Information on this web site was first uploaded to the internet in December 2011.
Nevill Bamber who was born in 1924 went to boarding school at Christs Hospital in Horsham, West Sussex and later joined the Royal Air Force where he flew Mosquitoes in North Africa during World War Two. Nevill was never involved in military intelligence as has been erroneously postulated. He broke his back in an air crash during the War and this resulted in a year spent in hospital. At the end of the war he went to agricultural college where he met Robert Boutflour. As well as being a successful farmer Nevill also worked locally as a Justice of the Peace.
Together Robert and Nevill dated the Speakman sisters June and Pamela. June and Nevill had been married a couple of years when Nevill was offered a farm in Rhodesia. Eventually Leslie Speakman offered Nevill the tenancy of White House Farm and a partnership if he and June decided to stay in the UK. Nevill felt that he would have loved Africa as both of his sisters lived there, but after they both tragically died on that continent he never again spoke fondly of the idea. Nevill is described as the perfect gentleman, with a light hearted character who enjoyed socialising.
June Bamber nee Speakman
June Bamber was brought up at Vaulty Manor Farm now owned by Ann and Peter Eaton. She went to the Grammar School in Colchester and then attended secretarial college. After completing education June went on to work in offices locally but then joined up to help during the war. She joined the Female Army and Navy Yeomanry and was posted to Calcutta.
After the war June returned to being a secretary and then met Nevill – they fell in love and married – their first home was a cottage in Wash Lane ¼ mile from Vaulty Manor Farm. June became a house wife and took park in community activities with the Church and Women’s institute, including Meals on Wheels. As a couple they were both keen tennis players. After two or three years Nevill and June took on the tenancy of White House Farm.
Although they were saddened when they were unable to have children, they adopted Sheila and Jeremy through their church adoption process. June was a keen gardener and enjoyed arranging the flowers in the local church. She was very active within the Church and was appointed a Church Warden later in her life. June’s mental health had deteriorated during the seventies and it was necessary for her to spend time in St Andrews Hospital, Northampton during 1982 after which she returned home and remained deeply religious.
Jeremy and Sheila both went to school at Maldon Court; Jeremy’s first year being Sheila’s last and they both enjoyed the time together. Sheila was a gifted writer with a skill at short stories. She went to a school in Eastbourne called Moira House but she was expelled from this school though it is not known why. Then Sheila attended boarding school in Norwich and loved it as she made more friends and settled in to all the school had to offer including the many activities after lessons.
As Sheila grew up she often went to stay with friends during school holidays or they came over to stay at the farm. After going to finishing school in London she then went on to work in various hairdressing salons. But Sheila had always wanted to be a model and accordingly started a career in fashion. Soon Sheila had met Colin Caffell and she became pregnant. Nevill and June purchased an apartment for Sheila and Colin but Sheila miscarried and returned to work at her modelling career. At 16 a young Jeremy would visit his sister and enjoyed mixing with her modelling friends in London.
Before long Sheila was pregnant again with the twins though there were complications causing her to spend the last 4 or 5 months in the Royal Free Hospital. Jeremy, Nevill and June visited Sheila regularly and were very supportive to her particularly as during this time Colin and Sheila split up before the birth of the boys. The first signs of Sheila’s mental illness, schizophrenia, developed during this troubled time.
As Sheila was unable to cope Camden Social services provided day foster care for the twins with more than one set of foster parents. When Sheila was admitted to St Andrews private hospital in Northampton, Colin had looked after the twins. Before the shootings Sheila had missed a dose of her medication and at a consultation with her doctor she had requested reduced dosage of her medication. Surprisingly the doctor halved the dosage
Therefore it is not surprising that Sheila was predisposed to a psychotic episode as she was under-medicated and had also been smoking cannabis. The well-intentioned suggestion (by Nevill and/or June) that the children should be fostered once again would have precipitated a psychotic relapse.