Sir John Frederick Drughorn [1862-1943] – Lord of the Manor of Ifield

SIR JOHN DRUGHORN [1862-1943] – LORD OF THE MANOR OF IFIELD

 

Ifield Hall – built in the 1860’s [and demolished in 2001] – home of Sir John Drughorn and his Family from 1914 to 1943

1914 – Sir John Frederick Drughorn, a shipping owner and merchant, comes to live at Ifield Hall from Beckenham with his wife, two sons and one daughter – and becomes Lord of the Manor of Ifield owning 2500 acres.

Motto: “Espera et Ora” [Hope and Pray] – Ifield Wood Road

He provides nine ships during WW1, loses all of them, but is well-insured.

1915 – Sir John goes to trial at the Old Bailey for “trading with the enemy” and is found guilty.

The facts of the case appear to be this: When WW1 started, Sir John’s “Swedish operations still shipped iron ore to Holland whose final destination was Germany. Drughorn helped organise this, but apparently considered that trading between two neutral countries was outside the scope of the laws against trading with the enemy. John Drughorn was charged with trading with the enemy, and on 19th January 1915 was brought to trial at the Old Bailey. The judge was Mr. Justice Rowlatt; the prosecution was conducted by Mr. Muir, Mr Humphreys and Mr. Boyd, and the defence lawyers were Mr Pollock KC and Mr Barrington Ward. The trial lasted two days. The prosecution proved that Drughorn had had dealings in Holland with arranging the transhipment of the iron ore to Germany.The defence argued that actions in a neutral country were outside the court’s jurisdiction. The defence produced good character witnesses from eminent business figures. Nevertheless Drughorn was convicted of trading with the enemy”.  

1915 – Sir John’s youngest son William Frederick Drughorn enlists for the war as a Drughorn, but one source indicates he served under the name of William Frederick Henderson because of the unpopularity of his surname after his father’s trial.

1916 – William Frederick Drughorn is killed at the Battle of the Somme on July 15 1916 at Pozieres, aged 21.

1918 – Sir John announces he is donating £25,000 to The King’s School Canterbury – where his son William was educated between May 1910 and December 1911 before going into his father’s business in 1912, aged 17. This donation to the school was to his son’s memory, and was “to be used for the construction of new science buildings at King’s, to be known as the “Drughorn Science Buildings”. It appears though that negotiations between the school and the family broke down, as the work never took place”.

1919 – John Frederick Drughorn, eldest son of Sir John, marries, but dies aged 31. 

The Drughorn family erect two Memorials to their sons in the grounds of Ifield Hall : A Sundial in memory of William – with the inscription: “Erected in Loving Memory of William Frederick Drughorn. Born 8 July 1895. Enlisted August 1914. Killed in Action near Pozieres 15 July 1916”, and an Obelisk in memory of John Frederick Drughorn – with a metal arrow weather vane on top . In 2oo9, William’s Sundial was re-erected in the garden of Sir John’s great-grandson in West Hoathly and John’s Obelisk was re-erected at Ifield Golf Club [“J.F.D. 1919”].

“Crawley Memorial Recreation Ground was largely secured by his efforts, and its fine gates with the copper plates bearing the names of the fallen, were his gift”.

 

William Frederick Drughorn [July 8 1895 – July 15 1916]

 

 

 

 

Private William Frederick DRUGHORN (STK/76)
10th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Stockbrokers)

Date of birth: 8th July 1895
Date of death: 15th July 1916

Killed in action aged 21
Buried at Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-la-Boisselle Plot III Row H Grave 13

He was born in Rotterdam on the 8th of July 1895, the youngest son of John Frederick Drughorn, ship owner and merchant, and Elizabeth (nee Berlips)of Ifield Hall, Ifield in Sussex and of 77 Lancaster Gate, London.

He was educated at the Abbey School, Beckenham, and the King’s School Canterbury from May 1910 to December 1911, after which he went into the steamship trading business in 1912.

On the outbreak of war he was living at his parent’s house at ‘Banavie’, 27 The Avenue, Beckenham in Kent. He enlisted in the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers on the 29th of August 1914 at St Paul’s Churchyard in London. He was sent for training and was admitted to Colchester Hospital on the 4th of September with an injury, being released on the 7th. He embarked with his battalion for France on the 30th of July 1915, landing at Boulogne.

