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Picture
                    (c) by John Ashley Photography

We have received some 'inside' information with regard to the Norfolk Giant Robert Hales of West Somerton from a relative of his.  Below is the email we received for which we are most grateful:

Robert Hales was the great uncle of my husband and I have undertaken, along with many others, research into the Hales.

Robert Hales younger brother, Thomas, married a Dyble / Dyball (also the maiden name of the giants mother) and they had one daughter Esther (she is mentioned on one of the grave stones at Somerton although she died in London). Esther married a Hemsby man and they went to London where he was a Met police officer. It is said he was involved in the hunt for the ripper. Esther had a daughter, Esther and a son Percy. When their mother died their father retired and he returned to West Somerton before he re-married and moved to Martham where he had a general store.

Later Percy married and eventually lived in Beach Road Caister. On the back privy door there was attached the door knocker from the giants caravan but after the death of Percy and his wife, when the house was empty it was stolen.

The giant was not that mild tempered of a man, he chased his wife, Maria Charlotte (of Great Yarmouth) around the caravan brandishing a knife. He also cheated his siblings out of the inheritance left by their father. Two siblings had moved to America and wrote that they did not want their share, so Robert took the lot for himself.

He was born in 1813, and was 50 when he died. There are some untruths written about his age and the name of his mother, mainly from the writing of the pamphleteer Dibbs. The baptism entry of Robert can be clearly seen in the parish records of West Somerton.

 Picture
                    (c) by John Ashley Photography