See also

Pamela WILSON (1918- )

1. Pamela Fiennes WILSON (also known as [unnamed person]), daughter of Captain Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON DSO, RN (1886-1975) and Catherine Gladys MURRAY (1886-1958), was born on 17 March 1918. She married William Edward Gerald CHURCHER.


William Edward Gerald CHURCHER and Pamela Fiennes WILSON had the following children:


Susan CHURCHER (1945- ). Susan was born on 20 August 1945.

Hilary Jane CHURCHER (1947- ) (known as 'Jane'). Jane was born on 3 January 1947.

Penelope Anne CHURCHER (1948- ) (known as 'Penny'). Penny was born on 8 April 1948.

Andrew Edward CHURCHER (1951-1987). Andrew was born on 30 April 1951. He died in 1987.

Gillian Mary CHURCHER (1956- ) (known as 'Gilly'). Gilly was born on 5 February 1956.

Second Generation

2. Captain Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON DSO, RN (known as 'Fiennes', and also as [unnamed person]), son of Maurice Fitzgerald WILSON and Florence May BADNALL, was born on 22 June 1886 in 2 Talbot Villas, Old Dover Road, Gravesend, Kent. He was a Naval Officer. He married Catherine Gladys MURRAY on 4 August 1914 in St Judes, Portsea, Portsmouth, England. He died on 16 February 1975 in Watlington, Oxon. He was buried in Putney Vale Cemetery.


Fiennes, as he was known, had a career as a Naval Officer. His specialism was navigation. He was awarded the DSO for bravery in action during WW1, as well as the equally prestigious Dutch Order of Orange Nassau. (Listed in London Gazette of 25 November, 1947). Fiennes wrote a detailed diary of his WW1 experience - something officers were expressly forbidden to do. Some of that diary still exists, in particular his time aboard HMS Drake in 1914.

He tried, unsuccessfully (but only just) to get onto Scott's Antarctic Expedition, and correspondence about his efforts to be included still exist.

There are many more multimedia records for this entry, which can be via through


At the age of 14, Fiennes was at a school in Greenwich, at 50 Chroun(?) Hill. There appeared to be but 10 pupils (13-15 years of age) and a headmaster and his wife. Interestingly, in the 1891 census, the family is at 27 Sloane Gardens, Chelsea, London. The two boys are there, aged 4 and 2, 5 servants including a "nurse" and "nursemaid", but no sign of either parent!


MFFW was awarded the DSO during the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917.
This was a naval engagement in World War I. On 17 November 1917, German minesweepers clearing a path through the British minefield in the Heligoland Bight near the coast of Germany were intercepted by two British cruisers, HMS Calypso and HMS Caledon, performing counter-minesweeping duties. The German ships fled south toward the protection of the battleships SMS Kaiser and SMS Kaiserin, commanded by Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter. The two cruisers engaged the German battleships, while their own screening force of the battlecruisers HMS Tiger, HMS Renown, HMS Repulse, HMS Courageous, and HMS Glorious of the First Battlecruiser Squadron, commanded by Admiral Sir Charles Napier, were coming up to assist.

All personnel on the bridge of HMS Calypso, including her captain, were killed by a 12-inch shell. HMS Repulse, Captain William Boyle, briefly engaged the German battleships, but the Germans made it back to the safety of their own minefields with the loss of only a torpedo boat.

You will find an account of the encounter in the Gazettes ( I believe in the 24 June 19 gazette.

"British forces were Glorious, Courageous and eight light cruisers with four battlecruisers in support attemping to attack German minesweeping forces and whatever patrol forces they encountered. They hit upon four German light cruiser under Kontreadmiral von Reuter, which laid smoke and fell back toward two supporting German battleships. Glorious and Courageous fired an awful lot of shells and scored few hits. The worst damaged German ship was the light cruiser Königsberg, which took a 15-inch shell from Repulse."


From the Old Wykehamist

" Register: Wilson, Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald (D, 1899³ - 1900³), born 22 June 1886, son of Maurice Fitzgerald Wilson, Bagenholt, Dover. Midshipman HMS Drake; Sub-Lieutenant.1906; Lieutenant-Commander HMS Calypso 1918; DSO.

His House annals record that Fiennes was in MP2 when he arrived at the school (being the ‘Middle Part’ of the school, this would demonstrate to me that he was particularly bright – at least he would have been in my day in the mid-60s!) and in MP3 when he left. The annals also state ‘left to cram for R.N, 5th into Britannia 1901’. [Junior Part lies below and Senior Part above (unsurprisingly!), with VIth Book at the peak of the academic streaming.]

