The Serial Killer, The Traveller’s Daughter, and the Cover Ups
In the year 1940 Hubert Brasier, then 23, had a decision to make. As a man of his age in the early years of WW2 he was probably heading to fight the Nazi Wehrmacht, or heading to defend British colonial outposts. Hubert Brasier felt his only path was that of the Anglican-Catholic Church, and he joined the priests at the Community of the Resurrection Seminary School in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. In years to come the Community of the Resurrection would become known for the systematic sexual abuse of children at the seminary by the Italian Verona brothers, who were rampant sex offenders in the 1960’s and 1970’s. However the seminary in Mirfield in the early 1940’s was just about to start welcoming its first refugee children. In December 1941 mass bombing of Sheffield and other northern industrial towns meant many children were evacuated to the countryside. The residents of Mirfield were some of the first to support the war effort and receive evacuee.
The Community of the Resurrection had only been founded at the later part of the 1800’s. The people of Mirfield took some time getting used to having the single young men of the seminary walking around the village. One Mirfield resident recalled them being referred to as ‘The Petticoat Men of t’Resurrection’. In the early 1900’s the residents of Mirfield grew suspicious of the men of god and this climaxed to a protest outside the Black Bull in Mirfield proper. Father Frere, a talented musician who was popular with the locals, stood on a chair and used his preaching talents to good effect. The community of Mirfield and the Community of the Resurrection were a tight knit unit by the 1940’s. When the northern industrial hub of England began to be targeted by the Luftwaffe nightly, many children from all over England were evacuated to communities such as Mirfield. Hubert Brasier would only stay in Mirfield for the beginning of his training.
In 1942 he was designated to a new church, in London, and after a year of hands on priestly experience he would be ordained. Hubert’s first placement was at The Church of St Andrew on Sandhurst Road in Catford, Southwark. The bombings were numerous in Catford, and the community was very close, soon to be brought closer by tragedy. On the 20th January 1943 a bomb landed directly on the local Sandhurst Primary School, 38 Children were killed alongside 6 teachers. To be a man of God in this devastated community would have meant sharing a lot of suffering and loss. The parents of many of the lost children agreed for them to be buried in a mass grave at Hither Green Cemetary, and for a terraced memorial to be laid in their honour.
Theresa May’s father was still a bachelor priest at this point in history. During the war life, the whole of London could be savage. The bombing brought death daily to Lewisham and the number of funerals were overwhelming for all of the local religious institutions. When war ceased Hubert continued to serve the Anglican-Catholic community of Catford until 1948 where he was relocated to Reigate in Surrey and the very small, steeple-free church of St Luke, in the Southpark area. In contrast to The Church of St Andrew in Catford, St Luke’s was almost retirement. Obviously the stress and strain of the war experience had affected the still single Hubert, and the transfer made for good respite. In 1952 Hubert had reached the age of 35, and as in Mirfield at the turn of the century, celibacy provided more questions than it answered. Communities were already rife with gossip and speculation about the private lives of others. It can be presumed that the Anglican-Catholic churches history of child abuse is older than just the last 60 years, and it would usually be easier for a priest to be married.
The Serial Killer
The following year, in 1953, Hubert became the Chaplain All Saints at Eastbourne Hospital in Sussex. Over the next 6 years he would work alongside the famous serial killer Dr John Bodkin Adams. For those who are unaware of Dr John Bodkin Adams, he was believed to be the Harold Shipman of his age. He would usually prey upon his more elderly patients, convincing them to put him in their wills, of which over 130 complied. They were soon given an injection by Bodkin Adams, and would conveniently pass away of ‘natural causes’ soon after. On review more than 165 of the deaths that Dr Bodkin Adams oversaw were seen as suspicious. The suspicion was not a well kept secret amongst staff at Eastbourne Hospital, most of the nurses had voiced their concerns to their superiors. They were believed to have been ignored on purpose, as the newly founded NHS was considered to be under political threat and a scandal that could see a general practitioner sentenced to death was to be avoided at all cost. The problem was Dr Bodkin Adams just couldn’t stop himself. He was being protected by Lord Gwynne who was believed to be his secret gay lover, and was an extremely well connected politician.
Hubert Brasier would have given last rights to many of those killed by Adams, he may have even taken confession from Bodkin Adams himself, who when asked by the press if he was guilty of stealing from old women said ‘I have made my peace with God over that’. Eastbourne Hospital is where it is believed that Theresa May’s mother Zaidee Mary Barnes met Hubert Brasier for the first time. Hubert was 11 years her senior and Zaidee had already been diagnosed with MS, and was a regular visitor to Eastbourne Hospital. Whether or not in the 1950’s society it was considered appropriate for a celibate hospital chaplain to marry a patient, that is what happened in 1955. Zaidee and Hubert were married in Reading in front of Zaidee’s father Reginald James Barnes whose profession is recorded in the wedding certificate as a ‘Traveller’. On October 1st 1956 Theresa Brasier was born in Eastbourne hospital. The following year Dr John Bodkin Adams would be acquitted of murder in a trail that was an obvious cover up, however he was convicted on 8 counts of forging a prescription, 4 counts of making false statements on cremation forms, and 3 offences under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1951. He would be temporarily struck of the NHS, only to be reinstated in 1961 when the proverbial dust had settled.
