In common with the rest of the country, I mourn the passing on Friday of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. His contribution to the service of this country and beyond is immeasurable.

There is a little known connection between the Duke and our Maldon District village of Tolleshunt D’Arcy.

Located in South Street, red brick, 18th-century, ‘D’Arcy House’ was once home to the crime writer, Margery Allingham and her husband, the artist and all round raconteur, Philip Youngman Carter.

One of the highlights of D’Arcy village life in the late 1940s and 1950s was the annual cricket match between the village and Philip Youngman Carter’s London club, the ‘Thursday Club’.

The club met weekly for lunch in a Soho oyster bar and membership was limited to just 25 people. The distinguished members included well-known figures such as Peter Ustinov, Gilbert Harding and none other than the Duke of Edinburgh.

On June 18, 1949, a cricket match was held in a field which was part of the extensive grounds of D’Arcy House. The team that day included a very special visitor - the Duke of Edinburgh himself.

Margery and Philip had promised not to reveal the Duke’s identity, but one of the villagers spotted him at lunch and apparently said to Margery; “Doesn’t that gentleman look exactly like the Duke of Edinburgh?”

With great presence of mind, Margery calmly replied; “Yes, exactly like him!” and the match went on!

Rest in Peace Sir.

Stephen P. Nunn

Fambridge Road, Maldon