Colonel Eyre John Crabbe, a famous soldier and veteran of the Peninsular War, retired from the army in 1846 and came to Southampton, where he married Harriet Louisa Hollis, the widow of Admiral Aiskew Paffard Hollis. They lived in Highfield, and took a keen interest in the newly built Highfield Church. The Colonel served as a churchwarden and supported the parochial school. He was very active in the town, becoming involved in various charities and societies, and serving as a county and a borough magistrate. He became president and chairman of the Royal South Hants Infirmary. Harriet died in 1848, and he married Ermina Spooner, another widow, in 1851. His second wife also supported the hospital and was largely responsible for the fundraising that allowed the building of the new east wing block in 1865. The upper and lower Crabbe Wards, named in their honour, were opened in 1867. A commemorative plaque in the hospital records their support.
Colonel Crabbe died in 1859 and was buried in Highfield Church, in which there is a memorial to him.Glen Eyre Road, Glen Eyre Drive and Crabbe Lane, all in Bassett, are modern day reminders of the Colonel.
Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, 50-51 (HS/h)
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