Dykeses and Chestneys

In August 2020 Ann Lloyd read our All Saints’ churchyard guide and wrote to us from North Walsham:

“I found many interesting memories among the gravestones that someone had wonderfully recorded. What an amazing thing to do for people!”

“The Chestney family grave holds my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Dykes, née Chestney, and of course many other relatives I never met. Around the edge is also an engraving, probably not visible now, referring to Mary’s son Ralph Eric Dykes, who was shot down over Germany in the Second World War. This was one of the reasons Mary took her own life a few years after the war when she got the letter saying he was no longer missing but dead.”

“Mary’s husband, my grandfather William Edward Dykes, is also buried in the churchyard. His name is recorded as William Henry Dykes, probably because the stone is faded and hard to read.”

“Catherine Chestney was my great-aunt. She ran the village post office with her father James, who I was told was once the blacksmith – but I’m unclear whether in Stanhoe or North Creake. My aunt, Joan Dykes, came to live with Aunt Kit (or Kate) during the Second World War – I believe because her family home was in Liverpool, which was bombed heavily. It was there Joan met her husband Matthew Tuck, son of Matthew and Jane Ann Tuck, who came from the village and are buried there too.”

“At one time in her youth Catherine was a lady’s maid at a local large home for a titled family. I’m unclear whether this was in North Creake or Stanhoe, as there’s some mystery surrounding that time in her life.”

“My Dad (Marshall Edward Dykes) used to visit the graves regularly, bringing me with him. He wanted to be buried in Stanhoe with his family but he died relatively young, very unexpectedly, and it wasn’t possible.”

“Catherine offered the Post Office to my father when she decided to give it up. My Dad wanted to take it, and we girls would have loved it, but my mother said no, so our connection to the village finished then. Kit and Joan were our last relatives in Stanhoe, sadly.”