1805 - Winifred Felce

Winifred Felce lived for many years in Paradise Cottage, and made a very generous bequest to the Village Hall in the 1990s.

Sketch by Davina Gibbs, kindly donated to Wilcot Village Hall, 2018

What an interesting and talented person she was! In the 1930s she was in Munich, where she became indispensable to the zoo and its primate department. She wrote a fascinating book, Apes, about her experience of the animals. We have a copy in her honour, and it’s well worth reading.

In the war she worked in Bletchley Park, where she made an unforgettable impression on the man in charge of her department.

She was a talented artist, musician and gardener, and a benefactor of RHS Wisley. She was fascinated by Sufi ideas. Even her Sufi teacher, Idris Shah, was a little scared of her forthright intelligence and her piercing gaze.

Over the years many villagers worked for her, including Harry Collins and Ray Strong.