See also

Captain Fiennes WILSON DSO, RN (1886-1975)

1. Captain Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON DSO, RN (known as 'Fiennes', and also as [unnamed person]), son of Maurice Fitzgerald WILSON (1858-1945) and Florence May BADNALL (1858-1941), 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.


Catherine Gladys MURRAY (known as 'Gladys'), daughter of Colonel Pulteney Henry MURRAY (1849-1912) and Mary Leaycraft INGHAM (1848-1890), was born on 18 January 1886 in Oswestry (registered). She was born on 18 January 1886 in Oswestry. She died on 12 April 1958. She and Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON had the following children:



Pamela Fiennes WILSON (1918-2018)


Peter Fiennes WILSON (1920-1995)

Second Generation

2. Pamela Fiennes WILSON, daughter of Captain Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON DSO, RN and Catherine Gladys MURRAY, was born on 17 March 1918. She died on 24 April 2018. She was buried on 8 May 2018 in St. Peter's, Hinckley. She married William Edward Gerald CHURCHER.


William Edward Gerald CHURCHER was born on 29 November 1911. He was a Solicitor. He died circa 2003. He and Pamela Fiennes WILSON had the following children:



Susan CHURCHER (1945- )


Hilary Jane CHURCHER (1947- )


Penelope Anne CHURCHER (1948- )


Andrew Edward CHURCHER (1951-1987)


Gillian Mary CHURCHER (1956- )


3. Peter Fiennes WILSON, son of Captain Maurice Fiennes Fitzgerald WILSON DSO, RN and Catherine Gladys MURRAY, 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. He married Judy Olivia DE COURCEY HUGHES (NEE SHORTHOSE).


Peter joined the firm of Coode and Partners, Consultant Civil Engineers, and stayed there for his entire career. He rose in the firm to become resident engineer (including spates in Nigeria, Iraq and Malta), was then promoted to partner, and then, a number of years later, to Senior Partner. He led the firm when it changed its status from partnership to company. Coodes had been the company Peter's grandfather Maurice Wilson had been in.

Later in life he developed what some doctors believed was Multiple Sclerosis, and gradually lost the use of his left arm and leg, and was eventually confined to a wheelchair. Although he travelled a lot as a young married man (with his job), he was by nature a home-loving and unadventurous man. He often said that his favourite occupation was "pottering" at home. He was a serious stamp-collector. He had a gentle disposition and was quite shy, but well-liked by friends, family and colleagues.

He was not an ambitious man - when he finally led the firm he had stayed with all his life, he often said he would rather have remained as a plain engineer doing engineering, rather than accept the rigours and responsibilities of management; this was especially so as the company had problems at the time, which led it to be forced to amalgamate with another company to ensure its survival.


Re: Coode and Partners:

"Having reached the age of 86 I realise that I must be one of a relatively few engineers who are able to add a comment to your very interesting article on the development of the Mulberry Harbour, which was without doubt instrumental in the successful end of the Second World War.

It so happened that in 1944 I was directed by central government to work on the structural analysis of air frames for aircraft then under design, but in January 1947 I secured a post as a junior engineer with Coode, Vaughan-Lee Frank and Gwyther in their design office in Victoria Street, London.

As the war had recently been concluded my new design colleagues wasted no time in telling me of the part their firm’s partners and design engineers had played in the overall design of the harbour, one even having been locked away in a separate room to study tide tables.

The majority of those viewing films of the landing may be familiar with the overall design but few know that Reg Gwyther, a partner, was requested by Churchill to join the Quebec Conference to advise on the possibility and/or practicability of designing and being able to use such a temporary structure.

Gwyther’s flight to Canada was not without its own adventure. Readers will appreciate that the journey was indeed urgent and it was still war time. I was told there were no aircraft available that could fly that distance, so he was put into the bomb bay of a liberator aircraft, presumably well wrapped up against the low temperature, and safely delivered."

