Heading - My Search.

Terrified I'd meet him one day, my mother once said to me, "the day you find your father will be the day you never see me again and there's not a damn thing I can do about it".

Brenda Dorothy Saunders.
Photograph taken in 1945.    Brenda Dorothy Saunders.
Photograph taken in the early 1950's.    Brenda Dorothy Saunders.
Photograph taken in the late 1960's.
Brenda Dorothy Saunders

Born in Richmond, Brenda's father "ran off with another woman" when she was just six months old. The "other woman", Brenda Jones, came from Wales. As a child she moved from Richmond with her mother, stepfather, stepbrothers and half-brother to Kew, Hastings, Bath and Leicester, contracted Polio and spent six months in an Iron Lung. She devoted her adult life to her children and worked for St. David's Charity Foundation, providing local hospice care for cancer patients. She died from cancer herself in 2003 after first being diagnosed in 1979.

Born in Bournemouth, my parents divorced in 1976 and I grew up with my older brother, two younger sisters and mother in Wales, where we had little contact with other family members.

Brenda Dorothy Saunders,
also known
by the names:

Brenda Piesley and
Brenda Kincaid.

My earliest memory includes walking downstairs and finding my mother led
on the sofa with two black eyes, a broken nose and stitches across
her forehead. I'd heard shouting the night before and would have been three or four years of age.

I've wondered about my father and extended family my whole life, and after years of searching for a Danny Kincaid from Stepney, Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London (the details being taken from my birth certificate), I've learned Danny Kincaid had been born David Burrell.

There have been many stories about Danny Kincaid, some of which include he trained at Repton Boys Boxing School in Stepney, fought as a heavyweight boxer and spent time at Parkhurst, Wormwood Scrubs, Albany and Dorchester Prisons, for crimes that include prostitution, extortion, robbery with violence and protection racketeering?! He was also a chef and construction worker.

The closest I ever got to finding him was that Bromley Police in 2000 could verify he was a real person, alive, known to them and had used many aliases. Names on the Police National Computer for Hampshire also record him as using Peter Daniel Kincade, Daniel Vincent Kincaid, Peter Daniel Kincaid, Michael McClennon and Michael McLennon.

My mother died early December 2003 and where most people leave a 'skeleton or two in the closet', she left a whole graveyard. Within a month of her death I found out my brother was in fact my half-brother and that I also have a half-sister that is three years older than him. She was given up for adoption before he was born and grew up on a farm in Norfolk.

My maternal grandmother then announced at the funeral "good ol' Brenda, three blonds, three brunettes", which freaked everyone out. There were two blonds, two brunettes, we found a third brunette, which means there's a blond one still missing. She also found a photograph of my father, providing me with the opportunity to see his face for the first time. It was taken in 1971, when I was just a few weeks old.

I then made contact with my father's family (Burrell's from Surrey) and met with some of them in October 2004. It was a great relief to find them and learn a bit more.

David Burrell.
Photograph taken around 1959.    David Burrell, known as Danny Kincaid.
Photograph taken around 1971.    David Burrell, known as Danny Kincaid.
Photograph taken in 1972.
David Burrell

The youngest of seven, David was born at Little Deepdene Lodge, Moores Road, Dorking, and his father, Ernest (Jack) Burrell, a domestic gardener, worked at The Deepdene. His father didn't want anything to do with him and it was his father's death in 1960 that prompted David to leave for the East End.

The Deepdene in 1775.
Painting located at Marylebone Cricket Club.
The Deepdene, Dorking, Surrey, England.

Originally owned by the 10th Duke of Norfolk's brother, the Hon. Mr. Howard, The Deepdene passed to the Duke before it was sold to Sir William Burrell in 1791.

His family only saw him once after he turned sixteen (in 1960 according to them and his birth certificate, and 1950 according to his marriage certificate) and that was when he introduced them as his 'adopted family' to my mother and us kids in 1974.

I also discovered I'm somehow related to Sir William Burrell and the Burrells of Knepp Castle. Most likely through one of his grandfather's (Peter Burrell) many elder brothers.

Knepp Castle.    Knepp Castle Estate.
Knepp Castle Estate, Shipley, West Sussex, England.

The earlier castle, built by one of William I The Conqueror's favourite Barons (William de Braose) as a medieval hunting lodge, has been in the Burrell family since being inherited by Sir William Burrell in 1789. His eldest son, Sir Charles Merrik Burrell, instructed John Nash (better known as the 'Prince Regents Architect') to design a new castle that was built by Alexander Kyffin between 1809 and 1812.

Walter Burrell, Sir Charles's younger brother, inherited West Grinstead Park Estate next door. His house, the inspiration for Knepp, was an earlier Nash design. Other works by Nash include Buckingham Palace and The Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

King Edward VII, at the time Prince of Wales, signed the warrant agreeing to the formation of 'The Mighty Burrell' Freemasons Lodge, #1829, on 28/05/1879. Consecrated at the Old Town Hall in Shoreham it was later moved to the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Previous Provisional Grandmasters include Sir Walter Wyndham Burrell, third son of Sir Charles Merrick Burrell.

