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This page is archived 2008
Relevant Non administration emails will, after verification, be posted here.
Messages may be left indefinately or until asked to be removed.
Re-verification will take place approximately every 2 months to ensure message validity.
emails of a commercial nature will not be included. Items for sale, etc, will be posted in classified section.
Messages regarding geneaology assistance will normally be dealt with by administration and passed to relevant bodies.
Some, or those we are not able to assist with, will also be posted here.
If you wish to leave any message, e-mail it to us.

Email from Catherine O Keefe - British Columbia, Canada
01 Sept, 2008
Camoys brasses - age of Roger Lewkenor
I have just discovered your website, and it's excellent. Thank you so much for all your work. I was particularly interested in the email from Rev Davies re the Camoys brass in St. Georges Trotton -- and Mrs. Brown's reply.
We visited your lovely Rother Valley in April and only wished we had more time to do it justice. I was particularly interested in Trotton Church and have two questions which I hope you might be able to answer for me -- or direct me to an answer.
1) I wonder whether it is possible to do brass rubbings of either of the de Camoys brasses -- Margaret Camoys or Thomas & Elizabeth Camoys? Not the originals, I dare say, but do you know if any of the brass rubbing centres have replicas of these beautiful brasses?
2) The Roger Lewkenor tomb on the left side of the alter, I wonder if anyone knows what the inscription was and if it gave an age at death? There seems to be a problem with his age, in that a lot of sources have him marrying Alianora Camoys at about the age of 5.
Thanking you in advance for information on either of these topics, and congratualtions again on a wonderful website.
Catherine O'Keefe, Richmond, British Columbia
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Email from Jim Weatherall - Gosport, Hants
20 May, 2008
I have another question, this time for the Petworthians. Can anyone please tell me where Strowd is or was, in Petworth? A pair of my 8th GreatGrands Robert Sotcher (1615) and Elizabeth Shelle (1628) were both born, married 1649, and had 5 children there.
Jim Weatherall.
[ The name Strowd came from transcripts from Parish Registers.]
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Email from Richard Day
WANTED - Midhurst Postcard of around 1970
Does anyone have, or know of, a postcard with a picture of Midhurst North Street? The photograph was taken around 1970 and shows people shopping, walking along the pavement, and generally going about their business. I have searched eBay for this postcard which I know exists, but thus far with no luck. I would be more than happy to pay a reasonable sum for it (assuming good condition) as it holds sentimental value for me.
Contact Richard Day at

Seeking Beatrice
In 1922 Beatrice Hilda Green lived at Montier Terrace, Petworth with her husband Gabriel Green. She was born in Southampton on June 21, 1896. Her maiden name was Formhals. We think that Beatrice was widowed in the 1920s and she re-married. We do not know who she married and as a result we are having difficulty tracing information regarding her. If anyone can help we will be very grateful.
Bryan Owen, 17 Warner Road, Pogmoor, Barnsley, S75 2HQ

Emails and photos from Tony Ross Ontario, Canada [ex Harting]

Looking for Trevor
My name is Paula Keanes [nee Smith] formerly of Loftus, North Yorkshire. My brother Trevor left Saltburn over 5 years ago to visit a new girlfriend, Tracy in Petworth, W.Sussex. He later phoned and said he was staying there and settling down with her. Since then we have not heard from him other than a couple of christmas cards, both with West sussex postmarks. I desperately would like to hear from him to know he is well and that I am now married with a new son he has not seen. If you read this Trevor please get in touch or if anyone can help, I would be grateful.
Paula Keanes
To contact EMail us & we will pass your message on.

Do you remember Gerard?
I am trying to trace details of my great-uncle, Gerard Ferdinand Thornton, who died at his home at Otara, Kingsley Green, Fernhurst, on March 9 1959, aged 77.
It may be that one of your more 'mature' readers knew him I would be delighted to hear from you.
Uncle Gerard was a leather importer in London for much of his life.
He was the last of four sons born towards the end of the 1880s to Harriet Thornton and her husband, the Canon Emeritus of Ely Cathedral, Frederick Thornton.
Two of their children died in the battlefields of World War One and the third, my grandfather, survived to win the MC.
Gerard is something of a mystery and I really want to find out about his life.
I can be contacted at the address below or on my email address which is..
Robin Thornton, Old Way House, Appledore, Kent TN26 2DB

Jim Weatherall
As a Family History Researcher may I congratulate you on a most excellent Site. I have traced my Mother's Langley Line back through Iping, Stedham and Petworth, and have a link to the Gadd Family whose tree you display.
My 3rd GGFather Robert Langley was born in Fernhurst in 1830 and married Frances Steel of Iping in 1827. I know little about Frances except that she may have been the daughter of William and Elizabeth Steele. Robert's previous 3 generations had all lived at Bignor/Sutton, but they are descended from William Langley (1638) who married Ann Sotcher at Petworth in 1691.
I would be interested to hear from anyone else who is following these lines.
To contact Jim Weatherall EMail us & we will pass your message on.

