Saturday, 3 June 2017

Phillis Wolseley Haig

Phillis Wolseley Haig is the daughter of Robert Wolseley Haig and Maria Georgina Brown.

One of children of James and Nerina Arrow was Walter Waterfield Ward, who had a career in the British Army and married Phyllis Wolseley Haig, the daughter of the military astronomer Robert Wolseley Haig and sister of Sir Thomas Wolseley Haig, of the Indian Civil Service. In retirement Walter Waterfield and Phyllis Ward set up home in one of the houses Decimus Burton had designed for John Ward in St Leonards on Sea, Baston Lodge on Upper Maze Hill. It was while living in Baston Lodge with their three daughters that the Wards took in two young brothers whose parents were in India. The older of the brothers, John, would later recall:

“I am no child psychologist but I am assured that it is a bad thing for an infant in arms to be uprooted and put in a strange environment. I cannot speak for Alan but it was certainly a shock for me, even at the age of five. Not that it was my parents’ fault; it was the accepted procedure for those who served the British Empire in Inda and elsewhere to entrust their children to foster parents in England. Who shall blame them? Even so, both of us were, in our different ways, sacrificed to the British Empire…. My brother and I were lucky to escape the rigours of the life depicted by Kipling and were, indeed, fortunate in the home which my mother, with great diligence, found for us. But the ache remained. Moreover, the unsettled existence of our childhood was to leave its mark on us both…. Alan and I were left with “the Wards” – always we referred to them as “the Wards”. We were the wards and they were our guardians but no matter – this was to be the centre of our existence for many years and our home from home.” (J. Turning, My brother Alan. In Sara Turing, Alan M. Turing centenary edition, 2012 [1st edition 1959]CUP: 145 – 166.)

Younger brother Alan Turing went on to achieve fame as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and on 23 June 2012, the centenary of his birth, the Mayor of Hastings unveiled a blue plaque on Baston Lodge.

No comments: