27th March saw the Lymington & District Historical Society focussing on Sir Harry, when its President and renowned New Forest historian, Jude James, gave a much anticipated talk entitled ‘Sir Harry Burrard Neale – his life and his Monument’.
Jude drew on many sources and years of research to describe the Admiral’s illustrious naval career and civic achievements – and especially his character and kindness, which led many of those who knew him to decide so speedily to erect the magnificent Walhampton Monument in his memory. In particular, the links between members of the Royal Family and the Admiral and his wife Grace were illustrated by letters from the Royal Princesses, expressing concern over the health of Lady Neale and by the care which Sir Harry took over the declining health of King George lll – whose summer holidays were invariably spent at Weymouth and who visited Walhampton and Lymington on a number of occasions.
Members of the Historical Society were pleased to welcome to their meeting distant Burrard relatives Martin and Oliver Argles, from London. Martin and his siblings recently made available to ‘BN250’ hand-written memoirs of the Admiral, prepared by a great-niece in 1869 – which have been most professionally transcribed by Society member Geraldine Beech.