A village history in West Sussex
In writing this account of my youth in Westbourne some memories may have dimmed and events may have been unintentionally changed from facts. Over the last 70 years as memories have been recalled to children, grand children, family and friends the facts can sometimes become scrambled to make them more interesting. It is a bit like the game we used to play in the scouts called whispers. The lads would stand in a line and the first would whisper a message into the ear of the next until the last lad would say out loud what the message is. A famous one is that the message was 'send reinforcements we are going to advance' and ended as ‘send two and sixpence we are going to a dance'.
Unfortunately the events were never written down or kept in a diary. Unlike when tracing the family history where birth, marriage and death certificates together with census records provide a valuable source of facts, as was the information in wills. An important help has been the many photographs taken over the years. Perhaps part of my dilemma is best summarised when Donald Rumsfeld (US Politician) said
There are known knowns.
These are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns.
That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns.
There are things we don't know we don't know.
This web site is just one part of my history. The family trees of the Hart/Woodcock on my father's side, Turnbull/Horton on my mother's side and Pirrie/Simpson on my wife's side are recorded on another site. If you have one of these surnames in your family tree then perhaps we are related. While researching the family history it was discovered that my family was not the only one to live in the former Westbourne Workhouse. At one time my great grandmother, on my father's side, was an inmate in the Weymouth Workhouse.