The Late Mrs. Mary Wheeler

A beloved personality

Mrs. Mary Jane Wheeler of The Bungalow, Worbarrow Bay, passed away on Tuesday afternoon, at the age of 81 years, following an illness which commenced suddenly on July 30th.

A native of Yorkshire, Mrs. Wheeler had been twice married, and on Friday afternoon she was interred in the grave of her first husband, Mr. John Greenwood, who predeceased her by 52 years, at Southend-on-Sea.

To the small community at Worbarrow Bay, the people of Tyneham, and many more in that cleft in the hills of Purbeck, Mrs. Wheeler’s death has brought a sense of irreparable loss. They mourn the passing of a friend who never failed, and for whom their affection was won by a kindly and sympathetic disposition, and by rare generosity. No-one ever turned to Mrs. Wheeler for help, advice, or sympathy in vain.

Not only residents of that part of Purbeck where Mrs. Wheeler was so loved, but visitors, soldiers, airmen, and others can testify to her goodness. During the days of war, when the military had charge of a look-out station at the Bay, she opened her home to the men, provided hot baths and placing a room at their disposal.

On an occasion when a seaplane descended in the Bay, it was Mrs. Wheeler who provided the occupants with accommodation, giving them every comfort, until such time as they were prepared to depart. Holiday makers, campers, and others have found in her a true friend, always prepared to help them, and to make their stay more pleasant.

Funeral Tributes

Mrs. Wheeler was interred by her own special wish in the vault of her first husband, at Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and among the many wreaths sent were the following:

  • Michael, Lorna, and Patrick: In loving memory.
  • Amy, Arthur, and Norman: With ever loving memory to dear Auntie.
  • Reg., of Australia: In affectionate remembrance.
  • Owen, Idris [Ellis]: Sincere love and sympathy.
  • Winifred and Clarence [Brachi]: With great love and deep sorrow.
  • Florrie and Glen: With loving and deepest sympathy.
  • Maude [Ellis]: With grateful and loving remembrance.
  • Trevor [Ellis]: To dearest Mother.
  • David, Anne, and Mary [Brachi]: With love from her children.
  • Mrs. Norman Briggs: With ever loving memories to a great and noble woman.
  • Mrs. R. J. Oliver and Violet: In grateful remembrance of her kindness.
  • Elsie Schries and Margaret Boston: In ever loving memory.
  • Rev. and Mrs. L. Wynne: In memory of an old friend.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hill, Olive and Mabel: In very loving memory.
  • Mrs. L. H. Gilbert: In loving memory of a dear old friend.
  • Mrs. Haley and Olga: In loving remembrance.
  • Annie and Julia and Mrs. Warr: In loving memory.
  • Rosetta Fraser: With deepest sympathy.
  • Douglas, Ada, and Tony Wheeler: With love and sympathy.
  • Mrs. H. Cundall: In loving memory of a very dear friend.
  • Mr. C. Bayer: With deepest sympathy.
  • Harriet, Grace, and Sally: With love for the best lady we have ever known.
  • Harriet and Charles Miller: In ever loving memory.
  • Jack and Miggie [Miller]: To our dear old friend.
  • Mrs. Rose: With much love to a dear friend.
  • Mrs. Herd: With deepest sympathy.
  • Percy and Ellen Kerley: In kind remembrance.
  • Mrs. J. Toms: With deep sympathy.
  • The Nurses: With kind thoughts.
  • Mrs. A. Moor-Shaw: In loving remembrance.
  • Mrs. F. J. Wheeler, Alice and Willie: With deepest sympathy.
  • Mrs. Frank Berryman and Mrs. Titchmarsh: In affectionate remembrance.
  • Miss Edith Gamble: In affectionate memory.
  • Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Kirton: With sincere sympathy.
  • Mrs. Walter Ware and Reg.: In loving memory of a dear Gran.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Annereau: With kind remembrance.
  • Mr. Francis Briggs: In memory of many happy days.

The relatives of the late Mrs. M. J. Wheeler, of Worbarrow, Corfe Castle, wish to thank their many friends for the kind letters of sympathy and beautiful flowers.

Published by Western Gazette, 26 August 1932

1931: Death of Mrs. James Lucas


AN APPRECIATION. – A correspondent writes:

“The death of Mrs. James Lucas, at the age of 80, has broken the last link with the old generation so closely connected with Tyneham Farm. Widow of ‘Shepherd’ Lucas (who died six years ago), she had spent the whole of her married life in this parish, and it was only latterly that ill-health had obliged her to leave in order to be cared for by her youngest daughter. Life must have been very difficult to face, with ten children to bring up on the low wages of 40 years and more ago, but she maintained a quiet dignity and an uncomplaining disposition to the end. She was buried at Tyneham on Saturday in the presence of many children, grandchildren and friends. May she rest in peace.”

Published by Western Gazette, 3 April 1931

[Jane Lucas nee Diskett (1851-1931)]

1881: Death of William Stickland


On Saturday last this parish sustained a death the loss of a remarkable man, in his 64th year, named William Stickland born in humble life, of him it my truly be said: –

“Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife, His sober wishes never learned to stray: Along the cool sequestered vale of life He kept the noiseless tenour of his way”

By his simple piety, strict integrity, courage and uniform civility he had endeared himself to all the neighbourhood.

His death will be universally lamented by all how knew him. By nature a sailor, he had been accustomed to the sea from his earliest childhood, and in early life he had been a leading spirit amongst the smugglers, who used to abound on this coast, to whom his dauntless courage and thorough knowledge of the coast were invaluable, and many were the hairbreadth escapes he had amid the heavy surf and darkness amongst the dreaded Kimmeridge ledges or the rugged rocks beneath Gad Cliff. He was the owner of a fine boat built by himself, and obtained his living as a fisherman. He was a keen observer of nature, his remarks upon the habits offish, sea birds and the peculiarities of the tides were always most interesting.

On the establishment of a Lifeboat Station by the Royal National Institution in 1868 at Kimmeridge he was at once chosen as the coxswain of the Mary Heape which office he held up to his death. In the terrific gale of December 8th 1872, the ‘Mary Heape’ was successful in rescuing 17 men, the crew of the German ship ‘Stralsund’ which had stuck on the Kimmeridge ledges, on which occasion the safety of the boat and crew was attributed to his clear head and steady had in piloting her through the heavy breakers. In recognition of which the Life Boat Institution awarded him an extra gratuity.

Every Sunday morning he used to be seen arrayed in his pilot jacket and hat well on the back of his head crossing the hill to attend the Service of his Parish Church, where also he was a regular communicant, and beneath whose shadow he now rests. How appropriate to him are the words of the beautiful hymn: –

‘The saints of God, life’s voyage o’er. Safe landed on that blissful shore, No stormy, tempest how they dread, No roaring billows lift their head, Oh, happy saints for ever blest, In that calm heaven of your rest’

Published by the Dorset County Chronicle, 24 March 1881

Kindly extracted from Dorset County Chronicle by William’s great-great-grand-daughter, Pat Andrews, who lives in Australia.