Notable Residents -
Lt-Gen Sir Brian Horrocks (1895-1985)
The prominent WWII general Brian Horrocks, commander
of XXX Corps atArnhem,
retired from the army after the war as a result of
wounds received during the earlier Tunisian
campaign. Described by Eisenhower as “the
outstanding British general underMontgomery,”
he was Black Rod in the House of Lords 1949-63,
writer of military histories, and more widely known
for presenting several TV war documentaries.
to refer to him as “Jorrocks,” a nod to the
good-natured sporty character in R S Surtees’
Victorian stories. He was similarly known for his
affability in Emsworth where, having become a keen
sailor, he had a weekend cottage on the Millpond
seawall from 1956.
“At the age of 61, I attended with my wife [Nancy]
a course in small boat sailing, first at Bosham,
then at theEmsworthSailingSchool.
Thus we found something which occupied all our spare
time most happily. I only wished I had taken it up
many years before.
“During the lovely summer of 1959, day after day, I
sat at the window of our cottage in Emsworth writing
the first edition of this book , while the sun
shone down outside and in front of me lay the wide
stretching away toHaylingIsland,
covered with white, blue and yellow sails. I could
see my own boat, a 16-ft Emsworth One design,
bobbing about at her moorings. In the early morning,
when there was nobody about except the odd cruising
boat, taking advantage of the favourable tide, my
wife would go off alone in her Gull dinghy for a
sail, at what she said was by far the best time of
the day. Eventually I could stand it no more. I
stepped on board, cocked an eye at the weather, felt
the wind and cast off.
My little craft turned and headed out into the wider
waters of the Harbour. The irritations and
frustrations slipped away. The only things that
mattered were the pulse of the restless sea coming
to me through the tiller, and the chuckle and talk
of the water against the sides of the boat.
The enchantment lasted until the westering sun sent
me reluctantly, in golden twilight or story sunset,
back to the shore and the seaward end of the lane [Bath
Road] which leads to
We gradually acquired a larger keel boat which we
after our granddaughter. It was paid for by the
proceeds of the first edition of this book, and in
it we were able to go further afield.
On moving toSomersetwe
transferred our aquatic activities toPooleHarbour.
For eleven years this sailing enchantment has
lasted, but now, alas, I am getting too old ,
and my last boat was sold in 1972.”