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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Finding Trevor Southgate


FrancesH

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OK, so this is where I am with Trevor at the moment. Although born in London, he travelled out to Rio de Janiero with his parents. His father Thomas spent his life in Brazil, a lot of it working with Percival Farquhar, the American entrepreneur (love that word) who set up a series of companies which were apparently intended to improve the infrastructure of the country. Each of these eventually collapsed leaving the Brazilian government and shareholders out of pocket but not Farquhar. Thomas Southgate was the manager of the Para Port Company, one of these companies. Trevor went to Felsted School and then to Sandhurst in Dec 1914. He served with the Essex Regiment as a MGO, then joined the RFC on 1 July 1916. He served with the RFC in India and North Russia. After the war he emigrated to Rhodesia with his wife Vera. The marriage collapsed and they got divorced in 1923. Vera subsequently became a successful author as 'Jane England' and her first four novels feature young women married to morose and aggressive war veterans living in Rhodesia. Trevor joined the United Africa Company but got made redundant during the economic downturn in 1933. He died in 1963 and is described as 'former golf club secretary' on his death certificate. He died in Eastbourne and left his very small estate to Peter Deane, a maker of fishing flies. If anyone can fill in any of the gaps, suggest any ways forward to expand this already very interesting life, I should be most grateful. I have been unable to trace any relatives. He was an only child and although Vera had a son, the grounds for divorce were that he must have been conceived when Trevor was in a different country.

I attach a photograph of Trevor taken when he was at school, and another when he was at Sandhurst.post-102216-0-89615100-1404975950_thumb.post-102216-0-38024600-1404976021_thumb.

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Oh, the thirty years from 1933 to 1963 for starters!

Also, his father came from a large family (offspring of a prolific hymnwriter) and I am sure there must be Southgate cousins out there somewhere.

Also more exactly what he was doing during the war. I have already had help on the RFC front from the GWF but have only found one very general source about the RFC task in India (controlling the NW Frontier basically) and the book Churchill's Crusade on the Russian campaign is frustratingly short on information about the air force role. I have found no other secondary sources on this campaign. If anyone knows of any reminiscences by a pilot, as distinct from a naval or infantry participant, I should be glad to know.

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Maybe you should post in the War in the Air Forum?

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Tried that without success -- also on the Aerodrome website. Someone somewhere must know something about it ...

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If you know his unit there might be a war diary available from TNA.

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Thank you for this reminder -- I don't know why I forgot to do this for him. Download now underway ...

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