At 9am on July 15th 1916 the 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers was detailed to support an attack on the village of Pozieres. They advanced up Sausage Valley and about 300 yards from the village they came under heavy machine gun fire. It soon became clear that the attack had failed before it had started. The commanding officer asked for a barrage on the south west corner of the village, which took place and the battalion advanced again with D Company under Lieutenant F.M. Taylor making an attempt to seize the orchard on the edge of the village but they were also driven back by machine gun fire.

After a pause for reorganisation the village was again bombarded from 5pm to 6pm and the signal was given to advance again. Determined and repeated attempts were made to gain the village but these were all repulsed and the battalion was driven back. Such were the losses that the battalion was withdrawn from the line after dark.

After the war had started, his father, John Drughorn’s Swedish operations still shipped iron ore to Holland whose final destination was Germany. Drughorn helped organise this but apparently considered that trading between two neutral countries was outside the scope of the laws against trading with the enemy. John Drughorn was charged with trading with the enemy and on 19th January 1915 was brought to trial at the Old Bailey. The judge was Mr. Justice Rowlatt, the prosecution was conducted by Mr. Muir, Mr. Humphreys and Mr. Boyd and the defence lawyers were Mr Pollock KC and Mr Barrington Ward. The trial lasted two days.

The prosecution proved that Drughorn had had actual dealings in Holland with arranging the transhipment of the iron ore to Germany. The defence argued that actions in a neutral country were outside the court’s jurisdiction. The defence produced good character witnesses from eminent business figures. Nevertheless Drughorn was convicted of trading with the enemy.

His elevation to Baronet by David Lloyd-George in 1922 caused a scandal leading to a re-evaluation of the honours system.

One source indicates that William Drughorn served under the name of William Frederick Henderson which may have been to distance himself from this incident.

In 1918 Frederick Drughorn announced that he was donating £25,000 to the school in his son’s memory to be used for the construction of new science buildings at King’s to be known as the “Drughorn Science Buildings”. It appears though that negotiations between the school and the family broke down as the work never took place.

He is commemorated on the war memorial at Crawley Sussex, on a sundial at Ifield Hall, on the Ifield memorial and on the panels on the gates outside the Crawley Memorial Gardens.

1922 – Sir John elevated to Baronet by David Lloyd-George, which causes “a scandal leading to a re-evaluation of the Honours System”.

 

1927 – Sir John builds a Golf course on his land and establishes Ifield Golf Club. He becomes President of the Club for many years.

At the Royal Oak in Ifield Green – August 22nd 1927 – “it was proposed, seconded and carried that the club should be “open to the Residents of the Parish of Ifield”‘ [and it is claimed that a later Limited Company Article states the land is…to be held for golf “in perpetuity”. 

Again, at the Royal Oak – September 12 1927 – the first Committee Meeting of the Ifield Artisan Golf Club established a nine-hole golf course on Ifield Green (owned by Sir John). The Artisans were an integral part of Golf Club. The course was closed in 1934, with the Artisans transferring to the Golf Club. The Artisans section ceased in 1975.

“The Ifield Golf Club…was one of his [Sir John’s] projects which brought much needed work to the place”

He gave generously to Golfing and other Charities.

 

1930 – During the Great Depression, “some 200 men were constantly employed in making alterations and improvements on the estate”.

 

1937 – Sir John and a few friends build a playground on Ifield Village Green [Ifield Green] “for the children of Ifield School, as they had only the roadway to play in”. 

 

1937 – Sir John plants a Coronation Tree (King George VI).

1943 – Sir John gifts Ifield Village Green to the Parish Council “as an open space for all time” The Village Green is one of the oldest homes of cricket in the county, dating back to 1721. 

“His latest gift was to the Crawley Parish Council , to whom he handed the deeds of Ifield Common as a free gift to be used as a playing field forever”

1943 – Sir John dies aged 80. He leaves no heir so the estate is sold in lots.

 

1943 – Ifield Hall becomes a Dr Barnados Home.

 

1952 – “Ifield Golf Club” incorporated on February 28 1952

 

1972 – A new 50-year lease entered into by Ifield Golf Club – to expire on May 1 2022. 

 

1973 – Dr Barnado’s Home closes at Ifield Hall

1979 – Ifield Hall becomes the home to the Outreach 3 Way charity, established by the late Revd. Edgar Wallace – with the financial support of Toc H.

2001 – Ifield Hall demolished to make way for runway expansion at Gatwick, and “after it was realised it would cost over £2 million to bring it up to new legal standards as a registered care home”.

2022 – 50-year Lease of Ifield Golf Club expires on May 1 2022.