Walter Wallace (Wally) White
Gardener, Musician, Wood Turner and Carver, and Firework Maker
Wally watering in his favourite "Prize
Begonias" in the Abbey Conservatory
My great-grandfather was Head Kitchen Gardener for many years and during the 1920 ~ 1930's there were three generations of the White family living , and working together, side by side, on Battle Abbey Estate
World War II put an end to that when all but Walter joined the Armed Forces
My dad's memories
My Grandad was like most Gardeners, extremely calm, clever and versatile, and his working day "every day is a working day for Gardeners" was tending the plants in the various gardens within the Abbey Grounds. His week was carefully organised to include: Band practise, wood-carving, carpentry,
fire-work making, telling me stories, and teaching me how to use tools.
His most enjoyable task was the propagation and culture of Prize Winning Entries in the many Local Flower Shows.
When he wasn't showing, he was judging, . . . Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables were all a challenge to him, and if he was exhibiting, his entries had to be the "BEST" in the show. And very often, they were.
And my Dad was destined to follow in his footsteps.
I don't remember my Dad, or my Grandparents ever having a Holiday
Needless to say that the White family always had fresh fruit and vegetables, for this was one of the "perks" of being a Gardener on a large Estate. Mr.Reid Partridge ran a small Dairy Farm beside the Kitchen Gardens, so we always had fresh milk as well. His son Ron taught me to milk the Cows at an early age. I was later to find this skill very useful
-with Goats, in a Palestinian Desert.
Walter White standing next to the walled garden at Abbey House, Powermill Lane