The Diaper Heritage Association
Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy - the Diapers of Itchen Ferry
The museum contains a permanent display of the town’s maritime history and many of the artefacts have connections with the Diapers. Use this trail to take you around the museum, it will finish at the ‘Fisherman, Ferryman, Sailor, Spy – The Diapers of Itchen Ferry’ exhibit.

Click here to download the Diaper Education Trail
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Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Second World War & Blitz

As the roll of honour at Peartree Church and as the service records held at the Public Records office show many Diapers both male and female served their country in all parts of the military service as well as being involved in other war work. Tom Diaper even writes in his log that his time sailing in Germany enabled him to identify a German spy during World War One. However few families can match the record of Mrs Jessie Diaper who had eight sons in the military and four of her seven daughter involved in war work during the Second World War. Her ninth and eldest son Jack who had worked for twenty two years on the floating bridge was tragically killed in the devastating air raid on September 1940 which decimated the old Ferry Village.


The most adventurous career was that of Lieut. Cecil Diaper RNVR, who was in peace time commander of the Red Funnel steamer, Duchess of Cornwall. He began his war work on the Dover patrol and experienced the Dunkirk evacuation where the Gracie Fields, one of the most popular Red Funnel steamers went down. He was later posted abroad, escaping from Singapore just before it fell; he continued to serve in Far Eastern waters. Sidney, also a lieutenant in the RNVR, served as an instructor at the naval school following on from service in the Fleet Air Arm. Dennis and Andrew were in the Merchant Navy, Andrew on a hospital ship. James, Arthur, Claud and Robin were all in the army. Daughters Marion and Roma worked in an aircraft factory and Myrtle worked as a clippie for Hants & Dorset buses. When she was fourteen, youngest daughter Rita was being evacuated to family in Canada but her ship was torpedoed and she found herself adrift in an open boat in mid-Atlantic. Luckily she was picked up and brought back to Southampton where she also took up war work.