The Stone drawing Birthplace of Toby Simkin

I uncovered in archives from UK registries that the tiny building where I was born in one April 21, 1964, located on Pheasant Hill, in the village of Chalfont St. Giles, in England called “The Stone”, still maintains all original interior paneling and ceiling beams from the original house built in early 1601.  Oliver Cromwell stayed in The Stone after the skirmish at Aylesbury in mid 1600’s.   It was built as the home in the 17th century of John Ratcliffe (1549 – Dec 1609) who was captain of the ‘Discovery’, one of three ships that sailed from England on 19 December 1606 to Virginia to found a colony (now known as the USA), arriving 26 April 1607.  John Ratcliffe later became the second president of the colony which later became Jamestown.   John Ratcliffe was portrayed in Disney’s Pocahontas as Governor Ratcliffe, a greedy and ruthlessly ambitious man who was the main antagonist.

Chalfont St. Giles

Chalfont St Giles Birthplace Toby

Mum The Answer Is YesMy mother discovered that she was pregnant with me with an amusing note of 4 words from her Doctor in Amersham with the words “The answer is YES!”.  I was christened Toby James, in honour of close family friend Jim Scott in Australia, who has recently passed away.

At that time, my family lived at the Joint Services Staff College at Latimer in Buckinghamshire, near the Chalfonts, i.e. Little Chalfont, Chalfont St. Giles and Chalfont St. Peter.   In 1971, the popular British TV Series Dad’s Army was filmed in the village.   A WRAC officer at the College was Elaine Ironmonger, a great family friend, and became my Godmother, and we keep in touch to this day.

Toby Simkin as newborn baby in swingToby Simkin Birth CertificateChalfont St. Giles to Latimer street map detailElaine Ironmonger (left) -- Toby's Godmother, with Toby's father, Max, and mother, Irene (far right)Latimer Staff College