LONGE, Diana

1910 - 2003

As Diana Hastings, she was born at Tonbridge, Kent on 25 April 1910, eldest child and only daughter of Percy Hastings (5 October 1872-2 September 1914), a major in the army, and his wife Kathleen Hatton (22 April 1884-1 January 1978), daughter of George Hatton of Saltwells, Brierley Hill, who married at the Parish Church, Brierley Hill, Stourbridge, Shropshire on 21 July 1909. In 1911, Diana was living at London Road, Tonbridge, Kent with her parents, 38-year-old Percy and 26-year-old Kathleen. Her father, a major in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, was killed in action in France on 2 September 1914. Whilst at school Diana excelled at sport and, in the late 1920's, Diddy as she was known, qualified to play at Wimbledon. During her late teens Diana developed mastoids in both ears which left her partially deaf which was to affect her for the rest of her life. She married at St Bartholomew's Church, Tong, Shifnal, Shropshire on 10 June 1933, Roland Bacon Longe, of Eden Lodge, Woodbridge, Suffolk and they had four children, Richard, Nicholas, Victoria and James. In 1938, the family moved to Jamaica, where Roly was stationed for four years during which time Diana worked in Kingston where she decoded military information for the government. At the end of the Second World War, Roly left the army to take up farming and the family moved to Hasketon, near Woodbridge where Diana assisted on the farm while bringing up the children. Late in her life, Diana took up painting and had her work exhibited at galleries throughout the Woodbridge and Ipswich area and was a member of the Ipswich Art Club and exhibited from Hasketon Manor, near Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1977 two paintings, 'Still Life with Onions' and 'Still Life with Leeks' and was a regular exhibitor of two or three paintings annually including in 1980 'Bird's Nest' and 'Beech Leaves'. Diana Longe died at Hasketon on 13 July 2003.