Maurice Sarsfield Walsh - CE B18                                                       

Journalist and Editor of The Hastings Observer Maurice Sarsfield Walsh was born in London on 3rd December 1843.  His family came from Ireland and he was descended on his mother’s side from the famous General Sarsfield (subsequently created Earl of Lucan) who led the Irish cavalry against William of Orange at The Battle of the Boyne.

Maurice was bought up in London and was educated at a Roman Catholic college there.

He moved to Rye in Sussex in October 1865 where he filled the editorial chair of the South Eastern Advertiser, the property of Isaac Parsons.

Isaac later bought the paper, then known as the Hastings Herald and Observer, from a Mr J H Knight and in 1868 Maurice Walsh moved to Hastings to become the paper’s editor and for several years was its sole reporter.

At this time the paper was a struggling venture with a poor circulation comparing poorly with other older established news sheets.

  The newspaper’s name was shortened to The Observer in 1873.

The 1871 census shows Maurice aged 27 as a boarder at 2 Portland Terrace, Hastings.  His occupation is given as a publisher employing 7 men and 6 boys.  


In 1876 he married Marion Eliza Saxby and by 1881 they are living at 5 South Terrace, Hastings and Maurice is shown as a journalist on the census.  The couple have a daughter Mary C aged 2 years and one maid.

Maurice and Marion appear to have had at least 4 sons and 3 daughters. Reference in press reports describe Maurice as a devoted husband and father and refer to his being grief stricken at the death of a young son.  The 1891 census shows a daughter Edith aged 20 living at 4 St Helen’s Terrace, Hastings with her parents and siblings, Cicely Mary (also known as Mary) aged 12, Lucy H aged 9, Alexander Sarsfield aged 8, and Cyril M aged 4.  This would mean that Edith was