Wednesday 21st June 1916: Following the death of his son Lieutenant Evelyn Collisson on 23rd February the Rector of Gravenhurst, Revd. Thomas Collisson, is leaving for a new living at Swyre in Dorset. In a letter of farewell to his parishioners he tells them: “After having lived amongst you for 19½ years it is a great wrench parting, but it must be after our very heavy bereavement. I give you our address in the hope that now and again I shall hear from you, and know how Gravenhurst Parish progresses spiritually and in worldly matters.” The Rector and his family are expected to leave Gravenhurst around the 19th July. He has been offered the living of Swyre by His Grace the Duke of Bedford, who owns much of the property there and ensures that the people are well cared for and housed at a cheap rental. It is to hoped that life in this “pretty little village” with its population of about 156 and a charming, stone Rectory, will help the Rector and his family to recover from their terrible loss.
Source: Barton Parish Magazine, June 1916 [P298/30/18]