The Story of the Lucas Shadwell Family by Paul Draper (previously published in Fairlight News in 2017)
Part 6 – A footnote and some anecdotes
In the first five parts, we looked at the four generations of Lucas-Shadwells and discussed their respective lives in Fairlight. The name Lucas-Shadwell first appeared in 1811 when William Shadwell changed his name and finally vanished in 1948 in England when Beatrice, Noel’s sister died at Fairlight Cottage. However, the family are remembered locally at Rye Harbour where there is a road names ‘Lucas-Shadwell Way.
Although the name has gone, their descendants live on, in France and Canada. We have been in contact with some of the French family and they have told us some interesting achievements by the extended family. In part 5 we told you about the Chateau de Bity en Correze where Noel spent his time in the 1920s and 30s and noted that the chateau is now in the family of Jacques Chirac, the former President of France.
What is the connection between the Lucas-Shadwells and the winner of the first Monte Carlo Rally, in 1911? The winning car was a Turcat-Mery 25hp driven by Henri Rougier (see attached photo) The Turcat-Mery Automobile Cie was founded in 1899 by two cousins, Leon Turcat and Simon Mery and produced many different cars and biplanes up until 1928. Leon’s son, Max married someone named Yolande Lucas-Shadwell, the oldest daughter of William Noel Lucas-Shadwell. Yolande, known as Yo-Yo, had married into a very interesting family.
The 25hp Turcat-Mery was a successful car and will be remembered for its historic victory. Not so memorable was their six-wheel car. It had four rows of seats, but unlike all later six-wheelers, only the front wheels steered! The car did not last long.
The success of their fire engine is not known.
Another member of Yolande’s new Turcat family was Andre Turcat, her nephew. Andre was a pilot and earned great respect in WW2 and in the Indochina War and graduated to test pilot for Nord Aviation. His reputation grew and he was given the honour of being chief test pilot for the French, Sud Aviation Concorde. He took the first ever Concorde fight on 2nd March 1969, five weeks before Britain’s own Brian Trubshawe took off from Filton. (see celebratory stamps from Grenada).
Yolande herself had three children herself, two boys and a girl. The youngest was Jean-Noel Turcat, so-named in recognition of his grandfather William Noel Lucas-Shadwell. Jean-Noel rose to the rank of Admiral in the French Navy.
Finally I attach a photo of the memorial plaque to the last of Lucas-Shadwells in a cemetery in Revest. So we can see that the family name was remembered, by Gisele up until 2004.
By Paul Draper.