The Last Cowboy in Sussex ~ William (Bill) Lindfield

A Tribute to Bill Lindfield ~ Copied from Sompting Estate Website with permission of the Trustees: Sompting Estate contact page

William Lindfield 23.3.1927 - 28.11.2011

    • Born and bred in Sompting, Bill’s left school at the age of 14 to work with his father Bill senior and grandfather Jack Stoner on St John's Farm in the Cokeham part of Sompting. His youthful memories are of time on the farm in Sompting with his cattle and as a carter driving his much loved horse, “Old Blossom”.

    • Bill worked for the War Agricultural Committee at Lee Farm on the Duke of Norfolk's estate between 1947-1950. Lee Farm was a substantial arable farm in a valley straddling the parishes of Clapham, Patching, Angmering and Storrington. It was farmed with Cobden Farm, Sulllington, and together extended over 2000 acres. It had been used as a training ground for the Canadian Army during the Second World War and immediately afterwards returned to agricultural use under the War Agricultural Committee before returning to private ownership in 1950.

    • He then served as a career soldier in HM Forces making Sergeant-Major, and married Hilda Jackaman in 1949, with whom he lived to the end of their lives in Halewick Lane, Sompting.

    • During his later life Bill shared widely his deep affection for Sussex as a broadcaster, writer, raconteur and poet. He was a much loved member of Lancing & Sompting Pastfinders local history group from its early days, leading the group on journeys through Sompting's memory lanes.

    • Click here to read his Obituary published in 'Retrospecs'.

        • Lindfield's Poetry in Old Sussex Voice

        • Bill Lindfield also captured an era, and a way of looking at life, in his Poetry on a number of occasions, the last, memorable time being in the Sompting Downs Barn on 2 August 2011.

        • Click here to read Bill's Poetry

        • Click here for his Additional Work

        • NB The above links are to the first edition. A second edition is planned for which we hope to find some or all of the missing numbered poems, in tape recordings made by Bill, together with appropriate illustrations. Most importantly these recordings of Bill reading his own poetry will allow you to hear them as they should best be heard, in his own voice, on links from this website.

With thanks to Ray Hamblett and Brian Drury for digitising the tapes.

            • As mentioned,after the war Bill worked on the WARAG farming scheme which brought him to a farm, where with his mates they came

            • upon the escape tunnel from what he later learned to be a Special Home Guard Auxiliary (Churchill's Secret Resistance) hideout in the

            • woods near Warningcamp.

            • You can read his report of the event in the following leaf from his manuscript:

A Memoir of Sompting Past: 'The Last Cowboy'

    • Bill regularly talked about the “old days” in the Village, writing his memories in a book "The Last Cowboy" - which takes its title from an incident where he had to lasso an out-of-control bull.

            • The extract below is from the website of CART (Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team) and it tells how the base, which had

            • by now collapsed, was rediscovered and Bill taken back to renew his memories.

            • Below is a picture of Bill making his unsteady but determined way through the trees to the dugout, where he became

            • visibly moved.

      • This is a photo of the Candle Holder

      • referred to by Bill in his diary page above

      • and recovered during the excavation.

      • Copyright

      • Some of the material published on this webpage is copyrighted to various authors. Please respect the time and money which has gone into the production of the material for community enjoyment.

        • An acknowledgement to "Lancing & Sompting Pastfinders via Sompting Estate Website" will suffice should you wish to use all or part of any of the published work for non-commercial, personal research or social networking.

        • Any use, whether commercial or non-commercial, that is not sympathetic to the memory of contributing individuals is to be regarded as prohibited under copyright.

        • Any commercial use is to be regarded as prohibited under copyright unless the consent of the author, or where deceased the consent of the heirs to their Estate, is obtained.

      • If in doubt please enquire using Sompting Estate contact page.

      • © L & S Pastfinders 2016