As chaplain of Eastbourne Hospital Hubert was under the Chichester Diocese of the Church of England. During the 1960’s til the 1990’s this diocese has some of the worst examples of child sexual abuse committed by priests. The numbers and the scope of the phenomenon is truly astounding. Canon Gordon Rideout who was the Vicar of All Saints in Eastbourne was jailed for ten years for 36 separate offences on 16 children between 1962 and 1973. Peter Ball, former Bishop of Lewes was convicted of abuse in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Former priest Keith Wilke Denford of Burgess Hill and organist Michael Mytton were convicted of historic sexual abuse. Vickery House, a former Brighton priest was also convicted along with the former Vicar of Brede, Roy Cotton. Former Vicar of St Barnabas in Bexhill was charged and convicted of historic allegations amongst many others. But Father Hubert Brasier was about to be offered a fantastic opportunity that would take him from the Chichester Diocese.
In 1959, Theresa May’s father, Hubert Brasier was installed as the 1st Vicar of Enstone with Heythrop, deep in the Diocese of Oxford. This cannot be understated, it was quite an achievement. Only 4 miles from Chipping Norton this was a sought after location and Hubert would have been the envy of many men of the Anglican-Catholic cloth. Hubert is approaching his mid forties and it may be time to permanently settle for the sake, and sanity of his family. He lives the quiet life in Enstone for 11 years with only records of baptisms, funerals, and weddings to note his existence. In 1970 Hubert is moved to be Vicar of Wheatley in Oxfordshire as Zaidee’s condition was worsening and he was no spring chicken anymore.
On October 12, 1981, Hubert was killed in a car accident on his way to a service at a local church in nearby Forest Hill. His Morris Marina edged out of a central reservation and in front of an oncoming Range Rover driven by a chartered surveyor named Desmond Hampton. Hubert Brasier died of head and spinal injuries sustained in the crash soon after, Zaidee would pass away months later. The Oxfordshire Coroner Nicholas Gardiner recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The Cover Ups
So there is the life of Hubert Brasier, it doesn’t seem like there’s is much to see. Yet just after Theresa May took over at No.10 her campaign team started to request the deletion of web addresses linked to Hubert Brasier. If you were to go to Wikipedia and type in Hubert Brasier there will be no results. I first realised that he had once had a Wiki entry when I found a version of it in French, and then one in Spanish. Any researcher has the wonderfully named ‘Wayback Machine’ to help them nowadays. You can go to the archive and find pages that have been deleted, only if you can work out the original web address. In this case you can copy and paste the Wikipedia page address and add Hubert_Brasier to the end. You will see Hubert’s Wiki page in all its former glory from a snapshot archived on 17th July 2016. For some reason the people around May, or May herself, do not want you looking into the history of Hubert Brasier. After researching Hubert’s life I came across many pages that had been removed, links to nowhere, and a few conspiracy theories too. On investigation of Hubert’s Wiki entry there is nothing damning present. It’s not a large entry, it covers only the basics, so why would you want it removed? The only important information it seems to contain is Hubert’s placements within the Church of England, and that he’s Theresa May’s father.
On 8th July 2014, Theresa May as Home Secretary, oversaw the appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss to the inquiry set up to investigate child sexual abuse by prominent politicians and clergy in the previous decades. Within 6 days of the announcement of Baroness Butler-Sloss as chair, she was forced to stand down for obvious conflicts of interest. Theresa May had selected somebody whose brother was Attorney General during some of the periods being investigated. Later the same year May chose the then Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, to chair the inquiry. Fiona Woolf had to stand down when it became apparent that she had lived near Leon Brittan, who had also been accused of alleged sexual abuse. She recalled sending him and his wife a dinner invite at around the time of the accusations. It was almost as if Theresa May was sabotaging the inquiry with no regard for the victims who still required answers. On 4th February 2015, May announced that Dame Lowell Goddard, a New Zealand High Court judge, would be taking over as chair. But a month after Theresa May became Prime Minister, in August 2016, the new Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard. Soon after her resignation it was announced that one of the existing panel members, Professor Alexis Jay, became the chair. But now the inquiry has faced serious and obvious questions about its credibility.
To get things so badly wrong must be almost impossible. Theresa May never seemed to meet any of her immigration targets as Home Secretary, and it is truly hard to name her recorded achievements whilst she has been in office. But the inquiry into child sexual abuse seems to be something Theresa May does not want to face. My thoughts are that the investigation will focus on Tory MP’s who frequented the infamous Elm Guest House, but also the Diocese of Chichester, once the ecumenical home of her Father Hubert Brasier. So what is it that you fear Mrs May? The truth about your colleagues, or is it something much closer to home? Maybe May is terrified of people connecting her with the name Brasier?
I have done my best to build an accurate jigsaw from all the pieces I could locate, but it may need a different set of eyes to see the real picture.