Wednesday, January 20

Spike Milligan: I Told You I Was Ill Coincidence

Rye 16th century cottages
Nothing too dramatic today as far as coincidences go but it's another small personal experience from one of our holidays last year.

We were staying in a 16th century cottage in Rye, East Sussex, England. That's the row of cottages at the front of the photo. This was taken from the church bell tower opposite.

One day my wife and I set off for a long walk heading in the direction of the sea. As we crossed some open fields I started talking about Spike Milligan, a British/Irish comedian, writer, actor, musician and poet who died back in 2002. Nothing specific, just general chat as we walked.

After crossing the fields I wasn't too sure which way to head but saw a sign saying Winchelsea, so I suggested we went in that direction. As we approached the village it was highish on a hill and looked to be old and interesting.

We made our way through the old gatehouse and into the village. It was typically, old fashioned England with a big church in the center. Though I don't belong to any organised religion I like churches: the way they feel, the atmosphere inside and so on. They are usually full of history.

 Winchelsea church
We spent an age in the church and my wife even made a 'rainbow' woollen bracelet, which she attached to her rucksack. As we were leaving my wife saw a photo of Spike Milligan in the church!

Spike Milligan's graveShe beckoned me over and it was Spike's picture with directions of how find his grave in the churchyard. This was completely unbeknown to us. We had no idea where he lived when alive or where he was buried. It seems that on his death he was living in Rye.

We found his grave outside and paid our respects. In typical Milligan humour his stone bears the words "Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite". This is Irish and translates to "I told you I was ill." I have since read that the church would not allow this to be written in English.

Below is a very silly video showing Spike Milligan - he's the 'woman' in the horned helmet!

Further Reading:
Coincidence or Synchronicity - Example 1 Another Rye Coincidence

Spike Milligan Books on Amazon UK


  1. What a great story and I love the photos you have posted. I grew up in Birmingham but I always loved travelling through the countryside. I left England 12 years ago and I had forgotten just how truly breathtaking the English countryside really is. Thanks for the reminders.

  2. Carol: Thanks for your kind words. Parts of England are very special, I don't think I could live anywhere else - though I do love to travel.


  3. Anonymous12:14

    ANother "coincidence", I think not. Thanks for the clip, a fan of spikefoolery and the Goons for many years.


  4. Argentum Vulgaris: Many thanks for taking the time to comment - coincidence or not!

    Also a Goon Show fan.