Searching for former penpal
Diane Burtenshaw

I found your website, and thought I'd ask for your assistance in locating an old friend.
I'm trying to locate a grade school penpal that I wrote to from 1971 until approximately 1989.
Her name is Diane Burtenshaw, maiden name of Pink. She married in 1979. She has three children, Samantha, Paul, and Gary. Last known address I have is 1 Dunora Cottages, Yapton Road, Barnham, West Sussex, England. I tried sending her a letter about two or three years ago and the letter was returned with a note that she had not been at that address in two years
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me in my mission.
Susan Thompson, 8801 State Road 48, Aurora, IN 47001. USA

Thankyou Lads
May 2008
My husband and I recently visited the Midhurst area for a short holiday travelling around the lovely countryside surrounding it and down along the coast. Late one evening on returning from Arundel to Midhurst our car developed a problem called 'no petrol'!! We had in fact broken a fuel line. On the dark, lonely, back road that our new 'sat nav' had decided was the best way, we then found we had no signal to our mobile phone. Both my husband and myself are in our 70's and it was now past midnight with not a house or car in sight.
It was then that what I suppose was to top it all, we were surrounded by a group of youths who suddenly appeared on motorcycles and a very battered Ford car with very loud music. I was petrified. But I need not have been. They were loud and dressed strangely, but perfect gentlemen. Within a few minutes they had repaired the fuel line and after a short while one had returned with a can of petrol "enough to get us back".
They then drove in front of us through small back roads until we reached a main road close to Midhurst. My husband offered them enough for a 'couple of pints' each but they refused and drove off before we could thank them properly.
This was the highlight of our visit and have already planned to return soon. In the meantime we are using your splendid website to look around the area and found your lists of pubs and BBs invaluable.
We are hoping that they may see this message and realize just how grateful we really are.
Thankyou Lads!!
Frances & David Knight, Burnley, lancs
To contact EMail us & we will pass your message on.

Tracing former soldiers
I asking for help in tracing former soldiers, both regulars and national servicemen, who served in the Free Territory of Trieste between the years of 1945 and 1954. The BETFOR Association was formed in December 2002, with the aim of giving members the opportunity of contacting old comrades.
Get in touch by phone on 01283 790147,
by email
or write to me.
Colin Russell, 5 Wakefield Road, Alrewas, Burton on Trent, Staffs DE13 7EN

Your great site
I live in Port Alberni BC, Canada...Retired grandmother ,very much involved with family research, in particular, the Gadd's of West Sussex............My Gadd ancestors were mainly from Graffham, then Aldingbourne, Cocking, Lurgashall, Brighton,Westergate, and a couple of other places........I am enjoying your site , and have spent numerous hours there already. Easy to navigate too, which is a good thing for me.....If there is any information I can contribute regarding the Gadd's of West Sussex I would be pleased to help however I can. With thanks for all the work that has and is going into your site
Kindest Regards,
Pat Burdick,Port Alberni BC, Canada
To contact EMail us & we will pass your message on.
Full email here

I'm a 60's gal - St. Annes Wood was a favourite with us and the boy boarders from MGS - lots of wild stories and tales to tell at a reunion of the 60's students in June 2000.
Please contact Siobhan Gislimberti (nee Hatchwell)- "shivvy" at
A small group of us are still in contact and would love to hear from anyone else who remembers us!!!!
click here for details

Tony Smith asks:
Although it is unlikely, would anyone have had an association with the Royal Sussex Regiment, particularly with the Expeditionary forces in Egypt and involvement in the Gaza battles of 1917?
My Great uncle Henry (Harry) Pledge was killed during the Third battle for Gaza on 6th November 1917. The CWGC advise me that he had no known grave there, but is remembered at the Jerusalem Memorial, he is also mentioned on a memorial in Midhurst, West Sussex. The Sussex County Archivist is searching for material relating to my uncle, we know that he was born in Heyshott, and enlisted in Horsham so he was a Sussex lad. Sadly, all my relatives from that era are all gone now, so I am relying on archives and perhaps the possibility that someone may have had a relative that was there (Egypt) in 1917, and may have spoken of Henry Pledge.
Best regards.
Anthony Smith

From Bob Campbell, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Fri, 18 Apr 2008
Subject: Photographs
I am in Australia, and have been researching my family's history which goes back to this area of West Sussex to before our country was discovered by Captain Cook. So I was very pleasantly surprised by all the really great photographs taken at the villages where my ancestors were living. You are to be congratulated as these photographed really bring their story from old documents to life, in an area where it is unlikely I will ever have the opportunity to set foot and visit personally.
The family I am descended from went by the surname Gadd, and during the 18th and 19th century they were all farmers or farm bailiffs, (managers), from the villages of Cocking, Graffham, Heyshott and Selham to name but a few. A few years back I received a copy of a will from my direct ancestor Henry Gadd a farmer from Heyshott dated 1808. So I was particularly interested to see the churchyard for there with all the memorial stones shown.
..........................etc..Bob Campbell
PS I too have been collecting some early postcards from this area, most of which are now over 100 years old, so if it is of some help I can, as one or two come into my possession, scan them to fairly high definition and email the images to you.
To contact EMail us & we will pass your message on.
Gadd Family index

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A short selection of links to some of the many other sections from Gravelroots
The Vintage Trail - - emergency services archive - - The Rother Valley Trail - - Churches - - Headstones - - Venue - Gigs & musicians - - Pubs & Hotels - - more
Rother Valley Modern Communities
Chithurst - - Cocking - - Didling - - Duncton - - Easebourne - - East Lavington - - Fernhurst - - Fittleworth - - Graffham
Harting - - Heyshott - - Iping - - Lickfold - - Linch - - Lodsworth - - Lurgashall - - Midhurst - - Milland - - Northchapel
Nyewood - - Petworth - - Rogate - - Selham - - South Ambersham - - Stedham - - Sutton - - Tillington - - Trotton - - Upperton
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    1st. page edit Feb.2008

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