From the Sussex Express, 9 February 1945:

The Village Stalwart

How many people have slept in the same house for 18,250 consecutive nights – exactly 50 years? This is the remarkable record of Mr William Freeman, of Mill House, Glynde. It was because he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding on Friday that many interesting facts concerning their long association with the village and district came to light. Mr Freeman was born at Glynde nearly 77 years ago. His father, the late Mr Solomon Freeman, was for 50 years gamekeeper to the late Viscount Hampden, a former Speaker of the House of Commons, who resided at Glynde Place. Previously, Mr Freeman, senior, held a similar position with the late Lord Dacre (brother of Viscount Hampden) in Hertfordshire. After Mr Freeman, senior, retired, two of his sons, Messrs George and Jim Freeman, were also gamekeepers on the Glynde estate, the keeping up of a family connection which lasted altogether for 96 years. Mr George Freeman, who is 86 years of age, is still at Station Farm, Glynde, which is now carried on by his own sons, Richard, Harry and George, and they are also tenants of Furlongs Farm and Little Dene Farm. Mr William Freeman’s farm is also part and parcel of the Glynde estate.


What Mr William Freeman doesn’t know about Glynde and the district around is scarcely worth knowing. In his younger days he was a very keen cricketer, and was well known locally as a ‘googly’ bowler. For over 30 years he was captain of the local XI. On a number of occasions he also played for the Lewes Priory Cricket Club. In 1892 he was appointed overseer to the parish of Glynde – the same year that Viscount Hampden died. Fifty-one years ago, when parish councils were formed, he was appointed clerk to Glynde Parish Council, and he still holds that office. Subsequently he was appointed rating officer for Glynde, Beddingham and Firle, and held office until this work was centralised at Lewes.

He has been secretary of the Glynde Working Men’s Club for 50 years, and it has never been more flourishing than it is today. In 1915, he was asked to take over the secretaryship of the Glynde Friendly Society ‘till they could get someone else’, but this never happened, and so he is still carrying on. In his ‘spare time’ Mr Freeman carries out his duties as registration officer for the district.

Mr Freeman still keeps his own cows and has delivered milk in Glynde every day for 50 years with the exception of only 28 days, and that lapse was due to the fact that he was involved in an accident.


Mrs Freeman, who is 77, was formerly Miss Ruth Beney, daughter of the late Mr and Mrs James Beney, of Crowhurst, and she and Mr Freeman were married at St Mary’s Church, Eastbourne, on February 2nd, 1895. Their one and only home together has been Mill House, Beddingham, but unlike her husband, Mrs Freeman has slept away from Glynde on more than one occasion.

Mr and Mrs Freeman have had seven children – four sons and three daughters. Their eldest son, William, was killed during the last war, and another, John, was killed as the result of an accident two years ago. Their other sons are Mr J Freeman, of Etchingham Dairy, and Mr T Freeman, of Mill Plain, Glynde, who works for his father. The daughters are Mrs Ruth Knight, of Southborough, Mrs Olive Smith of Hartfield, and Miss Marnie Freeman, who lives at home. Mr and Mrs Freeman also have 11 grandchildren.

On Friday there was a happy family gathering and a special iced cake, made by Miss Freeman, was much in evidence.