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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

The Haywood and Hill Connections

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Though of course one can go on dotting i's and crossing t's (or sometimes conversely) ad infinitum, I've devoted an unusual, almost disproportionate, length of time to this research. And the reason is twofold. Firstly that Katie (my mother) and Joan Haywood (as I still think of her) were best friends from about 1944 until 2008, and so I was periodically subjected to both their influences for over 60 years; they were two peas from the same pod in many ways, most importantly in that they were both endlessly guilty of suppressio veri et suggestio falsi in their chequered marital careers.

Secondly that Joan's second husband was of great personal and military renown, and I very much admired him, while his sister, of proportionately similar personal qualities, was never even mentioned within the family circle. I also very much admired her first husband, but at some indeterminate point he mysteriously became an unperson.

In piecing together the family backgrounds of Dick Haywood, I have found the family trees of Amanda Joubert and Elizabeth Scott very helpful.

Please note that I don't yet know the date of Dick's death (in France, I believe), Such information would certainly have been sub rosa anyway and direct enquiry, insofar as one was hugely interested in such things at the time, would have been met with the usual evasions.

#IndividualSpouse / PartnerFamily
‑2Frederick George Haywood
(25 Jul 1884 –
31 Oct 1961)


Corporal, Army Pay Corps WW1;
glass & china merchant,
transport manager

son of James John Haywood, fishmonger, also said to be Charles Henry Haywood (b ca 1850), and Hannah (1860 – 4 Dec 1921)

Census 1911
Ellen Mary Filbey
(1885 –
23 Dec 1919)
(m 29 Jun 1912)

daughter of Frederick William Filbey (b ca 1860), licensed victualler, and Gertrude Alice Filbey (b ca 1859)

Filbey misspelled as Zieber(!) on FGH's Army record
James Haywood
(27 Jun 1913 –
18 Feb 1975)

William Haywood
(22 Aug 1914 –
Jun 1994)

Richard (Dick) Haywood
(b 17 Feb 1918)

Nellie Ruby Faith Haywood
(14 Dec 1919 –
Dec 1961)
‑2Percy William Smith
(1884/5 –

master draper
Nellie Dawes
(b 1887)
(m 15 Jun 1916)
Basil Garrard Smith
(Jun 1919 –
23 Jan 2012)

Joan Patricia Smith
(5 Mar 1924
26 Dec 2015)
‑2 Maj Gen Walter Pitts Hendy Hill
(10 Jun 1877 –
Sep 1942)

Phyllis Gertrude Sandars
(ca 1887 –
19 Feb 1982)
Stanley James Ledger Hill
(14 Mar 1911 –
16 Mar 2006)

Bridget Grace Marian Ledger Hill
(7 May 1914 –
15 Mar 1942)

‑1Joan Patricia Smith
(5 Mar 1924
26 Dec 2015)

Richard (Dick) Haywood
(b 17 Feb 1918)
(m 25 Mar 1944)
David Richard Filbey Haywood

Amanda (Mandy) Jane Filbey Haywood
Brig Stanley James Ledger Hill
(14 Mar 1911 –
16 Mar 2006)
(m 1986 Q4, Chichester, Vol 18, p773; possibly 28 Oct)
‑1Brig Stanley James Ledger Hill1,  2
(14 Mar 1911 –
16 Mar 2006)




Denys Gunter-Jones
(20 Jan 1912 –
16 May 1996)
(m 3 Apr 1937)

daughter of Edward Hubert Gunter-Jones
(1885-1962) and Jeannette Kehrmann (1885-1975)
Gillian Bridget Sandars Hill

he also mentions two sons
Joan Patricia (née Smith) Haywood
(5 Mar 1924
26 Dec 2015)
(m 1986)
0David Richard Filbey Haywood five-times married  
0Amanda (Mandy) Jane Filbey Haywood Jean-Jacques Joubert Alexis Joubert

Marc Joubert

Anne Joubert

My father always maintained that Joan's father (Smith by name) had owned a department store in Nottingham (he does seem to have been a draper, at least) and had married beneath him. William also did a rather cruel impersonation of the over-exuberant Mrs Smith. Maybe that Achilles heel was what drove Joan's basic psychological insecurity which was such a recurrent irritant in my own life.

I feel fairly sure that she and her husband Dick Haywood occupied the first floor of West Winds, Chaveney Road, Quorn, Leicestershire, when Katie and Wardlaw lived on the ground floor, in 1945. Though Katie was considerably older than Joan, they both gave birth at about the same time, to David and myself respectively.

