Members of Friends of St Helena have full access to all the Society's publications about the island as well as all our other information such as family ancestry.
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Our Committee

The Earl of Iveagh, President

Edward Iveagh has been President of the Friends since 1998. He became interested in St Helena after he took his hereditary seat in the House of Lords some ten years ago and after he had visited the Island. 

He has been a keen supporter of the airport even investing some of his own money in the project.  He lives at Elveden Hall in Suffolk and is chairman of Elveden Farms Ltd a 22,500-acre estate.  He has a range of other commercial and non-commercial interests including being on the Strategy Committee of the East of England Development Authority. 

He has generously hosted the Friends AGM at Elveden Hall where he was a most welcoming host.

Ian Mathieson, Chairman; Editor - St Helena Connection

Ian worked for St Helena’s Agriculture and Forestry Department from 1988-1990 on a range of tasks related to the use and management of water.  His work gave him a very detailed knowledge of the landscape and he published St Helena: A Walker’s Guide in 1992 with Laurence Carter. 

Finding it hard to sell the book, while at the same time frequently coming across people who could find nothing out about the place, in those pre-internet days, he put together a list of the books available about the Island and circulated it to members of the Friends. There was a strong response and Miles Apart, selling books on the South Atlantic Islands, was born.

Ian has maintained close links with the Island in both a personal and professional capacity and has visited several times since 1990.  He lives with his wife Karen near Stamford and works in Cambridge.

David Young, Vice-Chairman

David joined the committee in 1989. He was born in St Helena in 1953 and received his schooling there before obtaining a B.Ed in 1977 at St Paul’s College, Cheltenham, part of the “Cheltenham Link” of education with St Helena.  He obtained a MA from London University writing his dissertation on the globalisation of English and disappearing dialects. 

He returned to St Helena in 2002 to undertake field work for this purpose since his dissertation was clearly written with St Helena in mind.  He is currently researching slavery on St Helena at the School of Oriental and African Studies. 

David is a teacher in London and is a pastoral head and tutor of English literature. His passionate interest in St Helena lies in Napoleonica and despite the seemingly never ending new publications on the “Little General’s” exile he never  tires of reading new material about, after all, what put St Helena on the map.

Brian Frederick, Committee Secretary

Brian's first introduction to St Helena was in the mid 1980s when he helped to set up the Prince Andrew School. At that time he was Education Officer for North Hertfordshire and forged a link between the educational services in Hertfordshire and St Helena.

Since then his links with St Helena have never ceased. Over the years Brian and Heather have hosted in Broom a regular stream of folk from St Helena, either on training courses or on holiday.  

In the early 1990's he left his employment with Hertfordshire County Council and set up his own education consultancy which is now part of a small company. He has always managed to employ someone from St Helena, obtaining work permits in the early days. 

Brian introduced the St Helena Catalogue to promote St Helena, helping to support the efforts to regain citizenship. The Catalogue has now been incorporated into the St Helena Connection.

Colin Fox, Editor - Wirebird, Treasurer

Colin's interest in St Helena came through his maternal grandmother Annie (Dolly) Bennett who was great granddaughter of Captain James Bennett of the East Indian Company. She recounted stories about the family particularly one about the mahogany table being used for Napoleon's coffin. This sparked further research and led to the publication of his book "˜The Bennett Letters" in 2006. He and his wife visited the island in 2011 and were bowled over by the experience.   


Colin was born in Birmingham in 1944 and now lives in Oxfordshire. He was employed as a scientist at Esso Research Centre, Abingdon for 30 years and travelled extensively to many parts of the world. Later he worked as a Quality Engineer for Abbott Diabetes Care. He retired in 2009.   


In addition to his interest in St Helena he is also closely involved with the Mary Rose Trust. Initially involved as a volunteer scuba diver he now supports the project as a member of the Information Group. He lives with his wife Debby, who worked as an archaeological illustrator for the Trust. She recently retired from working as a Teaching Assistant.

Margaret Dyson, Membership Secretary

Since the age of ten, Margaret’s hobby has been family history and this eventually lead to her interest in St Helena.   After many frustrating hours searching census returns, using various spellings of his name, Margaret was so surprised to learn that her was born on the Island (“St Helena British Subject”).   Inevitably, this finding caused her to take many journeys to the British Library, subsequently discovering that his father and grandfather were soldiers in the East India Company.   Searching the web concerning St Helena, Margaret discovered, and then joined,  .

Margaret was born in West London and attended local schools where her favourite subject was French.   On leaving school she worked as a secretary for various companies in London.   After marrying she moved to Hertfordshire, and now lives in Derbyshire with husband Roger, a retired Communications Consultant.   Margaret has also now retired after spending several years as a Parish Councillor.