JW Hall (M),


Iris Margaret MARTIN, daughter of Charlie James MARTIN (c. 1892- ) and Emily Mabel "Girlie" WALLER (1888-1941), was born on 21 February 1920 in Finchley, London. She was a Housewife. She died in December 2001 in Crowborough, E.Sussex. She and Peter Fiennes WILSON had the following children:



Michael Murray Fiennes WILSON (1953- )


Philip Antony Fiennes WILSON (1954- )


Judy Olivia DE COURCEY HUGHES (NEE SHORTHOSE) was born in 1921.

Third Generation

4. Susan CHURCHER, daughter of William Edward Gerald CHURCHER and Pamela Fiennes WILSON, was born on 20 August 1945. She married Barry THORP. She married Bob FLETCHER.


Barry THORP and Susan CHURCHER had the following children:



Richard THORP ( - )


Caroline THORP ( - )


5. Hilary Jane CHURCHER (known as 'Jane'), daughter of William Edward Gerald CHURCHER and Pamela Fiennes WILSON, was born on 3 January 1947. She married Alister SCLATER.


Alister SCLATER and Hilary Jane CHURCHER had the following children:



Clare SCLATER ( - )


Elizabeth SCLATER ( - )


Amy SCLATER ( - )


David SCLATER ( - )


6. Penelope Anne CHURCHER (known as 'Penny'), daughter of William Edward Gerald CHURCHER and Pamela Fiennes WILSON, was born on 8 April 1948. She married Terence BROWN. She married Michael UNK.


Terence BROWN and Penelope Anne CHURCHER had the following children:



Kate BROWN ( - )


Nicholas BROWN ( - )


7. Andrew Edward CHURCHER, son of William Edward Gerald CHURCHER and Pamela Fiennes WILSON, was born on 30 April 1951. He died in 1987. He married Nicolette UNK.


Nicolette UNK and Andrew Edward CHURCHER had the following children:



Christopher CHURCHER ( - )


Antonia CHURCHER ( - )


Jonathan CHURCHER ( - )


8. Gillian Mary CHURCHER (known as 'Gilly'), daughter of William Edward Gerald CHURCHER and Pamela Fiennes WILSON, was born on 5 February 1956. She married unk RABY. She married George HENRY.


unk RABY and Gillian Mary CHURCHER had the following children:



Timothy RABY ( - )


Mark RABY ( - )


9. Michael Murray Fiennes WILSON, son of Peter Fiennes WILSON and Iris Margaret MARTIN, was born on 3 September 1953. He was a Catering and Facilities Manager. He married Leslie STEPHENS. He married Maureen COX. He married Melanie SPENCE. He married Maxine LEVY.


Maureen COX and Michael Murray Fiennes WILSON had the following children:



James Murray Fiennes WILSON ( - )


Melanie SPENCE was a Shopkeeper. She and Michael Murray Fiennes WILSON had the following children:



Charlie WILSON ( - )


Oliver WILSON ( - )


10. Philip Antony Fiennes WILSON, son of Peter Fiennes WILSON and Iris Margaret MARTIN, was born on 15 December 1954 in Habbanijah, Iraq. He was a Musician/Teacher. He had 2 children. He had 2 spouses. He married Victoria Ruth Joyce LYNE in 1974. They were divorced in 1979. He married Siu Fung PEASGOOD on 31 May 1996 in Crowborough, E. Sussex, England.


Philip is a musician and teacher, and has alternated a freelance career with school teaching. He has travelled widely and is also a keen and accomplished photographer.


Victoria Ruth Joyce LYNE was born in 1956.


Siu Fung PEASGOOD was born on 15 October 1960 in Hong Kong. She was an Orchestral Musician. She and Philip Antony Fiennes WILSON had the following children:



Alma Mei WILSON (1997- ). Alma was born on 17 January 1997.


Patrick Gordon Fiennes WILSON (1999- ). Patrick was born on 14 January 1999.