inscription in bible presented to violet buckell on her eleventh birthday by her mother

The 20th Century

A line of Monamy descent from May Louise Buckell, née Cornwall

c 1945?

c 1920?

Violet Muriel Monamy Buckell
1880 - 1972

Violet Muriel Monamy escaped her mother's dominance by marriage, and spent 25 years in British India, where her husband Charlton became Chief Executive of the Sukkur irrigation scheme, the greatest civil engineering project of its time. Within 15 years of its completion this project had resulted in the creation of Pakistan.

Sir Charlton and Lady Harrison
unknown occasion, c 1925?

Despite bearing the Monamy name, Violet seems to have taken no interest in the identity of Peter Monamy, and although I knew her well, I never heard her indicate the slightest awareness of his existence. "Monamy" had become merely "a family name", to myself and my cousins, in spite of its repeated perpetuation among several of them. I had no knowledge at all of the painter until 1979, when I became interested in establishing the genealogy of my father's family.

Selwyn Harrison
1908 -1980

Selwyn Harrison, the second of Violet and Charlton's three sons, was destined for the Navy. Born in India, he was sent to live with his maternal grandmother and maiden aunts in Chichester, and later to RNC Dartmouth. His early years in the Navy were spent in the China seas, on HMS Frobisher and HMS Enterprise. During WW II he was stationed at Arbroath, Scotland, and served in the Fleet Air Arm as an observer on the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, at first patrolling the Atlantic, and then the North Sea.

Lieutenant S.T.C.Harrison RN
Louise af Petersens
Singapore 1935

At the time of his divorce and remarriage in 1952 he added Wallace to his surname, following the lead of his paternal uncle, Captain H.S.M.Harrison-Wallace, RN. A man of many qualities and few moral virtues, he was remarkable for his unyielding will; his ruthless pursuit of personal freedom; his ability, as one of my sister's admirers once put it, to "exude power"; and his unshakable faith that the Royal Navy was not only the senior, silent service, but a force superior to any other on earth, heaven or hell. Retiring from the navy after 30 years, he left England for Tanganyika in 1953, and became a tea planter. The product of insular traditions now totally dissolved since WW II, he left a searing mark on all who knew him. He died in Malindi, Kenya.


This publicity photograph is reproduced (without newspaper text) in Menace:
The Life and Death of the Tirpitz, by Ludovic Kennedy, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1979

HMS Furious, 1925, aircraft carrier, originally a light battle-cruiser

flesh perishes, I live on ---- Thomas Hardy

The true identity of the gentleman at the left of this gallery will, I suppose, never be certainly known. Until then, the likelihood that it reproduces the phiz of Pierre Monamy, arch-smuggler of Guernsey, seems to me strong. Meanwhile, on the advice of a buffoon of an alcoholic art curator, the painting may well be masquerading as a likeness of William Dampier, by Peter Monamy, somewhere in Perth, Australia.

      deyr fé   deyja frćndr
deyr sjálfr it sama
en orđstírr   deyr aldregi
hveim er sér góđan getr
kine die and kin die
you too will die; but
the name never dies
of him who wins fame
      deyr fé   deyja frćndr
deyr sjálfr it sama
ek veit einn   at aldri deyr
dómr um dauđan hvern
kine die and kin die
all men must die; but I
know what never dies:
how dead men are deemed


The ending -ey, in Guernsey, means island; therefore it was named by a Norseman

1725-1828       1783 onwards
1839 onwards: george cornwall
article 1981       article 1983
midshipman's log
more monamy descendants
monamy website index


click on picture to visit a vanished era

© Charles Harrison Wallace 2002, 2004
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