Eric Reginald Lubbock, the 4th Baron Avebury died on the morning of 14th February 2016 of a type of blood cancer.  Eric was buried in the family graveyard in High Elms in a small private ceremony on the 21st of February. This was conducted with Buddhist rites and chanting monks, which drew a few curious glances from walkers passing through. Some of you will have noticed that work on restoring the plot has begun and eventually we hope to install a headstone when the soil settles. Two benches have been put in for passers-by and we hope to have some explanatory signage put in shortly.

A plaque in his memory was unveiled in St. Giles Church Farnborough on Sunday 3rd July 2016.  A number of members of the family were present, and a short address was given by his son Lyulph Lubbock, now the 5th Baron Avebury. .

Photos by Nick Reynolds, Click to enlarge


A few words on the connection with the church at St Giles might be in order.

During early Victorian times, the Lubbock family were regular church attenders at St Mary the Virgin in Downe. Members of the family are buried there up until 1879. Then the vicar there preached a rather fiery and fundamentalist sermon against Darwinist ideas in general, and Charles Darwin and John Lubbock were alluded to personally. After that, a cooling of relations followed, eventually resulting in a switch of allegiance to St Giles where the local vicar was much more liberal (with a small “l”). With the purchase of Church Field in the nineteenth century, the Lubbocks and St Giles became neighbours.

Several Lubbock gravestones can be seen today in the St Giles graveyard, including the tall Celtic stone cross taken from the family burial ground in the 1980s. During that period Eric’s uncle’s grave (in the form of a stone aeroplane) was disposed of and my father spent many years trying to find it. Eventually in 2010 it turned up and your current incumbent, Matthew Hughes, helped us re-dedicate it when we had it placed back in High Elms. At the time the family were worried that it might be unsafe in the family graveyard so it was placed in the Beeche centre within the walls of the former kitchen garden of the big house.

Each year the family casualties (Eric Fox Pitt Lubbock, Harold Lubbock and Adrian Grant Duff) in WW1 are included in the list of the fallen read out at the village's annual remembrance ceremony by the war memorial. My wife Sue & I attended in 2016, and this was a very moving occasion - a salutary lesson to see how long the list of personal losses is.

Lyulph Lubbock

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