Beneficary: Jacqueline Pargeter

Jacqueline Wood nee Pargeter

Jeremy’s cousin Jacqueline Gale Pargeter was born in 1948, in Kampala, Uganda. She was the daughter of Nevill’s sister Audrey and her husband Reg. Jackie was three years younger than her brother Anthony. In 1949, when Jackie was only 18 months old, she and Anthony lost their mother Audrey in a car accident. Reg, their father, sent both children to boarding school in England whilst he continued living in Africa and the children spent a lot of their childhood, including the school holidays, at White House Farm with June and Nevill. Jackie felt she was particularly close to Nevill who she regarded “as another Father”[1].

Jeremy remembers that Jacqueline struggled to find her direction in life and at one point went to Australia on a £10 passage, but spent all her time in Sydney and didn’t like it very much so she returned to England and lived in London. Jacqueline was very small in stature and not in the least bit academic. Upon her return she decided to train as a beautician. Jacqueline was “as poor as a church mouse,” Jeremy recalled but everyone loved and helped her. However, her financial position was slightly more secure following the death of her grandmother on her father’s side. She then jointly inherited, with her brother Anthony, Anstey Cottage in Bourne End. Jackie moved into the house and would commute to London every day to work.

Jacqueline surrounded herself with lots of friends, both male and female, often frequently taking some of them with her when she visited White House Farm. Nevill loved it when Jackie visited as he had a very close relationship with her. Jackie was also very close to Jeremy and would often make a fuss of him, as well as including him in the group whenever they came to stay. Jeremy can recall many happy memories of his time growing up with Jackie and still thinks of the times they shared.

In 1982, Jacqueline married Richard Dennis Wood who was five years her junior and she also gave up work. Richard was an airline pilot, conservative, reliable and a million miles away from the husband the family expected her to have. They eventually lived in Englefield Green, Egham and continued to invite Jeremy to stay with them from time to time and more often than not he would stay overnight. The couple had a son together who was five months old at the time of the tragedies.

Following the killings at White House Farm, Jackie made numerous witness statements to Essex Police. In these statements she suggested that both Jeremy and Sheila were jealous of her relationship with Nevill, saying[2]:

“I believe that Jeremy and Sheila were jealous of my relationship with my uncle; we had a rapport between us which was more than just an uncle and niece relationship”.

Was the warm and friendly Jackie now trying to create a motive for the killings to ensure Jeremy’s conviction and thus her share of the inheritance? On 3rd September 1985 Robert Boutflour had arranged for Mabel Speakman, Jeremy’s grandmother, to sign a new will removing the “In issue” clause and in effect disinheriting Jeremy.

Upon Jeremy’s conviction the entire Bamber Estate was awarded to Pamela Boutflour. Anthony Pargeter and Jacqueline Wood brought a civil litigation for their share of the estate, namely Nevill’s assets, against Peter and Ann Eaton, Solicitor Basil Cock, Robert and Pamela Boutflour and David Boutflour in the High Court Chancery Division in 1991.[3] Pargeter and Wood settled out of court after it was agreed they would receive Nevill Bamber’s estate, while Robert and Pamela Boutflour, Peter and Ann Eaton and David and Karen Boutflour would in turn retain June Bamber’s estate.[4]

It is believed that Jacqueline died soon after Jeremy’s appeal in 2002.

Author: Y. Hartley

[1] AF-NM-076-01) J G Wood (10-09-85). PDF, Pg.1 Para. 5

[2] AF-01-211) Wood (Jackie) - 24.09.85 HW. PDF, Pg. 2

[3] AA-02-D-02) High Court - (Chancery Division). Case number CH 1991 PN 8680 ,PDF

[4] AA-17-15) Payne Hicks & Beach - Letter dated 10.05.90, PDF, dispute over inheritance and order of deaths.