Sussex Express Article - September 2013

By Carol Walton

This month’s picture is of the sad demise of Saxonholme. A Mr George Stone was the first occupant of Saxonholme, which was initially called Dacre Villa. According to the 1891 census the house was lived in by Mr Thomas Cann, a practicing surgeon. The house was at some time home to Lt-Col. John Orlando Summerhayes who was registered as Licentiate, Royal College of Physicians, London (L.R.C.P.) and also as a Member, Royal College of Surgeons (M.R.C.S.). He was also decorated with the award of Companion, Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) and gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the Royal Army Medical Corps. During the winter of 1918-19 King George V arranged for two Colonels, one of which was John Orlando Summerhayes, to give support to the exiled Habsburg royal family when Austria-Hungary collapsed after the First World War. Colonel Summerhayes was appointed as Ehrenkavalier (Honorary Cavalier) and in February 1919, arrived at Eckartsau, a town in Lower Austria, to protect the imperial family. Being a doctor, John Summerhayes was elected to accompany the sick three year old Felix Habsburg to Switzerland for medical treatment, a decision which probably saved his life. Saxonholme was noted for its fine display of trees and the extensive garden at the rear was frequently used for fund raising for deserving causes. The house was demolished in 2011 and work starts soon to build a new fire station on the site.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'SAXONHOLME' page
This page was added by Carol Walton on 07/12/2013.

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