The Northeys Of Woodcote House - Part 6
Part 6 - George Wilbraham Northey (1835-1906)
The first thing to say about George is that, although he was born in Epsom, he did not stay there, ending up in Box, Wiltshire, where he lived at Ashley Manor. He also had thirteen children, so this will take some time. His general whereabouts for many years can be gleaned from the children's birthplaces in the table below.
George was born on 28 January 1835 and by 1851 he was a 'gentleman cadet' at Sandhurst. In 1853 he became an Ensign by purchase and in 1860, when a Lieutenant in the 26th Foot, purchased a Captaincy6. In 1861 he was an Instructor of Musketry. He seems to have gone on half-pay more than once (as was often the case in those days if there wasn't a war on) and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1860 he changed his surname by deed poll to the double-barrelled Wilbraham-Northey. He was a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant in Wiltshire.
In 1859 he married Louisa Barrow (born about 1838 in Bermuda). He died on 12 March 1906, followed by Louisa on 28 December 1907. Their children are shown in the table below.
||Date of birth/place
||Date of death/place
|George Edward Wilbraham
||Mabel Beatrice Helen Hunter (1885)
||Beatrice Lotty Robinson (1888)
||Rev Walter Charles Barlow (1892)
||14.11.1932 (Melksham Hosp)
||William Haldane Burt (1911)
||George Jones Mitton (1885)
||Reginald Kerr Granville (1902)
Sir John Middleton (1920)
||Elizabeth Maude Thomson (1903)
||Gertrude Rosalie Roupell (1896)
Isabel Carss Gerveys Grylls (1931)
||Madeleine Harriet Owen (1905)
||Elsa Thiedemann (1899)
||Douglas Hamilton Keats Hunter (1904)
||Sir Ernest Cyril Gepp (1910)
For clarity, the children will be highlighted in the text below;
those not highlighted are descendants of the children.
George Edward Wilbraham Northey (1860-1932)
George Junior was born in Dublin on 14 July 1860 and for many years he lived at Cheney Court, Ditteridge, near Box (now a language school - the author P G Wodehouse lived there as a small child). He was also a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant in Wiltshire, Governor of Kingston Prison in Portsmouth and from 1907-1908 the Governor of Manchester Prison (Strangeways).
In 1885 he married Mabel Beatrice Helen Hunter (born in Boulogne in about 1860), daughter of an Indian Army officer who retired to Bath. Their children were George Evelyn Anson, Armand Hunter Kennedy and Vere Wilbraham. George Junior died on 26 September 1932 and Mabel in 1941.
George Evelyn Anson Northey
George was born on 10 November 1886 in Sydney, Australia; he was a regular officer in the Essex Regiment and served as a Lieutenant in World War 1. He was killed in action on 26 August 1914 in France and is commemorated on the La-Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine et Marne.
Vere Wilbraham Northey
Vere was born in 1888 in Box and in 1910 she married Captain Austin Gardner MC of the Essex Regiment, who was probably a fellow-officer of her elder brother. He received the Military Cross for leading a bayonet charge under heavy fire in the First World War. Vere and Austin had three children, who were Joyce V (1911-16), Adrian H A (1914) and Gerald A (1922).
Sir Armand Hunter Kennedy Wilbraham Northey
Armand was born on 16 January 1897 in London; he inherited Cheney Court. He was a barrister and was knighted for political and public services in Wiltshire in 1958. In 1929 he married Mollie Katherine Helyar. He died in 1964 and Mollie in 1983. There were two children, Christopher and Mavis.
Francis William (Frank)
Frank was a Captain in the Royal Worcestershire Regiment and died at the Turf Club, Cairo in 1898, presumably whilst on an army posting. His wife, Beatrice Lotty, died in 1933 in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. They had one daughter, Eileen Dorothy, born in 1889 in Limerick, who married Major Hugh Nicholson DSO of the 60th Rifles.
Constance's husband, the Reverend Walter Barlow, was born at St Leonard's-on -Sea, East Sussex and died in Bath on 19 June 1938. He was curate of St Mary Magdalen, Bridgnorth, Shropshire and vicar of Staunton-on-Wye, Herefordshire from 1922-30. They had two sons. Walter Northey Cecil was born in Box in 1897, served as a Captain in the Indian Army during or shortly after World War 1, was married twice (one divorce) and died in St Remy, France 1968; he was cremated in Marseilles. Henry Arthur Northey Barlow was born in Bridgnorth in 1905. He was in the Indian Civil Service and later the Diplomatic Service, his appointments including Acting Consul-General in Kashgar (1936), Consul in Persia and posts in Kenya. He married Pamela C Hunter and died in 1978 in Wells, Somerset; he was apparently buried in Wells Cathedral.
Mary and her husband, Captain William Haldane Burt, lived in the Red House at Lacock, Wiltshire; William died in 1930.
