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Lordyf15

Info on Grandfather’s Photo

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sadbrewer
24 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

Superb chronological summary of his life, corisande.  There are just three remaining puzzles/curiousities for me.  First I'd like to find out if he actually did go straight to captain on gazetting in 1881, and what the Militia regulations were in that respect.  Second, I think it's very likely that he was a driver with the American volunteer ambulance just like the young man whose picture I posted.  I suspect that it was in the USA that the money was raised to fund the ambulances (which I think were probably Model T Fords) and he was in America in the years preceding the war.  French Red Cross records might throw some light on this.  Third, I sense that in the final years he might have been estranged from his wife, albeit that is entirely a private affair and of no interest from a military history viewpoint.

 

  There are a few articles about his Ambulance service in the US press in WW1...unfortunately I don't have a subscription to read them fully.

 

 

Screenshot_20191115-131014.jpg

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corisande
57 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Third, I sense that in the final years he might have been estranged from his wife, albeit that is entirely a private affair and of no interest from a military history viewpoint.

 

Yes , I agree with you entirely. The evidence points to that, but I felt there was not enough proof to state it as fact!

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CorporalPunishment
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

Superb chronological summary of his life, corisande.  There are just three remaining puzzles/curiousities for me.  First I'd like to find out if he actually did go straight to captain on gazetting in 1881, and what the Militia regulations were in that respect.  Second, I think it's very likely that he was a driver with the American volunteer ambulance just like the young man whose picture I posted.  I suspect that it was in the USA that the money was raised to fund the ambulances (which I think were probably Model T Fords) and he was in America in the years preceding the war.  French Red Cross records might throw some light on this.  Third, I sense that in the final years he might have been estranged from his wife, albeit that is entirely a private affair and of no interest from a military history viewpoint.

If he served with an American ambulance outfit attached to the French Red Cross then I doubt that he would have received the British War Medal.  Pete.

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, sadbrewer said:

 

  There are a few articles about his Ambulance service in the US press in WW1...unfortunately I don't have a subscription to read them fully.

 

 

Screenshot_20191115-131014.jpg


Yes, they would be interesting to read. It seems to say that he received a commission and commanded an ambulance at the age of 73, although I’m unsure if that’s an embellishment given his MIC details ostensibly showing ‘dvr’.

44 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

If he served with an American ambulance outfit attached to the French Red Cross then I doubt that he would have received the British War Medal.  Pete.


Yes I think you’re probably right Pete, especially after reading the word ‘British’ in the garbled extracts from US newspapers.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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corisande
1 hour ago, sadbrewer said:

There are a few articles about his Ambulance service in the US press in WW1...unfortunately I don't have a subscription to read them fully.

 

dowson-1.jpg.e866251ec265a20011b9ea89579c3f9b.jpg  dowson-2.jpg.ed5e7503827a199dd3d933683bab2044.jpg

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PRC

While he doesn't appear to have an obituary in The Times, there was a death notice for him in the edition dated March 26th 1931, which gives a very likely final resting place for him.

 

There doesn't appear to be a picture of the headstone on FindaGrave or Billion Graves so maybe if it could just stop raining for a couple of days I make take a trip :)

 

(I use to roadie for local bands in the 1970's and Geldeston Locks was a live music pub. My abiding memories of it was that it was always wet under foot so you had to take a roll of carpet with you - either to keep the floor clean in the pub as you carted gear in and out, or to put under the tyres after the van had sunk into the mud while the band was on ! )

 

Cheers,

Peter

Philip Dowson Death Notice The Times March 26 1931..png

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PRC
5 minutes ago, corisande said:

 

  dowson-2.jpg.ed5e7503827a199dd3d933683bab2044.jpg

 

Veteran of the Boer War - is that a new angle that hasn't been explored yet?

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CorporalPunishment
4 minutes ago, corisande said:

 

dowson-1.jpg.e866251ec265a20011b9ea89579c3f9b.jpg  dowson-2.jpg.ed5e7503827a199dd3d933683bab2044.jpg

I don't see any Boer War medals in the opening post.  Pete.

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FROGSMILE

Also he would have been rather old for service in the field as a major in the 2nd Boer War, and seemingly newly married in Brussels at the time of the 1st Boer War.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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2ndCMR
5 hours ago, Milner said:

And here is the marriage of Ellen to her first husband.

 

Name: Beilby Hodgson
Spouse's Name: Ellen Effie Dent
Event Date: 30 Jan 1872
Event Place: Dresden, Germany
 

 

One wonders if the hotelier whose name was Voss and who was from Hanover, might have been a friend of hers or her late husband.  Of course there were many thousands of Germans working in Britain before WWI as hoteliers, waiters etc.

 

5 hours ago, corisande said:

1871. His son Joseph Dowson born Yokohama to an unknown Japanese mother. Joseph married in Japan, and died in Hawaii in 1926

 

IIRC the name "Chiyo Iso" was mentioned.  Which is the surname only Gaylord can tell us,

 

As for the matter of the £1800 estate, Dowson may well have given much of his wealth to his relations or friends to avoid death duties if he knew that his end was not far off.
 

