Members who have passed away in 2020

Mar 2020 : Don Hayward - a long standing member who was responsible for creating our Pedigree Index, and for many hours of transcription at the Record Office, most recently with the Guardians of the Poor Minute books.

A fuller obituary by his daughter appears in our May 2020 Journal.

Members who have died between 2015 and 2019 : see our Journals for these years

The following Members passed away in 2014

Barry Hall, a long standing member, who joined the Society in 1988, died in September 2014, aged 86. He was responsible for many of the transcriptions made of Record Office sources, including the Victorian Marriage Index. (See He was still working on transcriptions until just a few weeks before his death. He also was instrumental in the design of the WW II Shanklin War Memorial panel, which names, among others, those Fire Service Personnel who were killed when Shanklin Fire Station was hit by enemy bombing.

Wendy Hayward; who with her husband Don, helped compile and maintain our Pedigree Indexes.

Her obituary appeared in the Isle of Wight County Press of 4 April 2014.

The following Members passed away in 2013

Charles Jeremy Stephen FLAWN (IWFHS Member: 1393) who died aged 76 suddenly but peacefully at his home in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire on 3rd April 2013.

It is with regret that we have to announce the death last November of Bruce WALDRON (IWFHS Member: 0654).

It is with regret that we have to inform you that Dr George James Ferguson LEGGE (IWFHS Member: 1919) sadly passed away on 14th December 2013 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia aged 81.

George was awarded second prize in the 2010 Di Harding Award for his article "What happened in 1488?" which appeared in the August 2010 journal, number 98; which incidentally was the first journal edited by the current Editor Peter SPENCER.

Messages of condolence have been sent to the families.

The following Member passed away in 2013

Mr Colin Jefferies, of Newport
The following is taken, with acknowledgments, from the Isle of Wight County Press, May 24, 2013 :

"AN ISLAND-born retained firefighter for more than 30 years, Colin Donald Jefferies, died, aged 84, at St Mary’s Hospital, on Tuesday, following a long illness. Born in Albert Street, Newport, on September 24, 1928, he was the youngest of three children of Albert and Kate Jefferies.

He grew up in Newport and was a Barton Bonehead, having attended Barton School. As a young man, Mr Jefferies did two years’ National Service with the Royal Corps of Transport, serving as a driver, based at Newport, Shropshire.

He returned to the Island and was taken on as an apprentice mechanic at the Canning Day garage, in South Street, Newport. After spending four years with the firm, Mr Jefferies joined the IW County Council as a mechanic in the fire brigade’s workshops. Aligned to that, he served as a retained firefighter with Newport Fire Station for almost 30 years, latterly as a station officer, before he worked as an operator in the control centre for a further five years until retirement from the IW Fire and Rescue Service in 1982.

He married his first wife, Marion, in Stoke-on-Trent in March 1953. She died in 1978. Mr Jefferies, of Barton Road, Newport, where he lived at since 1955, married June (nee Hall), at the IW Register Office, in December 1978.

He was a member of the National Spiritualist Church, Northwood, and the IW Family History Society, and had a passion for classical music.

A funeral service will be held at the National Spiritualist Church, followed by a service at the IW Crematorium, Whippingham, on a date yet to be arranged.

He leaves his second wife, three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. "

The following Member passed away in 2012

Mrs Irene Harrison, of Southampton

Former Members who have died :

Mr Roy Middlebrook 1936 - 2009

The following is taken, with acknowledgments, from the Isle of Wight County Press, March 20, 2009 :

A pioneer of the Island folk revival scene, Roy Middlebrook, has died at St Mary's Hospital, aged 72.

Roy was born on June 27, 1936, in Warminster, Wiltshire, and attended Trowbridge High School for Boys. He moved to the IW in 1954 after winning a student apprenticeship at Saunders Roe, in East Cowes.

Roy gained a degree in mechanical engineering from Southampton University, which he followed up with post-graduate studies in aeronautics at Cranfield College. On his return to the Island, he worked as part of the team at Highdown, near Alum Bay, developing the Black Knight rocket.

During the 1970s Roy took further studies in computing and served for many years as head of engineeering computing at Westland Aerospace until his retirement in 1996. He was a founder member and regular performer for the Island Folk Song Club, which met weekly at the Sloop Inn during the 1960s.

When Men of Wight Morris started in 1970, he embraced that tradition with enthusiasm - playing, dancing and teaching.

Roy was a skilful accordion player, had a keen interest in local and family history, and was chairman of the Friends of Carisbrooke Castle Museum, and vice-chairman of the IW Family History Society.

He married Barbara Ann Mew in 1961. She died of cancer in 2002. Roy found love again in later years with Di Harding, but she, too, fell victim to cancer late last year.

Roy was taken seriously ill at the end of February and died at St Mary's Hospital on March 8.

Roy, who lived in Newport, is survived by his two children, Kay Arnold and Ian Middlebrook, and five grandchildren - Jonathan, Emily, and Jeremy Wells, and Alex and Zoe Middlebrook.

Mrs Di Harding

The following appeared in the IWFHS Journal of February 2009 and is published with the agreement of Janet Few

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Di Harding. Di had struggled with increasing ill health for the last couple of years and she died on 15th December 2008. Well known in the world of Isle of Wight family and local history, Di was always a good person to turn to for advice. Having worked as an archivist, latterly, to the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes, Di was particularly knowledgeable about maritime history and matters relating to the history of Cowes. Together with Jean Peters and I she presented several family history courses to beginners on the Island, specialising in probate and parish material. Di was a very straightforward person and was generous with her time and copious knowledge. She spent several years as editor of the IWFHS Journal until her increasing ill health forced her to resign.

I last met Di Harding in March (2008) when she and her partner Roy were in Devon in order to staff the IWFHS stand at the Plymouth Family History Fair. Later that week we had the chance for a proper chat on home territory in North Devon. Part of the reason for her trip to North Devon was in order for Di to arrange her own funeral. She spoke, in her characteristically brave and forthright way, of her limited life expectancy and it was a privilege to spend time with her. The Isle of Wight history world will seem strange without her.

Janet Few, President, IW Family History Society, January 2009.