Herald - Issue 450

Page 26 • The HERALD • 7th December 2023 v SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE HERALD v WESTWOOD BUILDING BUILDING & LANDSCAPING WE ARE A FAMILY RUN BUSINESS WITH OVER 40 YEARS EXPERIENCE BASED IN THE NEW FOREST. WE OFFER FREE QUOTATIONS AND ADVICE WHAT WE DO: • PATIOS • DRIVEWAYS AND BLOCK PAVING • GROUND WORKS • BRICK WORK • EXTENTIONS • GARAGE CONVERSIONS • CHIMNEY REPAIRS • ALTERATIONS • WE OFFER A FULL PLANNING AND DESIGN SERVICE TO SUIT YOUR PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS • FREE ESTIMATES • GUARANTEED WORKMANSHIP Call: 07725 002162 Email: westwoodbuilding@outlook.com • Foxhills, Ashurst, SO40 7ED Kitchen & Bathroom Showroom with free design service Tel: 023 8084 3787 Email: showroom@pcbuildingsupplies.co.uk Web: www.pcbuildingsupplies.co.uk • Digital Aerial & Satellite Installations • Repairs & Servicing • TV Distribution Points • TV Wall Mounting & Installations • Freesat HD/Freeview HD • Sky, Sky+, Sky HD • SMATV & IRS Systems • DAB/FM Aerial Installations CAI Company of the Year 2014 Humphries Digital Aerials Keith Humphries & Son All Areas Covered Tel: 023 8066 7362 Email: humphriesaerials@btconnect.com • Website: www.humphriesdigitalaerials.co.uk A Family Firm Est 1971 The next Herald is out on 4th January A SAD TALE FROM FIELDS HEATH by Robin Somes, Fawley and Blackfield Memories A tragic story this time, of the sad and unexplained death of Sidney Barnett in 1905, aged 31. Sidney, born around 1874, was a butler from Fulham, who in mid-July 1905 had a fall while cleaning windows, and fractured his skull. A er three weeks in a London hospital and a week at his parents’ house, he came to recuperate in Fawley, visiting his aunt, Hannah Cotton, who lived at Fields Heath. He intended later to return to London, and seek another butler’s position. A er a week at Fields Heath, he had seemed in good spirits. Though not completely recovered, and still su ering headaches, he was improving, and looking forward to returning home to London. He wrote to his wife to tell her he would be home on 22nd August. Early on the morning of that day, he packed his bag for travelling, and then set out for a walk at around 8am. e family assumed he had walked to Calshot beach, where he had been accustomed to go swimming. When he hadn’t returned that evening, his 16-year-old cousin Rosina Cotton, Hannah’s daughter, went out to search for him, and eventually found his body, hanging from a tree at Maceys Ditch, Badminston Common. She rushed back to Fields Farm to fetch Ambrose Kinchington, who cut the body down, and summoned the police and a doctor, sadly all too late. An inquest a few days later heard evidence from all concerned; Dr. J. Hutchinson thought Sidney’s head injury might have led to temporary insanity, and so a verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind was recorded. ere are several mysteries here, rst of all, where the Cotton family might have lived. Blackbird Cottage, o Chapel Lane, is just possible, but the most likely place seems to be Fields Farm Cottages, just south of Fields Farm. Ambrose Kinchington himself lived in the farm, with his wife and son. Secondly, where was Macey’s Ditch? e name does not appear on old maps, though the 1838 tithe map does record a eld called ‘Mackeys’, just north of Mopley Road in Langley – which could loosely be called Fields Heath or Badminston Common, I suppose. e biggest mystery, of course, is what led Sidney to take his own life. He had been married only nine months, and his wife, Elizabeth Beynon, was expecting their child – Gladys Annie Barnett, who was born three months a er his death; seemingly he had everything to live for. So, what could have been his reasons? Perhaps, as the inquest suggested, his injuries had caused some imbalance of his mind, or perhaps he had some deep trouble quite unrelated to the injuries. at, we’ll never know. Fields Farm in the 1980’s, by Phyllis Somes