Since becoming Membership Secretary, Margaret has corresponded with many interesting people and this has enhanced her interest and knowledge of the St Helena community.

Ian Bruce, Website Manager

Ian was first introduced to the subject of St Helena in the early 1950s when visiting the South London home of his elderly grandfather, TR Bruce (island Postmaster for 30 years), who would regale the family with his many stories about the island. The seeds of a long interest in the history and geology of the island were therefore planted at an early age.

There were very good economic, medical and educational reasons why his family had to leave St Helena in the 1920s and 30’s. Both Ian’s father and grandfather sought above most other things to one day return but circumstances got in the way of this being fulfilled. In some ways, his own visit in 2006 was a fulfilment of that wish.

Ian has undertaken extensive research into the history of the island. Initially, this was genealogical but latterly investigations have been broader. A major motivation has been that so much of St Helena’s traditional history is quite simply wrong. He first joined the Executive Committee in 2009 and served as Membership Secretary and Website Manager but was forced to resign in 2013 because of health issues that have happily now been resolved and allowed him to come back in 2018.

Edward Baldwin, Committee Member

A life-long St Helena watcher, Edward has studied and researched many aspects of the Island’s history and built heritage.  Apart from his role with FOSH, he is Overseas at large Member of the Council of the St Helena National Trust and a Member of the St Helena Heritage Society.

He was a member of the core steering group for the St Helena Quincentenary project supported by FOSH to set up St Helena’s new Museum and helped with design, content and fundraising.  He worked with Dave Marr to create the replica uniform of the St Helena Regiment soldier in the Museum and cleaned and stabilised the bronze cannon from the Witte Leeuw. 

In the real world he is Chairman of AH Baldwin & Sons Ltd, leading coin dealers and auctioneers in London, and is a specialist in European, British Colonial and Oriental coins.   He is also a non-executive Director of Noble Investments (UK) plc.

Vicky Beal, Committee Member

In the 1950s Vicky's parents left St. Helena  to take up domestic service in Middle Barton, Oxfordshire. Vicky was born there shortly after their arrival.  She still lives in the Oxford area and works for the NHS administering doctors and dentist training.  She and her husband have two children Emma and Michael and four grandchildren. She visited St. Helena with her husband for the first time in 2003 which was an experience which further confirmed to her that she should be taking an active interest in St Helena's future hence her involvement with the Friends.  She enjoys meeting the broad array of members and attending the meetings.

David Hall, Committee Member

David first went to St Helena in 1963 as one of the two first VSO volunteers, teaching in the Selective Secondary School on Ladder Hill. After university he worked as an Economic Adviser at the FCO for ten years. He was ordained into the Church of England and spent twelve years in North Hertfordshire where he met Brian Frederick. He then moved to South Warwickshire where he now lives in retirement. In 2015 he and his wife Jane visited the island after a gap of over fifty years. As a result of that visit, he spent three months on Ascension Island over the New Year of 2015/16 as a locum vicar. His path crossed with Patsy Young, whom he had taught, and she told him about FOSH.

Nick Braddock, Committee Member

Nick lived on St Helena for a year and a day from 1965-6 in Napoleon St, Jamestown. 

He went to school in the Secondary Selective School on Ladder Hill.

Trained as a Naval Architect and Shipbuilder he spent his working life as a systems engineer supporting the Royal Navy employed by a major defence company and its successors.

Now retired Nick researches the Union Castle Line and with his wife Margaret looks into their family history.


Janet Suffield, Committee Member

Being half Saint, Janet has a very keen interest in St Helena. Her father and most of his ancestors for several generations were born or lived on the island. He left there in 1945, along with other men, to join the British Army, after serving in the Rifle Regiment during WW2. He later settled in northern England with a sister and her husband, a soldier she had met on the island during the war. He married and Janet and her two siblings were brought up in the north. She received a good education and enjoyed learning languages.

Janet has 2 sons, one in England, one in Brazil and 4 grandchildren. After a varied working life. she now lives in the Midlands with her husband John. For many years she has pursued family history research, even venturing into DNA testing to analyse genealogical connections and fill out the family tree. A complex work in progress!

A first visit to St Helena came in 2013 – a much longed for adventure which more than met expectations. Welcomed by so many family members, Janet and her husband were determined to return. That happened in December 2017 and was just as enjoyable. Further family links were made and research continues.

Matthew Woodthorpe, Committee Member

Patricia Young, Committee Member

Chris Newman, Committee Member