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From Our Files: Lymington submarine hero, Hitler's nose, and a noisy cockerel

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Paymaster Lieut. Bill Johnson, RNVR, well-known in Lymington amateur dramatic and tennis circles before the war, when he was on the staff of Lloyds Bank, took part in the greatest and most successful defeat of a U-boat pack, in which at least six enemy submarines were sent to the bottom.

Lieut. Johnson is secretary to Captain F.J. Walker, RN, whom the First Lord of the Admiralty described as Britain’s greatest anti-submarine ace, and was with him in the sloop HMS Starling, in which Captain Walker commanded the Second Escort Group which recently brought a convoy safely home after the action referred to above which lasted 20 days. Captain Walker’s ‘kills’ to date number 17, and including ‘probables’, the total is more than a score.


Sir, – Recently a parcel addressed to me at Barton arrived there from India and was re-directed to me at Milford. It travelled safely for thousands of miles and was “lost” between the Sea Road PO, Barton, and this place – a matter of four miles!

The Post Office appear to have no record or check on parcels and, in view of the many “losses” I have since heard about, the public would be well advised to register parcels or take a certificate of posting for which the PO have printed forms.

D. Stephens, Barton.


An A&T advert from 1944
An A&T advert from 1944


Fears that the New Forest would be turned into a ‘Whipsnade' [Zoo], if more roads were fenced, were expressed at the annual meeting of the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association, held at Minstead.

Miss D. McNair of Burley, made this objection when speaking against a resolution that Hampshire County Council should be granted powers to fence roads within the Forest without further recourse to Parliament, subject to the agreement of the verderers.

She said that since Exmoor had been fenced it had virtually ceased to exist, but Major Ziegler, the Association’s chairman, said the idea was not to make the area look like a “birdcage”. Every road would not be fenced. The A35 and A31 roads are at present fenced.

It was stated that 160 animals were either killed or injured last year and the black spot was the A337 from Cadnam roundabout to Lymington, via Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst.


Work is about to begin on redevelopment of the old Town Hall site in High Street, Lymington, after negotiations lasting more than two years.

The site has been let on a 99 years’ lease to Bampton Property Group Ltd. The ground rent for the first three years is £750, and at the end of the third year it increases to £1,050 per annum. There are provisions for rent reviews every 15 years, throughout the term, also provision for arbitration in the event of a dispute.

Asked by the A&T what the site was valued at, the Town Clerk, Mr A. L. Slater, said: “We worked on a basis of £17,000. The site only has about 48 feet frontage.


The Venturers carried out an interesting rescue operation when they came to the aid of a cow trapped in a bog at Beaulieu, on the old airfield.

The cow belonged to Mr D. Knightly, of Dilton Farm, near the old airfield. Using two Land-Rovers and winches, the Venturers cut a path through the bushes, and then by using ground anchor pins the cow was rolled on to a canvas stretcher and slowly winched over the swamp.

This was done in stages, the first Land-Rover having to winch the second vehicle back a stage at a time, the second vehicle in turn winching the cow back. The operation took about four hours, and was finished just after midnight by drawing the cow on its back on the stretcher into a hut and bedding it down on straw. Latest reports say that the cow will recover from its ordeal.


Christchurch Council is set to make a no holds barred bid for unitary status which if successful could make it the smallest independent authority in the country. Councillors voted overwhelmingly at a special meeting to reject any thoughts of possible mergers with neighbouring authorities despite claims that their own consultants had told them that going it alone would be an expensive option and that the Local Government Commission had suggested it was a non-starter anyway.


The owners of a golden cockerel have been told that they face paying a fine of up to £500 each time neighbours hear the bird crowing.

New Forest magistrates have ruled that the bird must not crow until seven o’clock in the morning following complaints from neighbours. The cockerel’s owners say the bird faces an uncertain future.


Although the number of offences in Dorset fell slightly during 1993 and the detection rate increased, the county’s chief constable has said he is so concerned about the rise in violent crime and the use of guns that the police may one day have to be armed.

Guns were used by criminals on 56 occasions, including an armed robbery at the Unigate Dairy in Poole when two police officers were shot and badly injured, a post office raid, again in Poole, when a civilian was shot twice and an attack on a police car on the Turlin Moor estate when four shots were fired.

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