Friday, 10 October 2014

George Bowes-Wilson of Hutton Rudby

Martin Eggermont kindly sent me this information on George Bowes-Wilson:

George was born on 26 October 1873. 
He was educated at Clifton and New College, Oxford, and qualified as a Solicitor in April 1902.  His offices were at 28 Albert Road, Middlesbrough. 
In 1906 he was elected a Councillor for the Exchange Ward and having been re-elected a number of times, was still in post at the time of his death.  During the intervening years he had served on many committees such as Sanitary, Sanatorium Finance, Streets, General Purposes, Fire Brigade and Cemeteries. 
On 29 September 1908 he married Nora Dulcie Linney at St Peter’s Church, Harrogate. She was aged twenty-three, the only child of the late Herbert Linney. 
George was a Freemason and is recorded in the Ferrum Lodge documents as living at 6 Lothian Road, Middlesbrough when he was proposed for membership; his proposer was W Bro Henry Winterschladen, seconded by W Bro S.F. Thompson, and his initiation in Ferrum Lodge was on 8 March 1911. 
George was later employed in the Treasurer’s Department of the Town Hall, was a representative for Middlesbrough on the North Riding Territorial Association and a Cleveland Unionist Agent. 
Among his many hobbies and interests were golf and cricket and it is known that he played the latter game for Hutton Rudby, being their triumphant captain in the 1905 and 1906 Cleveland and Teesside Cup competitions. 
In July 1914 a new bowling green in Albert Park was opened by Mrs H.W.F. Bolckow; George was the Chairman of the Parks Committee.  At this time he lived at 80 Lothian Road. 
He was also a member of the New Oxford, Cambridge and Cleveland Clubs. 
George was a member of the Territorial Forces.  He was promoted Captain on 1 March 1913 and fought with the 1st/4th Battalion, Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own, Yorkshire Regiment (TF), more familiarly known as The Green Howards.    
A letter written by George to Preston Kitchen, Middlesbrough’s Town Clerk and a fellow Freemason (1917 WM Erimus Lodge) was printed in the Daily Gazette on 10 May 1915.
“You will now know our battalion has been in the forefront of the Ypres battle and how badly we suffered – one hundred odd men and five officers killed.
The battalion has been specially complimented by the General on the splendid way it fought in its first engagement. [This is a possible reference to the Yorkshire Regiment because of their bravery and fighting stance, later being dubbed the Yorkshire Ghurkhas.]
Middlesbrough can be proud of her sons. Not a man in my company hesitated.  Tell the people at home this war is by no means over. England will require every man she has before German Militarism can be crushed – and crushed it must be – otherwise all the lives we have lost will be in vain.
So far thank God, I am well. We are now in the thick of it and our losses are growing. Trench life is unpleasant but what a pleasure it is to receive letters from friends. I have not washed or had my boots off for ten days now so you can imagine what I feel like.
You ask me if you can do anything to help.  Yes, send me an occasional Gazette, some chocolate and a nice plum cake if you find time.”
George was killed by a sniper on 17 June 1915.

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