Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Ryde -
- Theodore Racine Searle Memorial -


Town Square, Ryde, Isle of Wight

A stone carving, and plaque, in memory of Theodore Racine Searle, erected in October 2009.

Ryde Theodore Racine Searle memorial

Ryde Theodore Racine Searle memorial

Theodore Racine Searle
Born 1916 Died 1987

Very few tramps make their way to the island but one came in 1957
and stayed for 28 years. Theodore, known to most of his friends as Theo,
was a tall, well built man, bearded, long haired and wearing several layers of clothing
topped by a duffel coat. He always wore rolled down wellingtons. Well educated,
nicely spoken and with good manners, he soon became a popular figure although
rather a mystery to many. All sorts of rumours abounded about him. He was thought to have been
born of wealthy parents and paid to stay away from home. Some said a failed love affair
blighted his life. What we do know is that he was once a county and international trial hockey player.
He was also a lover of music, played the piano and wrote poetry. He lived close to nature and often
slept in woodlands and barns. Theo spent hours watching birds and animals.
He never begged and always behaved like the true gentle giant that he was.
A threat to no one. A real gentleman of the road.

A few lines from one of his poems says it all about Theo
"By the old open oak I lie
Night after night, night after night,
A wayfarer as time goes by."

Carving        Wording
Glyn Roberts    Derek Stirman

Further Information

Theodore Racine Searle was born on 21 July 1916, the second son of the Revd. Gustavus Searle and his wife Edith (nee Waterworth). The birth was registered in Newport, Monmouthshire. The family appear to have led something of a wandering existence, as his parents were married in Kingston, Surrey, in 1910. An older brother, Gustavus, was born in 1912 in Amesbury, Wiltshire, while a younger sister, Joan, was born in Colchester in 1920. According to some sources the Revd. Searle also travelled to Hong Kong, Mauritius and Africa.

Theodore Searle's death was registered in January 1987 in Bridport, Dorset.



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