The chief mourners were Mr and Mrs Michell, Mr and Mrs Neep, Miss G. Michell, Mr Cyril Smith, Mr Magson, Mrs French, Mr H. Banks, Mr Francis and Mrs Chapman. Messrs K. Gowen, R. Page and W.H. Carrington represented the ATC.
</p><p>
Paul Jasper knew Ian Michell well. He says: 
The boys killed were Ian Michell and Vincent Magson. They are buried just inside the Firs Road Cemetery, near the present-day cremations. Ian was an only-child and lived in Firs Chase. He has a cousin - Pat Wilson - in Plymouth. Vincent Magson lived in Rainbow Road. They had been shooting rabbits - Paul thinks they were between Decoy and East Mersea Hall and Don Proctor thinks it was near Kiddiesland. A rabbit was inside the barbed wire, in a minefield. They went to get it and a mine went off.
</p>  SBA10_023_001
ImageID:   SBA10_023_001
Title: Newspaper cutting "Two Youths killed in Minefield". Tragic end to shooting trip at East Mersea. Youths were named as Ian Victor Michell (17) and Vincent John Magson (16).

...
The chief mourners were Mr and Mrs Michell, Mr and Mrs Neep, Miss G. Michell, Mr Cyril Smith, Mr Magson, Mrs French, Mr H. Banks, Mr Francis and Mrs Chapman. Messrs K. Gowen, R. Page and W.H. Carrington represented the ATC.

Paul Jasper knew Ian Michell well. He says: The boys killed were Ian Michell and Vincent Magson. They are buried just inside the Firs Road Cemetery, near the present-day cremations. Ian was an only-child and lived in Firs Chase. He has a cousin - Pat Wilson - in Plymouth. Vincent Magson lived in Rainbow Road. They had been shooting rabbits - Paul thinks they were between Decoy and East Mersea Hall and Don Proctor thinks it was near Kiddiesland. A rabbit was inside the barbed wire, in a minefield. They went to get it and a mine went off.

Date:16 March 1945
Source:Mersea Museum / David Mussett Collection
 Mrs A.H. Soward. Frontispiece of The Years That Were - a book of poetry by Alma H. Soward.
 Nee Parker. In 1928 she became Clerk to West Mersea Urban District Council. Following the death of her husband Pyte, she married Alick Reeve.  WMC_013_004_001
ImageID:   WMC_013_004_001
Title: Mrs A.H. Soward. Frontispiece of The Years That Were - a book of poetry by Alma H. Soward.
Nee Parker. In 1928 she became Clerk to West Mersea Urban District Council. Following the death of her husband Pyte, she married Alick Reeve.
Date:1932
Source:Mersea Museum / WMTC