Friends of Hastings Cemetery

Colonel Robert Tubbs Nightingale Tubbs

1891 Census Robert and wife Fanny c.  Visitors, Alfred Moore (artist) wife and son.  Also 5 Servants.  At 42 Pevensey Rd, St Leonards, Hastings.  Robert a retired Officer.  His wife Fanny born in Rome 1831.

1911 Census. Fanny at Capel-ne-Ferne, St Leonards on Sea. 2 Visitors - Georgina Emma Patton(1846 Germany , living on private means), Henry Hart Dyke (1848 Sittingbourne, Retired Admiral RN) 
17 Rooms.  Six Servants. Both Fanny and Georgina British by parentage

Hastings and St Leonards Observer - Saturday 01 August 1891

DEATH OF COLONEL TUBBS. The tall commanding figure of Col. Tubbs, so well known in Hastings, will no more be seen in our midst. The gallant gentleman passed away after a comparatively short illness, on Sunday morning last. Those of us who knew Col. Tubbs had noticed that for some weeks past he had not looked nearly so well as he should have done, but when his death was announced on Sunday last it came upon us, to say the least of it, as a great surprise. When he was taken ill, a week or two ago, an eminent medical practitioner from London was called into consultation, but in spite of the best care, both on the part of the doctors as well as the nurses, the patient gradually got weaker and weaker, until the strength left in the body was not sufficient to retain life. 

Col. Tubbs devoted himself heart and soul to the Volunteer movement.  During the 25 years spent in our midst there is hardly an institution, charity, or poor house that has not at one time or another benefited by the generosity and benevolence of the owner of Caple-ne-Ferne. He did not take a very active part in public life generally, although at some gatherings he was a sure attendant. All the good he chose to do - and it was not inconsiderable - was done in a quiet, unostentatious way, and so quietly that only the recipient and the donor were the wiser. The deceased gentleman possessed a wife who was never backward in helping or suggesting any good thing that was within reason. Being blessed with ample fortune, and with thankful hearts, Colonel and Mrs. Tubbs did their level best, as far as possible, to stimulate the poor to help themselves, and to raise up those that were down, and thus to educate them to thrift. 

Before coming to Hastings Colonel Tubbs served about 10 years in Her Majesty's Indian Army, in the Bombay Presidency, and returned home with the rank of Captain. He served for many years in the Artillery Militia, and took a leading part in establishing the now strong Cinque Ports Artillery Volunteers, which in its earlier days, and, by the way, up to quite recently, were attached to the 1st Cinque Porte Artillery Brigade at Dover. When, about two years ago, the Hastings, St. Leonards, Bexhill, Ore, Ninfield, and Pevensey Battalions were formed into a separate Brigade, under the title of the 2nd Cinque Ports Artillery, Col. Tubbs was appointed Lieut.-Col, and that honourable position he held till the beginning of the present year, when he retired by reason of the regulations respecting age. The last act performed by the men of the Corps he had so ably commanded was to present to their Colonel a magnificent illuminated address, on which these words were inscribed: 

"We, the officers, non-commissioned officers, and gunners of the Brigade, beg your acceptance of the address as a proof of the high esteem and appreciation in which you were held during your long service with us, of more than 25 years. We deeply regret that owing to the regulations of the service you were compelled to relinquish your command. You will be greatly missed by all ranks, but will ever remain in the memory of the Brigade as distinguished as a good soldier, courteous and devoted to the welfare of the service. Among your many generous actions, the building of the head-quarters at St. Leonards stands conspicuous, and supplied a pressing need. We trust that you, as our Hon. Colonel, will often come amongst us under its roof, and thus confer a pleasure on your old comrades. We desire also to acknowledge with gratitude the kindly interest which Mrs. Tubbs has always shown on our behalf, and we wish you both every happiness sincerely and from our hearts. Every officer, non-commissioned officer, and gunner on the strength of the Brigade has subscribed to this address." 

Colonel Taylor, in making the presentation, said that for more than a quarter of a century the gallant Colonel had held a commission in the Artillery, and from the very foundation of the Corps he had commanded it with credit to himself and with the greatest advantage to those who served under his command. He had always been ready with a kind word, good advice, and helping hand to assist any movement for the benefit of the Volunteer cause. —The gallant Colonel, in reply, said that it was impossible with the language at his command to acknowledge the honour which they had conferred on him. He had been a long time amongst them, and he might have rendered some service to the Corps; but a recompense such as they had given him that day, and the honour of being their Colonel, far away out-balanced anything he had done on their behalf. In conclusion he added: "Your kindness has made such an impression on me that it will never be effaced, save in the loss of memory or life." 

During Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the coffin, with the body of the late Colonel, lay in the hall at Caple-ne-Ferne, and the hall and staircase, as well as the arches all round the first floor, were draped artistically with dark purple church colours. The floor of the hall and staircase was covered with material of a similar colour, and the coffin, with the Union Jack over it, and the deceased Officer's sword, helmet, and medals on the top, lay in the centre of the hall. The N.C.O.'s and Gunners of the Brigade took turns night and day keeping guard over the remains. 

(Cremated at Woking)