Sir Thomas Reade

Sir Thomas`s connections with the church seem slender: he lived next door in Homewood, and he owned pew 4 in the north aisle. His memorial is on the east wall of the side chapel.

His exploits in the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic war parallel those of Nelson, as did his rapid rise in rank (to major). He had run away from home to enlist in the army aged 17 in 1799. Sixteen years later he retired with honours from several states and a knighthood from George III. Immediately after the war he was placed in command of the soldiers guarding Napoleon on St Helena. In the rear garden of Homefield is a willow tree he brought back from St Helena. He later joined the diplomatic corps as Consul to Tunis, where, as his memorial shows, he persuaded the ruler to free his slaves. The Duke of Wellington was consulted about the memorial and approved the wording.