(Herbert Gustavus) Max Faulkner was born at 36 Havelock Road, Bexhill on 29th July 1916, the son of a professional golfer, he was a very talented sportsman and went on to win the 1951 Open Championship – one of only four Englishmen to do so in the previous 40 years. He was awarded an OBE in 2001 commemorating his win fifty years earlier and for his services to golf. Max died in Chichester on 26th February 2005.
In 1999 Rother District Council erected a plaque on the Metropole lawns commemorating Faulkner, this was removed during changes to the promenade in 2011. Bexhill Heritage contacted Rother District Council and suggested that it should be re-erected. A site was chosen on the corner of Sutton Place and De La Warr Parade where Max’s father Gustavus Kirkham (Gus), also a golfer, taught his son the game at the Bexhill Golf Course. The golf links extended from De La Warr Road to the East Parade to Galley Hill and had been built on the De La Warr Estate in 1880. The club closed early in World War II, during which Faulkner served in the RAF.
The 1999 plaque has an error where it states ‘Dunlop Masters (British Open) – 1951’. It should read ‘Dunlop Masters – 1951’ and ‘Open Championship – 1951’ as separate entries.
Bexhill Heritage is pleased that Rother District Council was keen to commemorate Bexhill’s international golfer and re-instate the plaque.
The ceremony to unveil the plaque took place on Sussex Day, 16th June 2019 at 3pm on the corner of Sutton Place.
Image gallery: © David Pulley
Published on Friday 21st June 2019 by the Bexhill Observer, page 4.