“The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh.”

People of Romney Marsh

Romney Marsh has been associated with many notable people, from those born here and/or lived here to those who influenced and recorded its history. 

Index Icon Richard Harris Barham
    
Author of The Ingoldsby Legends 
Index Icon Napoleon Bonaparte
     French military leader and Emperor

Index Icon​ John Coleman VC
   
Awarded VC in the Crimean War
Index Icon Noel Coward
   
Playwright, Composer, Actor & Singer 
Index Icon Rev John Deffray
    
Rector St Clement from 1690
Index Icon Major M.Teichman Derville
    Local dignitary and author

Index Icon Thomas Edgar
   
Master on HMS Discovery
Index Icon Edwin Finn
     Business Man, Mayor of Lydd

Index Icon Harold Gilman
   
 Impressionist Painter
Index Icon Victoria Hopper
 
 
Actress
Index Icon Derek Jarman
   
 
Film Director, Artist, Gardener & Author 
Index Icon​ Roderick Learoyd VC
    Awarded VC in WW2

Index Icon Larry Martyn
   
Actor
Index Icon General Sir John Moore
   
Soldier
Index Icon​ Paul Nash
    
Artist
Index Icon​ Edith Nesbit
   
Author
Index Icon John Piper
     Artist

Index Icon Milton Rosmer 
    
Actor, Film Director & Screenwriter

Index Icon​ Doctor Syn
    Fictional Vicar & Smuggler
d Russell Thorndike
   
Author
Index Icon James Tredwell
    
English Cricketer 
Index Icon John Tredwell
   
Footballer
Index Icon Henry Tubbs
   
Surveyer & Developer of LIttlestone
Index Icon Peter Walter
   
Actor & DSO in WW2 

                                                                       Index Icon  Artists, Authors and Poets                     Index Icon Family History

Edwin Finn

Edwin Finn, Chairman of Messrs. Edwin Finn and Sons, Limited, Brewers in Lydd, was born in 1834. Edwin Finn was a prominent personality, not only in connection with the brewing trade but as public man. An original Member of the Institute of Brewing, he had always taken a prominent part in trade defence matters, and had held the office of Chairman of the Kent Brewers' Union since February 20th, 1913. He had for very many years represented that union as its delegate on the General Committee of the Brewers Society, and in 1916 that Committee honoured him by making him an elected member.

The public offices held by Mr. Finn were numerous and important. For six years he was High Bailiff of Lydd, when the old Corporation was limb of New Romney, one of the Cinque Ports. On Lydd's being
granted charter under the Municipal Acts in 1885 Mr. Finn was elected the first Mayor of the borough, and ho was re-elected to the office on no fewer than twenty-seven subsequent occasions, having at the time of his death occupied it for 24 years in succession. He was the oldest mayor in England. 

He was Justice of the Peace for the County of Kent, and an Alderman and Magistrate for the Borough of Lydd. Amongst other offices he was Lord of Romney Marsh, Chairman of the Commissioners of Walland and Denge Marshes. He had been churchwarden at Lydd for over 45 years, was Commissioner of Taxes, and acted as trustee to many charities. Mr. Finn had the honour of attending Queen Victoria's Jubilee
ceremonies in 1887 and 1897, and was present and became Baron of the Cinque Ports at the Coronation of King Edward VII, on which occasion he was one of the canopy bearers in Westminster Abbey. He
had the honour also of attending at the Coronation of King George V, at which the Barons drooped the colours on the arrival of His Majesty at Westminster. 

Edwin Finn died in October 1917 aged 82.

 


Victoria Hopper

Victoria Hopper was a Canadian-born British stage and film actress and singer, who in her latter years, lived in St Mary in the Marsh. 
She was born 24 May 1909 in Vancouver in Canada and died peacefully at her home in St Mary in the Marsh on 22 January 2007, aged 97.

Her second marriage, in 1951, was to Peter Walter, a fellow actor and hero of the second world war. They had met starring in the play My Mother Said in June 1949. They lived together at Well Cottage in St. Mary in the Marsh.

Victoria Hopper, well known from the 1930s for her achievements on stage and screen, was described as 'petite and fair-haired'. She was a great success in her first play 'Martine', in which she starred. Victoria went on to star in several plays, musical shows and in seven films.

Website Icon reference and more information
 Victoria Hopper Archive

Victoria Hopper
Victoria Hopper

Larry Martyn

Lawrence "Larry" Martyn, born on 22 March 1934, was an English actor known for his comedy performances. He spent his latter years living in St Mary's Bay.

Martyn was born in London and was a former member of the Parachute Regiment. He was probably best known for his role as Mr. Mash in the BBC comedy series Are You Being Served?, appearing in the first three series. Other TV appearances included Dad's Army, On the Buses, Look - Mike Yarwood!, Rising Damp and The Detectives.

He also played alongside Frankie Howerd in two of his BBC shows, Up Pompeii! and Whoops Baghdad. His film roles included Carry On at Your Convenience where he had a small part as the pier rifle-range owner, and Carry On Behind, where he played an inept electrician who helps wire up the public address system at the campsite the film was set in.

Larry Martyn died on 7 August 1994 at home in St Mary's Bay and was survived by his wife Hilary and their two daughters.

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Larry Martyn
​Larry Martyn

General Sir John Moore

Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, KB, was a British soldier and General, also known as Moore of Corunna. He is best known for his military training reforms and the building of the Dymchurch Redoubt, the Martello Towers and the Royal Military Canal.

