Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

This page forms part of the research carried out around the area of Bakers Hall and Butlers Farm when it was commandeered by the US Army and USAAF during WW2

Directly opposite Pricketts Hall Farm, a well hidden By-Way leads onto the concrete road built by the US Army which used to encircle Nurses Wood.

Alongside this By-way lived such local characters as Norfolk Bill, George Baker and Old Major


Old Major

`Old Major` who`s real name was "Arthur Whiting" was a Sergeant in the armed services, with his perfectly trimmed white moustache and erect stature, it was easy to see how he obtained this elevated (fictitious)rank.

When he was discharged from the army after the war, he gained employment on a farm in Pebmarsh where his parents worked. He soon discovered that his fellow employees were being payed far more in wages than he was, now this seemed a little unfair.
He approached the farmer and requested a possible rise in his wages, where he was told to report back next morning for a decision.

However, the next day he was confronted by the farmer and the local policeman who instructed him to leave the farm immediately.
If he did not leave as requested, his family would also suffer the same consequence.
Not wishing to jeopardise the tenancy of his father and mother as they were now under threat of eviction, he left with very little belongings and was consequently made homeless.
To someone who had served his country during the second world war, this seemed to be a terrible injustice.

Desperately looking for somewhere to stay, he came across the empty hut left by the death of George Baker, at last he had a roof over his head.
Fortunately, it was not long as he soon found employment with the Webbers at Bakers Hall Farm.
As he had no connection with Butlers Farm (owner of the land) "The Hut" was subsequently towed away to Valley Farm where he continued his stay.

He was often seen in the "Angel Public House" and "The Swan" once a week having a well earned drink. It seemed he could lay his hands on most things if you were short of food. Not unusual for a small bag of potatoes to come from under his heavy army coat for the price of a pint.
Sometimes he would stagger out of "The Swan" worse for drink amd make his way back along Colne Rd. It`s thought some days, he didnt make it to the hut and fell asleep in the ditch.

After a couple of years he became poorly and failed to return to work at Bakers Hall. He disappeared from the area and it`s assumed he either died or found sanctuary somewhere else.
(No dates confirmed)

If you can shed any more information on this gentlemen, then please use the Contact icon or the Forum
ver 1 29.02.08
Thanks to Gordon Webber(dec), Malcolm Cook