I was frequently offloaded onto Joan and Dick during my childhood, during which they moved house incessantly (at one point living in a windmill, which was fun) and at another point were said, breathlessly by Katie, to be Building Their Own House. I couldn't square this with an image of Joan wobbling up a ladder with a hodful of bricks...

I really liked Dick despite his regular reminders of my shoulder-length hair (a la Lloyd George) in early childhood – he was a really good guy. But from my very earliest recollections onwards, I always felt an instinctive unease with Joan. In retrospect, she could be brittle, pretentious, patronising, always acting a part – children can spot that sort of thing a mile off. But she could also be very kindly on occasion; people are such a mixed bag.

Nevertheless, she bore two consistently friendly and companionable children, David and Amanda (Mandy), both of whom later emigrated, to Canada or France respectively, but with at least one of whom I am occasionally in contact (though why did almost all my contemporary childhood kith and kin end up abroad – mostly in francophone enclaves in which my (originally semi-fluent, but now totally forgotten) lingua franca is no longer effective? Was it something I'd said?).

And where is all this introspection heading? I am continually a la recherche du temps perdu, whereas you may have googled only a moment or two ago. So please be patient, as I have an oppressive mountain of memories to deal with.

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My wife and I jointly met Dick and Joan only the once, when we were living in Norwich and they in Bury St Edmunds, goodness knows they'd lived everywhere else in East Anglia. I remember nothing about the evening save that Sonia remarked brightly towards the coffee stage that I was afflicted by incurable kleptomania (which was true enough). I protested feebly but when challenged was dumbfounded to discover a silver napkin-ring in my pocket, which was handed over in frosty silence remediated only by friendly chuckles from Dick.

We met her again, on her own, Dick being conspicuously absent, possibly discarded, on New Year's Eve in about 1973 when Katie was living in Midford Chapel, a seriously low point in her life, and working as secretary to Isabel Briggs. That occasion didn't help either, especially as Joan was by then a self-confessed Parfaite, in a manner of speaking, having discovered yoga and spirituality.

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The apotheosis of all this nonsense was in Chichester, where both Katie and Joan had relocated in the 1980s. Joan had by now renounced spiritual perfection for the marital variety. She had (according to a close and entirely trustworthy observer of the sequence of events) encountered Brigadier James Hill in some charitable context in Brighton, realised he was currently wifeless, and marked him as her own. The poor blighter, a solid-gold war hero who had survived the worst that the Nazis could throw at him on D-Day and its follow-up, never stood a chance.

I rather think that Katie was privately furious that she hadn't seen him first, all the more so as Joan retreated with him to a nearby property called The Hidden House, to which they moved in 1986 (from his bachelor flat in Brighton) shortly after they had married and Katie had moved to 77 Royal Close in Chichester. For many years thereafter he seemed to have disappeared from view (rather aptly), and it was certainly quite unthinkable that we should have been allowed to meet him, or even Joan, on any of our regular visits to Royal Close.

But from about 2000 onwards, he was brought out as Exhibit A on special occasions, and obviously enjoyed them thoroughly. He was charming, articulate, interesting, entertaining and modest – I particularly remember his riveting account of parachuting into a Normandy waterway on D-Day. But until the unveiling, on 5 Jun 2004, of his statue at the Pegasus Airborne Museum in the Normandy village of Le Mesnil, little did any of us know the full extent of his wartime career, and the huge esteem and affection in which he was held in airborne military circles.

Sadly, as James inevitably succumbed to the ravages of extreme old age, Joan reportedly began to neglect him, frequently checking-in to health spas for lengthy periods rather than looking after him. I think that women of that era – certainly in my mother's circle – tended to regard husbands as trophies, or meal-tickets, or both, rather than equal partners for life.

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But what of Dick meanwhile? It was not something I could ever have asked Katie, let alone Joan, directly – but it somehow emerged that Dick had suffered a nervous breakdown at some point in his later years, and had lived out the last 12 years of his life with his daughter Mandy and her family in a peaceful corner of the Jura in eastern France. I can find no death certificate for him in either France or Britain, however.

It was also said, I think, that he had developed psychic powers, maybe in marital self-defence. He was a very likeable though sardonic person - the death of his mother following the birth of his younger sister when he himself was still barely more than a toddler had probably left a lasting emotional scar.

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To round off on a happy note, please click here for a really nice, though brief, sequence of photographs taken of Mandy, David and Joan, inside or outside Hidden House.