John Moore was born in Glasgow in 1761 and joined the British Army in 1776 as an ensign in the 51st Regiment of Foot. In 1803 to commanded a brigade at Shorncliffe Army Camp near Folkestone, where he established the innovative training regime that produced Britain's first permanent light infantry regiments. 

When it became clear that Napoleon was planning an invasion of Britain, Moore was put in charge of the defence of the coast from Dover to Dungeness. It was on his initiative that the Martello Towers were constructed following a pattern he had been impressed with in Corsica, where the prototype tower, at Mortella Point, had offered a stout resistance to British land and sea forces. 

He also initiated the cutting of the Royal Military Canal, and recruited about 340,000 volunteers to a militia that would have defended the lines of the South Downs if an invading force had broken through the regular army defences. 

In 1804 Moore was knighted and promoted to Lieutenant-General. In 1806 he returned to active duty in the Mediterranean and then in 1808 in the Baltic. He died in 1809 at the Battle of Corunna, in which he defeated a French army under Marshal Soult during the Peninsular War.
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Sir John Moore
Sir John Moore by Sir Thomas Lawrence

Book Icon Biography of Sir John Moore

John Piper

John  Piper (1903 – 1992) was an English painter, printmaker and designer of stained-glass windows and theatre sets. His work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches and monuments. 

John Piper was incredibly productive and made hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures using a myriad of techniques which have since become the staple of art teachers everywhere.

John Piper was a topographical artist, he recorded architecture, churches, stately homes and ancient ruins. 

During the Second World War he was commissioned to paint the damage caused to ancient and spiritual places like Coventry Cathedral . He worked at various sites throughout the British Isles. His work has a deeply Romantic edge to it.

One of his favourite places to visit was Romney Marsh where he recorded, in his own particular way, the churches of the Marsh and also the Military Canal. You can buy a nice set of the cards showing some of the pictures at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre.
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Painting by John Piper of Snargate Church
Painting by John Piper of St Dunstan Church in Snargate

MIlton Rosmer

Milton Rosmer was a British actor, film director and screenwriter. He was born in Southport, Lancashire in 1881.

Rosmer owned and lived in Old Tree Cottage, a Grade II listed 18th century cottage in Mill Road in Dymchurch, between the 1920s and 1950s, He befriended Russell Thorndike, author od the Dr Syn novels, and produced his film, Dr. Syn, in 1937. 

Miton Rosmer made his name on the British stage, debuting in 1889. He easily made the transition to silent pictures, appearing in such films as The Passionate Friends (1922). Talkies proved to be no obstacle to him, as it did to many silent actors, and Rosmer had roles in such classics as Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and The Stars Look Down (1940). His screen debut in The Mystery of a Hansom Cab and continued to act in film and television until 1956. He specialized in playing such characters as magistrates, professors, army officers and other authority figures.

Rosmer was also a screenwriter and director. The Crimean War epic Balaclava (1928), which had been shot as a silent by Maurice Elvey, was extensively reshot by Rosmer as a talkie. Some of his productions were Lady Windermere’s Fan (1916), Little Women (1917), Wuthering Heights (1920) and Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939). 

He died in 1971 in Chesham.

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Milton Rosmer in The Phantom in 1935
Milton Rosmer in The Phantom Light in 1935

John and James Tredwell

Father and son John and James Tredwell are both sportsman with strong links to St Mary's Bay.

St Mary's Bay resident John Tredwell was the Sports Organiser at the St Mary's Bay School Journey (and Holiday) Centre in the 1960s.  The centre was used by schools and organisations to provide educational and sporting breaks for children.

Below is an article with photograph about John Tredwell, taken from the Centre's journal of winter 1968.

John originates from Ashford, but moved to Folkestone in his 20s, as he played for Folkestone Town Football Club, he was a very good footballer in his youth. He now lives in St Mary's Bay.

John's son James Tredwell, who lived in St Mary's Bay, is a Kent and English cricketer. A left-handed batsman and a right-arm off break bowler, he plays his domestic cricket for Kent County Cricket Club. He made his debut for Kent in the 2001 season, just nine days before his first appearance for England Under-19s. He made his ODI debut on England's tour of Bangladesh in March 2010 and his Test match debut in the second test against Bangladesh at Dhaka on 20 March 2010. He was appointed county captain of Kent in November 2012.

In 2013 he played many games for England, culminating in him being made captain of the England T20 side for their match against New Zealand on 27 June 2013. Unfortunately the match had to be abandoned after only 2 overs because of rain. 

James no longer lives in St Mary's Bay but now resides near Canterbury, with his wife and child, close to Canterbury Cricket Ground.

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John and James Tredwell in October 2006
John and James Tredwell in October 2006 at the
150th Anniversary Dinner/Dance of Folkestone CC (ack15)

 

 

Peter Walter

Peter Walter was born in Hythe, on 11 March 1915, and educated at the Harvey Grammar School in Folkestone.

Always interested in dramatics, on leaving school he joined the local repertory company, of which he eventually become director.

During the second world war he served first in the Pioneer Corps and was then commissioned into the 23rd Hussars. Whilst serving in France, he was awarded the DSO for gallantry when his squadron was attacked by German Panther tanks.
Read full Citation

After the war he married Victoria Hopper, a well known actress, and they settled in St Mary in the Marsh, living at Well Cottage in St. Mary's Road. He died in 1993, aged 78.

 

Peter Walter Actor and War Hero
Peter Walter, Actor and War Hero

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