Miss Hepzibah Hollis - Headmistress

Miss Hollis became the first Headmistress and held the role for 47 years. She retired in 1909.  Miss Hollis also played the organ in Mottistone Church and was a Sunday School teacher until a few days before her death. 

The following account of the funeral of Miss Hollis on 26th October 1929 shows what a key role she played in this small community:
 
The late Miss Hollis of Brook - Her Funeral Wish
The remains of the late Miss H. Hollis of Brook, for 47 years headmistress of the village school and 67 years a Sunday School teacher, who died on Friday week aged 85, were laid to rest in Brook Churchyard on Wednesday, amid many evidences of respect and regret at the passing of one who had spent a long and eminently useful life in the parish.
 
Miss Hollis, who was a model of method in all she undertook, even carried her foresight to the extent of arranging for the bearers at her funeral. Amongst her effects was found a list of names of several of her earliest boy pupils, now men of about 60 and still residing in the district, from amongst whom she directed should be selected half a dozen to carry her body to its last resting place.
 
Her wishes were respected and the following old boys, several of them lifeboatmen, performed the duty: Messers John and James Newbery, W. Jacobs, C. Cassell, D. Hookey, G. Morris. As they carried the coffin, nearly half a mile from the house to the church, the mourners and elder school children walked in procession behind it. The children were preceded by the Queen*, Marjorie Phillips, bearing a beautiful wreath from the scholars and teachers and her two immediate royal predecessors, representing recent scholars. The children also lined the pathway as the cortege passed from the church to the grave, which was made beautiful with flowers and bracken.
 
Every seat in the church was occupied at the service which was conducted by the Rector (Rev.C.A.Shaw). As well as representatives from every family in the village, the Seely family was well represented. There was a lovely display of floral tributes including many little posies simply enscribed, ‘from an old pupil’ or ‘from a friend’.  
* May Queen            
 
Courtesy of Isle of Wight County Press