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People

Leonard John Souter C.C. 1888 - 1941

The death of Mr. Leonard John Souter C.C., which occurred with painful suddenness on Sunday evening at his home, Kite Hill, Wootton. Mr. Souter was returning from his gardener's cottage at about 6 pm when he collapsed on the lawn in front of his house. His daughter, Miss. Edna Souter, ran to his assistance and with the help of Mrs. Souter took him indoors. Dr. F. Kennedy J.P. was summoned and P.C. Chandler rendered assistance, but Mr. Souter died within two minutes. The Coroner dispensed with an inquest, death being due to a heart trouble.

Picture of Leonard Souter
Leonard Souter

The eldest son of the late William Souter, of Wootton, Leonard John Souter was born on 13 August 1888. His father was then proprietor of Wootton Mill, and Mr Souter was the first miller to establish a roller mill on the Island. The deceased was associated with his father in the business and with farming of Kite Hill until about 30 years ago; when on his father's death he became the proprietor. He was the oldest tenant of the Fleming Estate. A few months ago, Mr. Souter let Wootton Mill for the duration to Messrs Joseph Rank Ltd., but had continued farming.

He was much respected in Island agricultural circles. About 20 years ago, when the late Mr Edwin James, of Binstead, was made a county alderman, Mr. Souter succeeded him as the County Council member for the Binstead Division, and he had served continuously ever since.

For a time he was churchwarden at St Edmund's Church. He was much esteemed in the district and utmost sympathy is extended to Mrs Souter, her son and daughter in their irreparable loss.

The funeral took place at St Edmund's Church, Wootton on Thursday, when the Rector [Rev. A. H. Genower] officiated and Miss Groundsell accompanied the singing of the hymn "Jesu, Lover of my soul" and played Handel's "Largo" at the close.

The chief mourners were Mr W. E. Souter [brother], Miss E. Souter [step-sister], Mr. K. Souter [nephew], Mr W. Knighton [brother-in-law], Mr. J. Maffey [brother-in-law], Miss. F. Mew [niece], Mrs. Weeks [sister-in-law], Messrs. J. Harding and J. Corney [employees], Mr. F. Hartnall [former employee].

The following comrades of Mr. Souter in the Home Guard formed a guard of honour in the Cemetery: Lieut.-Col. F. H. Fernie, D.S.O., Capt. Symons, Lieuts, Hearne, Malthus, Mackain, and Batt. Corpl. Woodford and Volunteer Drury.

Others attending were members of the County Council and various organisations around the Island. Floral tributes included those from the directors of Fernhill Park Estate, employees of Kite Hill Farm Estate and tenants of High Street.

Mr. W. H. Please made the arrangements.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press, 31st May 1941


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