Milford on Sea Famous Residents

Past & Present:

A brief history of famous people who have lived in Milford on Sea.

Famous faces from Milford on Sea

Montague Dawson F.R.S.A.: Marine Artist Lived in Hurst Road on Milford on Sea seafront from 1936 until 1973. (Now a private house)
The Plaque on the white wall reads:
Montague Dawson F.R.S.A., R.S.M.A.S. 1890-1973. Was born in Burlington Lane, Chiswick he was the son of an inventor & businessman. His grandfather was a successful artist. His family moved to Hythe on Southampton Water when he was a boy but he returned to London to join an artists studio in 1910.
Entering the navy in World War 1 he produced illustrations of naval actions for Sphere magazine and at the time was able to study under C. Napier Hemy R.A. at Falmouth. By the 1930’s he was an established marine artist and came to live in Milford on Sea in 1932.

His wife died in 1972 and he presented Boldre Church with a picture of HMS Hood in her memory. One of the last he painted. A Hood memorial service for the 1415 men who died is held annually at Boldre, as Vice Admiral Holland worshiped at the church and HMS Hood was his flagship.

JRR Tolkien CBE may have written some of his Middle Earth classics in Milford on Sea. Tolkien is thought to have visited Cobblestones in Sea Road, and could possibly have written some of his works there while on holiday. It is also known that Tolkien's only school friend to survive WW1, Christopher Wiseman, retired to Milford on Sea. The ‘Cobblestones’ house has since been demolished a replaced with two new houses. Tolkien wrote fantasy classics The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’

Michael Keeping was an English footballer and club manager. He was born in Milford on Sea where he was spotted and was signed by Southampton FC in the summer of 1919 for a bargain fee of £25. Still only 16, Keeping was registered as an amateur but paid 10 shillings (50p) a week for travelling expenses. He played approaching 500 games whilst at Southampton FC & then Fulham FC, until 1941 when he returned to Milford on Sea to join the family motor business. He later went into football club management with the highlight being that he coached the famous Spanish giants Real Madrid from January 1948 to October 1950. Michael Keeping was Born in Milford on Sea on 22th August 1902 & passed away 28th March 1984.

Allen Greenwood, a local resident of Milford on Sea died on the 21st May 2009 aged 91, he was a former chairman of the British Aircraft Corporation, where he was a reluctant leading player in the process of nationalisation and merger by which it became part of British Aerospace. A lifelong bachelor, Allen Greenwood latterly divided his time between the RAC clubhouse at Epsom, where he kept a room, and Milford on Sea, where he had a flat in a block otherwise largely occupied by widows, for whom he gallantly hosted an annual Christmas lunch.

William Morris, 1st Viscount Nuffield owned & lived at Westover Hall for part of his life. In 1912 he designed a car, the "Bullnose" Morris to be built by his own Morris Motor Company. Morris pioneered the introduction to the UK of Henry Ford's mass production techniques. After several acquisitions of other British car companies his company merged with Austin Motor Company in 1952 to become the British Motor Corporation. This was later merged with Jaguar to become British Motor Holdings. In 1968, nearly every British automobile manufacturer, including BMH, became British Leyland. Morris founded the Nuffield Foundation in 1943 with an endowment of £10 million in order to advance education and social welfare. Morris also founded Nuffield College, Oxford.

Alexander Siemens was a German industrialist who laid the first direct Transatlantic Cable bringing electricity to the UK. He had Westover Hall built in 1897. No costs were spared, & at the time the house was considered the most luxurious on the South Coast. On completion the cliff top manor house had cost £25,000, a staggering amount for the time. His wife disliked curtains, so the house is resplendent with impressive stainless glass throughout. Alexander Siemens spent his retirement in Milford on Sea until he passed away on 16th February 1928 aged 81.

Colonel Peter Hawker was born in 1786 and later lived at Hawker’s Cottage in Keyhaven. He was a soldier with the 14th Light Dragoons and saw active service under the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War, but was obliged to retire after being seriously wounded at the battle of Talavera (Spain) in 1809. Later he became a lieutenant-colonel in the North Hampshire militia. He was a very keen country sportsman, and wrote amongst other books 'Advice to Young Sportsmen', which was published in 1814. To this day it regarded as one of the best introductions to young people taking up shooting or fishing and is still in demand. Hawker wrote a diary for most of his adult life which recorded his military exploits & his passion for country sports, especially shooting and fishing. He also devised technical innovations for certain sporting guns & designed a double-barreled punt gun. He also invented hand moulds for the piano. The Gun Inn pub at Keyhaven, commemorates his great punt gun for shooting duck, one of which can still be found at his ancestral home at Longparish House in Andover, Hampshire. Hawker’s Cottage still stands next to the Gun Inn in Keyhaven, the original low lattice windows were replaced in the 19th century by stuccoed bays. Colonel Hawker died in 1853.

King Charles 1 was held prisoners at Hurst Castle when he was en-route to face trial in London. The trial followed the seizure of Parliament by Oliver Cromwell and his victorious army. Charles I was the first of our monarchs to be put on trial for treason and it led to his execution. Charles was put on trial in London on 1st January 1649. He was accused of being a "tyrant, traitor and murderer; and a public and implacable enemy to the Commonwealth of England." His trial found him guilty & he was sentenced to death by the severing of his head from his body." His date of execution was set for 30th January 1649. The man who was to execute Charles refused to do it. So did others. Finally another man was found & paid £100 to complete the execution. The All Saints Church in Milford on Sea village has a stained glass window commemorating his incarceration.