Fiennes was only here for a year – in Kenny’s (aka Fearons or ‘D’)".


Fiennes was educated at Winchester College and made a successful career in the Navy, where he was known as one of its most talented navigators. He was awarded the DSO for courage during WW 1, during action on HMS Calypso where the Captain was killed and he was seriously injured, yet remained in charge to bring the ship to safety. Fiennes was also almost chosen to be part of Scott's fated Antartctic expedition, but was in the end left out due to politics: there was controversy about the expedition which centred around the issue of whether the expedition should at heart be a civil or naval venture. After WW 1 Fiennes worked for Admiral Kelly in the fledgling League of Nations. During WW 2 he returned to the Navy and was involved in convoy work , for which, by order of the Dutch monarch, he became a Commander of the Order of Orange Nassau. After WW 2 Fiennes involved himself in a number of occupations, including keeping chickens. He was interested in genealogy, book-binding and had a passion for driving an old Bentley car; this latter had a tragic consequence in his old age when he ran over and killed a young woman (who was known to him) in the village where he lived: he was driving in the dark and had not seen her. Fiennes was known for his quiet courage and great sense of humour.


3. Catherine Gladys MURRAY (known as 'Gladys'), daughter of Colonel Pulteney Henry MURRAY and Mary Leaycraft INGHAM, was born on 18 January 1886 in Oswestry (registered). She was born on 18 January 1886 in Oswestry. She died on 12 April 1958.


Gladys was born into a family with a long and distinguished history on her father's side, and into a powerful Bermudan shipping family on her mother's side. Her mother's father had risen to the position of Speaker of the House of Assembly in Bermuda. Gladys herself married a naval officer.


Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON and Catherine Gladys MURRAY had the following children:



Pamela Fiennes WILSON (1918- )

Peter Fiennes WILSON (1920-1995). Peter was born on 21 December 1920 in 2 Dartmouth Place, Blackheath. He was born on 21 December 1920 in 2 Dartmouth Pl., Blackheath. He was a Consultant Civil Engineer. He married Iris Margaret MARTIN on 21 May 1949 in Ilminster Church. He died on 31 July 1995 in Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells. He died in 1996 in Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells.

Third Generation

4. Maurice Fitzgerald WILSON, son of Richard Bassett WILSON and Anne FITZGERALD, was born on 4 February 1858 in London. He was a Civil Engineer. He was confirmed on 20 October 1874. He married Florence May BADNALL on 2 August 1884. He died on 23 December 1945. He was buried in December 1945.


Maurice Fitzgerald Wilson was born on the 4th February, 1858, and died on the 23rd December, 1945. He was educated at Eton and at the Crystal Palace School of Engineering, and, after a short period at the Thames Ironworks, was articled in 1881 to Sir John Coode, K.C.M.G., Past-President Ins. S.E., spending most of his pupilage on the harbour works at Table Bay and Port Elizabeth. From 1883 to 1886 he was engaged on constructional work at Tilbury Docks for Messrs. Kirk and Randall and Messrs. Lucas and Aird, for whom he also worked on the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway. In 1888 he was appointed resident engineer on the construction of the breakwater at St. Ives, Cornwall. From 1892 to 1895 he was resident engineer on the dock works of the London and South western Railway at Southampton. In 1896 he was appointed superintending engineer in charge of the survey for the Admiralty harbour, Dover, and later for the construction of the works, on which he was engaged until 1905. In 1906 he joined the firm of Coode, Son and Matthews, of which in 1924, on the death of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice, Past-President Inst. C.E., he became senior partner. For nearly forty years he was engaged in the design and construction of harbours, docks, sea defence works, bridges and barrages, including dock extnesions for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board; the Admiralty harbour of refuge at Peterhead; Fishguard harbour; the Lyttelton and gisbourne harbours, New Zealand; wharves and docks at Singapore; the Jahore causeway; Colombo harbour; entrance works and wharves at Lagos; harbour works on the Gold Coast, in Sierra Leone, and in Gambia; and work for the Whangpoo Conservancy Board, Shanghai. In 1921 he was appointed a member of the consultative committee ofengineers of the European Commission for the Danube. From 1929 to 1933 he was in charge of the technical investigation of the proposed Severn barrage, upon which the report issued in 1933 was based.

