Joyce Pearce (1915-1985) [PLOT 44]

Founder of Ockenden Venture for refugee children.

The Ockenden Venture was founded in 1951 by three local schoolteachers and took its name from founder Joyce Pearce’s family home ‘Ockenden’ in White Rose Lane, Woking. The Ockenden Venture became a registered charity on 24th February 1955, under the War Charities Act 1940, its objective being to receive young East European people from post-World War II displaced persons camps in Germany and ‘to provide for their maintenance, clothing, education, recreation, health and general welfare’.

The project had begun in 1951, when Joyce Pearce (1915- 1985) persuaded Woking District Council to help support a holiday for 17 displaced East European teenagers at her sixth form centre at Ockenden House, as part of the Festival of Britain. An ad hoc arrangement was subsequently made for two of the girls to stay in Woking when they had obtained visas to attend school in England. The plight of older non-German speaking children in the refugee camps, for whom the educational provision was inadequate, provided the stimulus for Joyce Pearce, her friend and teaching colleague Margaret Dixon (1907-2001) and her cousin Ruth Hicks (1900-1986), headmistress of Greenfield School, Woking, to found the Ockenden Venture. The project was initially a modest one based solely in Woking, but houses were soon acquired in Haslemere, and in 1958 Ockenden took over Donington Hall near Derby as a school for boys. After World Refugee Year was declared in 1959, government money and increased donations enabled Ockenden to open new houses across Britain, and a small administrative staff was established. Direct help to adults was begun with the founding of The Ockenden Venture Family Trust, prompted by government relaxation of immigration laws to allow handicapped immigrants to enter the UK.

The Trust was registered as a war charity on 16th Feb 1960 and worked for the admission of parents of children already in the UK under Ockenden Venture schemes. Chiefly prompted by Joyce Pearce’s desire to provide assistance to Tibetan refugees in India, in October 1962 the general council of the charity agreed to amend the constitution of the Ockenden Venture to state its object was ‘to receive displaced children and other children in need from any part of the world and to provide for their maintenance, clothing, education, recreation, health and general welfare’, to allow the possibility of help to non-European children. Initially most help took the form of donations towards existing orphanages and schools, and sponsorship schemes, but Ockenden’s first direct participation in overseas-based work also began during the 1960s, with projects in India, northern Africa, and later south east Asia. In 1971, Ockenden merged with refugee charity, Lifeline. The most dramatic expansion of the Ockenden Venture came with the government’s decision in 1979 to accept Vietnamese ‘Boat People’ (who had begun leaving south Vietnam in large numbers after the invasion of Saigon by Communist forces in 1975) into the UK. Ockenden, Save the Children and the British Council for Aid to Refugees were given responsibility for a third of the country each to arrange for reception and resettlement of incoming families (Ockenden covered Surrey, the Midlands, the North West, North East, North Wales, Gosport and the Portsmouth area of Hampshire. The Birmingham office was responsible for organising resettlement; support was provided through support group liaison officers and support groups from the local communities). The three agencies operated under the umbrella of the Joint Committee for Refugees from Vietnam (JCRV) which was established by the Home Secretary in October 1979 under the chairmanship of Sir Arthur Peterson. Ockenden opened 25 new centres in response to the crisis, and by the end of the government programme in 1982, found itself a changed organisation, with a large workforce in formal salaried employment where before the organisation had been principally voluntary or semi-voluntary. During the early 1980s, Ockenden continued to receive refugees and to add to its projects overseas.

The death in 1985 of Joyce Pearce, who had continued as the driving force in the charity for 30 years, prompted questioning of the future aims of Ockenden. Several years of dissension followed over the managerial structure and the ‘ethos’ of the organisation, which from being a small charity almost unique in its objects, now found itself one among many charities involved in refugee work. The burden of maintaining Ockenden’s UK refugee accommodation to modern standards became an increasing argument for concentrating effort on overseas projects. Houses were closed during the 1990s, until only Kilmore House, Camberley, a home for severely disabled Vietnamese orphans, remained in 2001.

In 1999, the Ockenden Venture became Ockenden International, and concentrated nearly all its work overseas, in Sudan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Pakistan, Iran and Uganda. Nowadays, Ockenden International operates purely as a funding agency, having transferred many of its programmes to local organisations.

Dugald Drummond (1840-1912) [PLOT 38]

Railway Engineer.

Dugald Drummond born 1st January 1840 was a Scottish steam locomotive engineer. He had a career with the North British Railway, LB&SCR, Caledonian Railway and London and South Western Railway. He was the older brother of the engineer Peter Drummond, who often followed Dugald’s ideas in his own work. He was a major locomotive designer and builder and many of his London and South Western Railway engines continued in main line service with the Southern Railway to enter British Railways service in 1947.

John Hay Beith (Ian Hay) (1876-1952) [PLOT 37]


Major General John Hay Beith, CBE born 17th April 1876 was a British schoolmaster and soldier, but he is best remembered as a novelist, playwright, essayist, and historian who wrote under the pen name Ian Hay. After reading Classics at Cambridge University, Beith became a schoolmaster


Edward Ballard (1820-1897) [PLOT 36]

Physician and Public Health Officer.

Edward Ballard was a 19th-century English physician, best known for his reports on the unsanitary conditions in which most of Victorian England lived. Ballard was born in Islington, Middlesex, the son Edward George Ballard, the English writer, and Mary Ann Shadgett. He was educated at Islington Proprietary School and at University College, London, from which he received his doctorate in medicine in 1843.

Charles Warne (1802-1887) [PLOT 30]

English antiquarian and archaeologist specialising in prehistoric and ancient monuments of Dorset.

Born in Dorset, with the poet William Barnes he was involved in protecting the Maumbury Rings which resulted in their statutory protection from the route of the proposed Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway Act of 1845. This was the first time an antiquity was saved from being damaged by a proposed train route. Warne published accounts of his archaeological discoveries between 1836 and 1872 many of which were based on his own research and fieldwork. Elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1856, Warne was then and for some time afterwards a resident of London. He researched many of the prehistoric remains of Dorset. For a long time he lived at EwellSurrey moving for the last years of his life to Brighton, where he died on 11th April 1887.

During his lifetime Warne amassed a large collection of English and Roman coins part of which was sold by Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson, & Hodge, on 24th and 25th May 1889, two years after his death. Warne’s collection of sepulchral urns and other relics from barrows went to the Dorchester Museum.

His grave is designed to resemble a prehistoric barrow with the upright stone being made from serpentinite.

Horatia Nelson Johnson (1832-1890) [PLOT 26]

Horatia Nelson Johnson (1832-1890) [PLOT 26]

Granddaughter of Lord Horatio Nelson.

Horatia Nelson Johnson was the seventh of nine children born to Horatia Nelson (1801-1881), Lord Horatio Nelson’s child by Emma Hamilton.

Her father was the Rev. Philip Ward (1795-1859), for many years Vicar of St Mildred’s Church in Tenterden, Kent. Horatia married William Johnson (1827-1891) in August 1858, and they lived in London, latterly at 6 Gower Street. They had several children: William Horatio (born 1859), Philip (1861-1948), and Marjorie, who died in infancy. Horatia died in October 1890, and William died in the following March.