My father Charles New served on the Brook Lifeboat for many years.  He went to live with his grandmother Jane Ellen Milmore when he was 3 years old after his father had died. She brought him up in a house at Compton Grange which was burnt down during WWII. His grandmother died in July 1925 and was buried in Brook churchyard. Her grave was destroyed in the hurricane storm in 1987 when a tree near the grave was brought down.

My father helped with the lifeboat from the age of 16 until the 1914-18 war when he joined the Hampshire Regiment. Soon after his demob he filled a vacant seat in the lifeboat. The coxswain was General Jack Seely, later Lord Mottistone. Father became the lifeboat’s signaller and when the Susan Ashley was sold he went with her to Yarmouth and was the last man to step ashore. Meanwhile he met and married my mother, Ada Hughes, who had moved with her mother and family from Kent to Shalcombe Manor. They were married in St Mary’s Church, Brook, in December 1923 by the Rev. Shaw. Father worked at Dunsbury Farm and was also sexton and grave digger at Brook Church. They lived at Chessell in the cottage nearest the farm which is now the Chessell Pottery. My sister and I were brought up there until we all moved to Freshwater in 1938. We were both
christened at Brook Church and attended Hulverstone (always pronounced ‘Huvverstone’) School. I was taught by Dora Hookey and my sister was taught by Barbara Hookey.

Dad died in 1977 and his signallers’ flags are now in Carisbrooke Castle Museum together with a certificate for his 17 and a half years’ service with the RNLI.