Mr. Wilson was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 5th February, 1884, and was transferred to the class of Member onthe 12th February, 1895. He was elected to the Council in November 1928 and became Vice-President in November 1937, but declined nomination for election as President in November 1940 owing to ill health. In the previous February he had been elected an Honorary Member of the Institution. In 1919 he presented a Paper on the Admiralty Harbour, Dover, for which he was awarded the George Stephenson Gold Medal and a Telford premium. He was a member of the Sea Action Committee and later acted as its Chairman. For many years he took a leading part in the work of the British Standards Institution, of which he was Chairman from 1922 to 1933, and honorary life chairman of its Engineering Divisional Council.

In 1884 he married Florence May, daughter of the Venerable Hopkins Badnall, Archdeacon of the Cape, and had two sons. Mrs. Wilson died in 1941.

Obituary, published in the Journal of Institution of Civil Engineers, vol. 26, 1945-6.


Letter written to Maurice's son Fiennes' "Brass Hat" - a reference to his son's promotion within the Royal Navy? An image of the original letter is viewable as a Multimedia Object.

My dear Brass Hat,

Though you have been well known to me by name and reputation for some years I have never yet been brought into intimate relations with you so that in writing to offer you my congratulations I feel I should introduce myself lest you might think me presumptious. I understand you are now to adorn the head (of diminishing thatch?) of my son, up till this morning at 0000? hours a Lieutenant Commander R.N. and he, being as I have just said, my son, I introduce myself to you as his father. This will be clear and no doubt satisfactory. I feel it is a matter on which I may offer natural?? congratulations both to yourself and my son. To yourself fu?, though you will seldom have but? what I must describe as a birds eye view of him, you will I am sure be always comfortable and fairly well treated except upon the comparatively rare occasions when you may perchance be used as a water bucket or a football. At any rate I am sure you never be inconvenienced or pressed by any undue swelling of the temples. I am sure you will always be treated with consideration though you must not expect to be wrapped up in cotton wool. You will be carried high and will be naturally looked up to, provided this does not develope [sic] a squint. Nest?? in any case you may be sure the intention will be there.

My son I think must also receive my heartiest congratulations on having become your possessor. It is a prize he has long looked forward to with hopes of obtaining and I need not tell you with what pride and pleasure his mother and I saw? and I may call the announcement of your marriage in the papers this morning. This letter is therefore to wish you every success in your future journeyings together.

Please therefore accept these wishes yourself and convey them to Commander Wilson from his very loving



Maurice was at Eton College from 1871-1877. Whilst there he was awarded an enormous engraved pewter tankard for being "second in junior pulling"[!!]

Maurice Fitzgerald reached the top of his profession of civil engineering. His work included the building of the harbour at St. Ives in Cornwall, where there is a plaque. The details of his distinguished career are given in his obituary - printed below. Maurice's grandson Peter entered the same firm two generations later, where he spent his entire career, ending up as Managing Director, when the firm of Coode and Partners ceased to be a partnership.

Maurice was invited to become President of the Institute of Civil Engineers, but declined for family reasons. The correspondence about this is documented here.


5. Florence May BADNALL, daughter of The Venerable Hopkins BADNALL and Sarah Elizabeth OWEN-SMITH, was born on 8 February 1858 in Cawthorne, Yorks. She died on 31 January 1941. She was buried in February 1941.


Florence May was the third of nine children of Hopkins Badnall, and was brought up in South Africa where her father was Archdeacon of the Cape. She met her future husband whilst he was a very junior engineer serving his apprenticeship in Port Elizabeth. She was thought of affectionately by her two sons, but was reckoned to be physically rather lazy. In her youth she had a talent for drawing, and a booklet of cartoons of her family members still survives, entitled "The Book of Truth and Nonsense (Combined)" which clearly shows a great sense of humour.


Maurice Fitzgerald WILSON and Florence May BADNALL had the following children:



Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON (1886-1975)

Bassett Fitzgerald WILSON (1888-c. 1972). Bassett was born on 1 September 1888 in St. Ives, Cornwall. He was a Soldier, artist. He married Muriel Gertrude SAMUELSON on 24 April 1915. He was buried circa 1941. He died circa May 1972.