She married Colonel George Jones Mitton (sometimes recorded as Jones-Mitton) OBE. One of their daughters, Gwladys (1887-1969,) married Charles Matthew Norrie (1881-1962) who, after service in both World Wars, became Chief Civil Engineer of Vickers Ltd.
Her husband, Reginald Kerr Granville, of the Colonial Civil Service, died at sea in 1912. Their son, Lt-Col Robert Northey Kerr Granville, Royal Engineers, died on active service in 1943, aged 37; he was buried in Syracuse War Cemetery, Italy. Mabel married Sir John Middleton KCMG, KBE in 1940 and died in 1947.
Herbert was a career army officer in the Royal Scots Fusiliers (Lieutenant-Colonel); he served in India, South Africa and World War 1. He married Elizabeth Maud Thomson in 1903. Their only son was Herbert Wilbraham Hamilton Northey (born 1906) who, on 28 October 1937, was appointed Chief Accountant Designate of the BBC. In the early hours of 29 October he was driving home from a dance, struck a tree in Isleworth, Middlesex and was killed. Herbert Senior died in Glasgow just a few weeks later, on 7 January 1938.
Percy, known as 'PN', was born in about 1872 in Chichester and had a direct Surrey connection, as he had a home in Church Street, Ewell (1901 census). He was fundamentally an electrical engineer, but had many talents, as his obituary in 'The Times' of 28 February 1935 described.
'... was an amateur of distinction in such varied pursuits as wireless transmission and reception - he was one of the first amateurs to hold a licence for the transmission of radio messages - lathe-turning of ivory, stereoscopic and colour photography, and cinematography. He was also a highly trained electrical engineer who, at the end of the last century, was prominent among the pioneers of electric lighting. Only those who had the entrée to his workshop could realize the multitude of directions in which his active brain and clever hand were employed during his leisure hours.
It was in his capacity as technical liaison officer between the Rolls-Royce Company's Derby works and their London sales organization that "PN" was best known. For more than a quarter of a century his acumen and critical faculties helped to make and maintain the proud eminence of the cars he loved and drove so well. He was a magnificent driver, with a quite exceptional power of inspiring confidence in his passengers. In 1906*, he finished second in the first Tourist trophy race in the Isle of Man, and his handling of the new Bentley when it made its appearance in 1933 proved that in the intervening years his hand and eye had not lost their cunning.'
*should be 1905
Percy was also an amateur scientist, a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society and keen on aerial photography, which he was doing as early as 1909.
Also in 1909 he appeared before Godalming magistrates, on a 'catch-all' charge of reckless or dangerous or negligent driving, possibly at an unsafe speed, which was 22.5 mph. He was acquitted but 'The Times' seemed rather concerned that this set a worrying precedent, since not all motorists were as talented at emergency stops as Percy.
Percy Northey (left) with the Hon Charles Rolls.
Image source: 1907 Isle of Man Examiner Annual
Percy's first wife was Gertrude Rosalie (known as Rosalie) Roupell, whom he married in 1896. Their son, John Wilbraham, was born in about 1897 but sadly died in 1919. In 1929 Getrude filed for divorce and in 1931 Percy married Isabel Carss Gerveys Grylls (born about 1908 in Cornwall). Percy died of pneumonia on 20 February 1935; his funeral was held at Box.
Gertrude Northey died in a nursing home at Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex on 7 April 1946; Isabel married Captain H Frank Richardson in Kashmir in about 1938 and died in Oxford district in 1974.
Arthur was an army officer before and during World War 1 and in 1914 commanded a battalion of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). He married Madeleine Harriet Owen (1883-1951) in 1905. One of their sons was Captain John Anson Northey of the Cameronians, who died on 30 March 1942 in Burma, aged 24, and is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial. Another son was Captain Adrian Paul Wilbraham Northey CBE, DSC (and two bars) RN (1913-85), who was Naval Attaché to Russia from 1955-7. Peter Arthur Owen Northey (1906-74) was a Lieutenant-Colonel in Anti-Aircraft Command in World War II and later became Chairman of Fidelity Sound Equipment Ltd.
Evelyn's husband was Major-General Sir Ernest Cyril Gepp CB, DSO (and bar) (1879-1964), who served in India between the Wars and was recalled from retirement to be Director of Prisoners of War during the Second World War.
Cyril married Elsa Thiedemann (1876-1946) from Gateshead, daughter of a formerly Danish merchant, in 1899. Cyril was a Major in the Royal Scots during World War 1.
Lilian married Captain Douglas Hamilton Keats Hunter, Royal Artillery (1873-1921).
We have eventually reached the end of George Wilbraham Northey and his large family, so we may now return to Epsom, and in Parts 7
we will look at his brothers, Francis Vernon and Edward William.
Linda Jackson © February 2012
6. It was common practice to purchase commissions in the Services in those days.