Published in 1990, 'Bromley, A Pictorial View' by Patricia E. Knowlden, includes an old topographical map of Bromley and Beckenham dated 1769. Located in the southern part of Beckenham near what appears to be the estate of William Burrell Esq., is a place or church called The Temple.

After our move to Wales my father met an Indian lady and spent his time traveling between the Himalayas and her father's tea plantation. He also worked as a stuntman?!

Then, around 1985, a 'British Embassy official' telephoned an aunt and told her David had been killed in a car accident in Greece. He'd been out for a meal with friends and was on his way back to the Himalayas when he ran off the road. His family hasn't heard from him since.

I rang the British Embassy in Greece but they could not confirm my father's death. I called Bromley Police again and they told me he was alive and had committed crimes as recently as 1997. They also told me to leave it alone.

Ockenden Manor.    Ockenden Manor.    Ockenden Manor.
Ockenden Manor, Cuckfield, West Sussex, England.

Walter Burrell bought the house from the Michel's (first recorded owners in the mid 1500's) in 1658 and extended it. Sold in 1891, Ockenden is now a hotel.

Staying at Ockenden Manor in October 2005, I went to the churches that contain memorials and stained glass windows dedicated to the Burrell family, and also went to Knepp Castle, where I met with Charlie, the present keeper and a true English gentleman. It was a great experience and they were the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I didn't want to leave. Charlie suggested I see his father, Sir Raymond, in Sydney (I moved to Sydney in 2000).

Holy Trinity Church.    St. Mary's Church.    St. George's Church.
Holy Trinity Church, Cuckfield, St. Mary's Church, Shipley, and
St. George's Church, West Grinstead.

William de Warrene, 2nd Earl of Surrey, founded Holy Trinity Church in 1090. The clergy of the Priory at Lewes served the church until 1250, when the Bishop of Chichester, S. Richard, erected the Vicarage and appointed as the first Vicar his own Chaplain. Other Vicars include The Rev. Gerard Burrell in 1483 (he later became Archdeacon of Chichester) and Ninian Burrell in 1508. Their names can be seen on two boards hanging on the wall in the bell tower and the church includes thirteen memorials dedicated to them and their descendents.

William de Braose gave Shipley Church (St. Mary's Church) to the abbey of St. Florent, Saumur (Maine et Loire) around 1080, as he went to fight the crusades. The abbey granted it back to his son, Philip de Braose, around 1096, in exchange for Washington Church. Philip gave the church to Richard de Harcourt (probably his nephew), who gave it to his brother, Philip de Harcourt, Dean of Lincoln. Around 1139, the Dean of Lincoln granted the church to the Knights Templar, as one of their earlier endowments in England. Many memorials inside the church and most of the Victorian windows (by C. E. Kemp) are dedicated to members of the Burrell family.

St. George's Church, unusual in design, incorporates late Saxon and early Norman work. Inside are monuments to the Burrell's by Flaxman (his largest works are in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral) and Nathaniel Smith (his only signed work, he was a pupil of Pieter Scheemaker, who carved keystones for Somerset House). Windows, again by C.E.Kempe, are dedicated to them and the church includes the family vault.

Knepp Castle in 2005
Knepp Castle in 2005.

After meeting another aunt, I learned my father's family had hunted at Knepp Castle as children. She can remember Sir Walter Burrell (Charlie's grandfather).

Incidentally, my mother met my father the day after he left Wormwood Scrubs for armed robbery and married him within a month. She was five months pregnant with my half-brother at the time and I was born ten and a half months after him.

I also found out the eldest of my younger sisters is also a half-sister. My father went back to prison after I was born and my mother went back to her old boyfriend, the father of my other half-siblings.

There are now just two of us Burrell's (the other's are Tuck's), with my youngest sister being born whilst our father was in Dorchester Prison and conceived just before he went in.

I met up with a fellow inmate and old friends of his whilst touring old haunts in Bournemouth. I also met with my mother's old friend, from whom I learned our father had come looking for us around two years after our "sudden and secret move" to Wales.

My sister then found a couple of slides whilst clearing our mother's old house out. They show our father with several tattoos.

I met with Sir Raymond Burrell and his family at their home, a large house on an acre plot in the centre of Sydney, in November 2005, and again enjoyed the afternoon.

Sir Raymond said his tattoos were distinctive. I agree.

Have you seen David Burrell's Tattoos?

I've tried both government and charitable organisations, have been to castles and spoken with the establishment. I've even talked with Mad Frankie Fraser (described in the past by two British Home Secretaries as the UK's most dangerous man), after receiving information on London's gangsters from the Salvation Army.

I'd like to ask him a few questions and meet with him once in my lifetime. I'd like to know the truth. Maybe then I could get on with my own life, a life that was running along just fine, that is, until my mother's death.....

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This website is dedicated to the memory of my mother and that of my best friend, Robert, who died less than two weeks before the birth of his first born - a son.

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