Quote

 

To me, though I could not prove it, I think the most probable explanation is that he did marry the Japanese Lady, but she died, and the son was probably left with Japanese grandparents .

 

 

That is possible, but I suspect it was a parting more of "The Last Farewell" variety.  One has to bear in mind that the vast majority of marriages in Japan were arranged without any consideration of the woman's wishes at all, and that having left her parent's home, it was expected that she would never return.  Consequently a woman's children were usually the outlet for most of her affections, and having got those children, many were (and are) not averse to returning with them to their parents.  For many, perhaps most women, this was in many ways a far better outcome than being the domestic slave of their husband, his male relations and worst of all; the dreaded mother in law, whose own often bitter experience and station left her daughter in law as the only butt of her suffering.  I am not sure that Dowson would have been willing to leave his son in Japan if his wife there was dead, but as you say, we may never know. 

 

Quote

Third, I sense that in the final years he might have been estranged from his wife, albeit that is entirely a private affair and of no interest from a military history viewpoint.

 

I think you may well be right, and like you had also wondered how given her apparent infertility, she would have accepted the idea of her husband renewing his connection to his son in or from Japan.  It may have been a perfectly amicable arrangement for all we know.  On the other hand, IIRC the shipping records do show him passing through Victoria, just south of Duncan/Maple Bay, from where many ships apparently sailed, even trans-pacific liners as well as those going to US ports. 

 

However, his wife might well have been simply visiting a friend or relation who was retired in that area when she died.  This book illustrates just how many there were, and then only the more prominent.

 

 As for Boer War service, quite possibly something semi-official? There were so many odd formations and "service" groups.

Edited by 2ndCMR

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TEW

No QSA/KSA records out there? No access for me at present.

TEW

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FROGSMILE

He apparently had a large ranch according to the US newspapers and Gaylord mentioned a business venture attempting to create a vineyard and wine business in California, which chimes with a man hugely qualified in sugar refining (first job) and great knowledge in beer fermenting.  My guess is that the vineyard venture perhaps failed and he lost much of his capital.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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travers61
2ndCMR

Gaylord, here is your 3x great grandfather, Henry Gibson Dowson, 1798-1876.  He seems to have been named after his own great grandfather who was born about 1699.

 

Interestingly he also left a very small apparent estate; Norfolk was "dissenter" country after all!

 

You're going to have to join Ancestry.com! ;)

Henry Gibson Dowson.jpg

Henry Gibson Dowson Probate.png

Edited by 2ndCMR

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sadbrewer
2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

He apparently had a large ranch according to the US newspapers and Gaylord mentioned a venture attempting to create a vineyard and wine business in California, which chimes with a man hugely qualified in sugar refining (first job) and great knowledge in beer fermenting.  My guess is that the vineyard venture perhaps failed and he lost much of his capital.

 

   It seems unlikely the vineyard plan lost his money unless he ploughed his cash into as soon as he returned to the USA from France, as  prohibition came in only a year later...although some kept going by supplying concentrated grape juice...the one I'm thinking of in particular said on the packaging.....under no circumstances add yeast to this product😉

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PRC
7 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Also he would have been rather old for service in the field as a major in the 2nd Boer War, and seemingly newly married in Brussels at the time of the 1st Boer War.

 

 If he was in the States at this time is it possible he was involved with the Remount Service - one stat I came across was that 6,000 horses a month were being shipped from the States by the end of 1901.Would probably explain the lack of medals while at a stretch still allowing him to be called a Boer War Veteran.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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FROGSMILE
18 minutes ago, PRC said:

 

 If he was in the States at this time is it possible he was involved with the Remount Service - one stat I came across was that 6,000 horses a month were being shipped from the States by the end of 1901.Would probably explain the lack of medals while at a stretch still allowing him to be called a Boer War Veteran.

 

Cheers,

Peter


I think we would need to hear from Gaylord’s family on this matter.  Two things seem relatively significant to me, namely the absence of any medals at all for someone supposedly a veteran of that war, and also the fact that there’s no mention in any documentation of the time, which compares poorly with the plethora of WW1 evidence. I’m keeping an open mind but on the surface of it, it seems unlikely.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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2ndCMR

As for the possibility of service in the First Anglo-Boer War, as it ended rather ignominiously in 1881, it seems possible Dowson took out his commission the same year(?) either in expectation of service or perhaps in response to the negotiated settlement the Gladstone government imposed.  As the war lasted only about three months, it seems very unlikely Dowson served there, but he may have been one of those who being disgusted by the first outcome, were determined to be in at the second!