6. Colonel Pulteney Henry MURRAY, son of Pulteney MURRAY and Jane MACKENNY, was born on 17 November 1849 in Edenderry, Queens County, Ireland. He was a Colonel in the Army. He married Mary Leaycraft INGHAM on 20 January 1876 in Hammersmith Ch., London, England. He died on 15 September 1912 in "Mangroville", Paget, Bermuda. He died in November 1912.


1849-1912. Only child of Pulteney Murray and Jane MacKenny, who died when he way about two. He was brought up by his aunt Catherine Anne - "Aunt Donny", whilst his father remarried and had three children. Before any of these children appeared his father had joined the Royal Irish Constabulary - on the official documents for the RIC he left the space for information about any children blank. It paints a rather bleak picture of his childhood that his mother had died and his father wanted nothing to do with him. (17/11/1849 Edenderry, Queens County - 1912) (1877 lived in Parsonstown. in 1901 lived at The Grove, Lancaster. Married Mary Leaycroft Ingham 20/1/1876, St. Paul's Hammersmith; lived at 2 Adelaide Road, Hammersmith at time of marriage). Military career with 1st Shropshire Light Infantry. Its Commanding Officer 1894. Ensign 53rd, February. 1869. Musketry-Instructor,1877 to 1880. Adjutant. 1881 to 1883, including the Egyptian War. Commanded 2nd Battalion, February, 1894, to 1898. Worked in Canada, West Indies, Bermuda, Egypt and Malta. 5' 8 ?"! (85th Regiment (2nd KSLI)).

The Obituary of Pulteney Henry Murray:

"The death took place on Sunday at Southsea of Colonel Henry Murray. Colonel Murray served through the Egyptian War of 1882 as captain and adjutant in the King's Own Shropshire Light Infantry, and was awarded the medal and Khedive's Bronze Star. In 1900 he was appointed to the command of the 4th Regimental District, and afterwards he held the command of the North-Western District at Chester."

Despite this obit. Murray actually died in Bermuda, at his wife's family home, according to various other sources.

In Bermuda - 1870 to 1875. 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment. (later, King's Shropshire Light Infantry).


A note on Khedive's Bronze Star, which was awarded to PHM

The Khedive of Egypt presented a bronze star to all Officers and men of the Navy and Army who were engaged in the suppression of the rebellion of Egypt in 1882. The Star was re-issued for 1884, 1885-6, 1886-9 and 1890. One clasp was issued with an Arabic inscription to those who fought at Tokar on Feb 19th 1901.

Most of the battles in the final years of British influence in Egypt were rewarded with issues of the Egyptian Medal, but the Egyptian Khedive Tewfik Pasha showed his gratitude for British help with issues of his own bronze star for the campaigns in his kingdom.
One of these, the siege and capture of the Mahdist stronghold of Tokar in the Sudan, was unusual in that no British award was made for it, although the Khedive's Star could be worn in uniform. Tokar had since 1883 been the seat of the Beja leader Usman Dinga, and the 1891 campaign resulted in his briefly being captured.
Those who had already been awarded a Khedive's Star for earlier Egyptian campaigns were awarded only the bar for the Tokar campaign; issues of new undated stars with this bar are comparatively rare, therefore, as they went only to the newest soldiers in the forces involved. One such must have received this medal, but as it is unnamed, we do not know who he was. Lester Watson acquired the medal at some point before 1928. (see illustration).


7. Mary Leaycraft INGHAM, daughter of Hon. Samuel Saltus INGHAM and Margaret Richardson LEAYCRAFT, was born on 22 June 1848 in Paget, Bermuda. She was born on 22 June 1848 in Paget, Bermuda. She was baptised on 1 October 1848 in Paget Bermuda. She was christened on 1 October 1848 in Paget. She died on 30 April 1890 in "Mangroville". She and Pulteney Henry MURRAY had the following children:


Pulteney Charles Rushworth MURRAY (1877-1882). Pulteney was born on 1 April 1877. He died on 3 May 1882.

Bertie Elibank MURRAY (1881-1960). Bertie was born on 10 May 1881 in Chatham. He was a Soldier. He married Agnes Letitia BARRINGTON on 30 June 1927. He died on 14 September 1960.

Percy James Alexander MURRAY (1884-1920). Percy was born on 30 May 1884. He was a Soldier. He died in 1920 in Australia.


Catherine Gladys MURRAY (1886-1958)

Gerald Graham MURRAY-MOORE (1888-1949). Gerald was born on 17 September 1888. He was a Soldier. He married Lilian Julietta MOORE on 13 March 1922. He died on 8 July 1949.