 

Going backward slightly in this thread there is the interesting question of language, for Joseph Dowson, a.k.a. Chiyo Iso, would have been very young when his father left Japan, and opportunities for learning English would be very few in the early Meiji era.   He may have studied or worked with foreigners, and his father may have helped arrange that.  It is quite likely also that P.S. Dowson became fairly proficient in Japanese being there about ten years; he would after all need some way to communicate with his wife.  And regarding her name, it is quite likely that  Iso was her family name, as her son would appear on her family register; and it should be understood that everyone had to appear somewhere, though I am not sure about the Burakumin under-class.   Family surnames for average Japanese only appeared in the Meiji era and were made a legal requirement in 1875.

 

As per this page previously linked above, Dowson actually had two sons by his Japanese wife, the other named Samuel was living in California when his bother Joseph died in 1926.  The fact that Joseph died after a three month illness and the day after he was booked to sail for Japan would suggest he was going back to perhaps see his mother and/or grandparents for the last time.

 

So was Samuel living with his father and step-mother in Santa Barbara?  The obituary for Joseph does not imply that:  Thus far no further trace of him on Ancestry, so he may have chosen to live under his Japanese name, whatever that was.   This would have been around the time of the tensions over Japanese immigration in California, and that may have either pushed him to identify as entirely Japanese, or even to return to Japan, though that seems unlikely as living standards in Japan were then very low for the bulk of the population and California was a paradise by comparison with most of the industrial world.

 

Quote

JOSEPH DOWSON DIES AT HOME IN KAIMUKI; BURIAL TO BE SUNDAY
 Joseph Dowson of 1026 Koko Head Ave., Kaimuki, died at his home yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock after a three-months’ illness. The deceased was born at Yokohama, Japan, in 1871 and came to Honolulu in January, 1900, taking up a position with the Ewa mill as second engineer. He remained with that company for nine years, after which he went into business for himself.
 For the last 12 years he has been chief engineer of Libby, McNeill & Libby of Honolulu. Those surviving him are his widow, Ume I. Dowson; two sons, Charles Philip Dowson, a dentist of Maui, and George I. Dowson, a student at the University of Hawaii; his father, Maj. Phillip Sedgwick Dowson, royal army of England, of Santa Barbara, Cal.; a brother, Samuel Dowson of California, and three grandchildren, Margaret Catherine, Phillip Charles and Joseph Gordon Dowson of Maui.
 Services for the deceased will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 10, at the Nuuanu Japanese Congregational church. (Published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 06 Oct 1926)

 

Edited by 2ndCMR

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Lordyf15

Corisande I cannot thank you enough for creating the chronology of my GG father.  I was attempting to go thru everyone’s research and ancestry.com info, and I must say I was quickly overwhelmed.  I have been passing all this information to my relatives who are enjoying the story of him as it unfolds from all the special people on this forum.  It’s funny that after all these years, no one in my family had his correct name.  He was always known as Charles Phillip Dowson.  Now we know better!  It’s opened a whole new world to us. It’s nice to know that he lived a life full of wealth, adventures, travel, and heroism.  Thank you everyone!

 

Aloha from Hawaii

 

Gaylord Dowson

 

PS I have attached a photo of Phillip’s son Joseph and his wife Umi Iso.

She was from Yokohama and from the Iso Peanut Company family.

F0220613-F1C9-4EF3-BF95-9A418E0E32C6.jpeg

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Lordyf15

Okay no one knew about Samuel Dowson, brother to Joseph.

 

WOW

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2ndCMR

It has long been a custom in Japan for families where there is no male heir to if possible get the daughter's husband to adopt their family name, which worked if the husband was a younger son, the wife's family was wealthy, or if suitable inducements were offered.

 

But then now that I think about it, "Chiyo" is not a man's name, but a woman's, whereas "Chiro" is a man's name or rather the contraction or diminutive form of one.  An easy mistake for a census taker?

 

So perhaps Joseph Dowson adopted his wife's surname and became "Chiro Iso"?

 

I'm sure we're all enjoying the process of discovery with you Gaylord; a good mystery is hard to beat and those from life are much more interesting than fiction!

 

Regarding P.S. Dowson's name, it is interesting how in the obituary for Joseph in 1926 the name "Septimus" is mistaken as "Sedgwick".  A quite specific "error", so much so that one wonders if P.S. Dowson was perhaps using that as an assumed middle name for some reason? 

 

Of course it was by no means uncommon for people to change or alter their birth names into something they preferred more in those days when identity was much less a matter of record than it is now.

 

If we find in the records that P.S. Dowson was using "Septimus" and "Sedgwick" more or less simultaneously then we might have reason to think that he was using different names for different places or purposes, but very difficult to say when a useage was a matter of choice or when it was dictated by comparison with documents such as a passport.

 

Incidentally, Ancestry shows Joseph's wife as "Marguerite", born in Ohio of [correction] a Hawaiian mother.  There was quite a Hawaiian diaspora in the 19th century, mostly men working as seafarers.  I suspect it was Margaret's mother Kapoina Magnet, husband of Charles Lake Magnet, who was the fully Hawaiian woman.

 

Margaret Poena Kapoina Magnett

Margaret Poena Kapoina Magnett

Edited by 2ndCMR

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