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Sinabhfuil

Alexander George Wilson, lieutenant, motor reserve

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Sinabhfuil
Posted (edited)

Alexander George Wilson of Belvoir Park in Ballylenaghan, Breda, Co Down, Northern Ireland, is listed in the 1911 Census of Ireland as a lieutenant in the Motor Reserve. Is there any record of him during the war? (He lived till 1940, according to a biographical note.) http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002251906/

Edited by Sinabhfuil
adding address

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

Is that him marrying in 1915 at Lisburn ? If so then the Marriage cert may give a clue ?

 

ie  Marrying Mabel Agnes Bloomer 1915;  1939 Register has them living in Kensington, he 'Ministry of Information, Foreign News specialist' ? Died 13/12/1956, Northiam Sussex, Administration to his Widow ?

 

Mabel was a Governess, born Banbury 1879 and in 1911 Census she is in Ireland.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Sinabhfuil

Oh, that sounds interesting! I wonder if she was related to the Mrs Bloomer who managed PH Pearse's bilingual Montessori school, to which our Alec was a major contributor, in finance and in management advice. Thank you! I can't see the marriage certificate but will look for her in the Irish census.

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charlie962

1911 census she is working for Arthur Kenlis Maxwell, Baron Farnham.

@museumtom is practiced on Irish records !

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

She was a governess in 1901 Census. England

 

FMP have this:

766095710_GWFBloomerMAgovernessFMPhits.JPG.6059e35eaf1f062238586799ccbd082a.JPG

Edited by charlie962

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Sinabhfuil

Thank you! There's an article about him in The Irish Times in which he's described as breeding Sealyhams and Cairns; at least, I think it's about him. 

I'm wondering what happened to him after 1914 or so. Up to then, he was lecturing regularly about industry in Ireland, the Co-Operative movement, proportional representation and so on, and was involved in the Craobh Ruadh branch of the Gaelic League in Belfast. Then he disappears off the scene. Now, it's possible that he went to England at the same time as others; I'm just wondering what happened to him during the war. Presumably as a reservist he would've been called up?

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

He would not have been too old ( born 1876) but if he didn't serve overseas then records may be scarce. I looked briefly at London Gazette- nothing obvious but I've probably overlooked something !

Charlie

 

PS  Mabel died 24/12/1958 also at Northiam, Sussex. Probate 1959 to Dennis Grattan Moore, Major General, HM Army.

Edited by charlie962

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Sinabhfuil

Perhaps 'Ministry of Information, Foreign News specialist' was too essential as war work to spare him to the front lines? He was educated in Cheam and Harrow; are they good on languages?

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charlie962

Min of Info -that was WW2. Harrow perhaps better than Eton on languages ??

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Sinabhfuil

Ohh, I thought it was when he was marrying in 1915 that he was in the MinInf. Hay fever making my mind muzzy.

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charlie962
5 minutes ago, Sinabhfuil said:

Hay fever making my mind muzzy.

Another reason for wearing a mask ? I must go out now and mow; hopefully someone else can find the marriage cert ?

Charlie

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Sinabhfuil

Incredible, really, that the only biographical note I could find of him gave his dates as "c 1870-1940". He was born 1876, and died 1956! 

How sad that his widow should die on Christmas Eve, two years after him.

Thanks very much for your help, charlie962, and good luck with the mowing.

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charlie962

Grass cut.

 

Harrow School Register for 1890 has this below. The 1925 version of the Register includes WW1 war services but there is nothing additional against Wilson's name. Either he did not serve or he did not reply ?  Try this link and maybe contact direct ?

785771953_GWFWilsonAGHarrow1890.JPG.4234d2c0faddf928e9061ebbecace9db.JPG

 

Charlie

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

AG Wilson seems to have inherited the lease on Belvoir Park when his father, a shipbuilder, died 1904. The lease terminated 1918.

 

"AG Wilson JP" was one of the Volunteer Committee of the "Young Citizen Volunteers".  This document expands on their activities but no further mention of Wilson.

 

Edit

There are various Irish newspaper articles,1914-18,  referring to Mr AG Wilson JP or Mr & Mrs Alec (or Alex) Wilson , of Belvoir Park.Does this suggest his shipbuilding activities (Harland & Wolff I believe- certainly the case for his father) were essential war services ?

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Sinabhfuil

Thank you, charlie962, that's very helpful. I've written to Harland & Wolff (now in administration) to ask if they can tell me more about him. He doesn't seem to have followed his father into the boardroom; he's listed in the 1901 census as shipbuilder and marine engineer. but is commonly referred to as an accountant. I'm wondering if he started his own accountancy practice. 

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Sinabhfuil
Posted (edited)

charlie962, Did you say the Wilson/Bloomer marriage cert was available somewhere? I've taken up the excellent idea of searching for Belvoir Park, and find that Alec Wilson had a model dairy there, that the house was in the running to be the Governor's gaff but Hillsborough won out (Belvoir Park, the house, was demolished by the British Army in the 1960s, and now is replaced by a forest park and a housing estate).

Alec's mother turned Belvoir Park into a convalescent home for wounded soldiers during the war, then sold all the goods of the house in a massive auction in 1918, which suggests, I suppose that at this stage Alec and Mabel may have been leaving Ireland for Britain. 

In PRONI, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, there's a personal letter (remind me to tear all my emails up) from a Presbyterian minister called Armour to his wife, gossiping that Alec had failed an engineering exam and then "lost his spunk". 

It's baffling the way so many of that generation, wonderfully promising in their varied areas of expertise, sank back into nothingness after the war, in the new world that came out of all that. Though I still have a faint hope that Alec continued to be a voice in industry and liberal politics.

Edit: Ricorso also has a little, though his latest publication listed here seems to be 1920 http://www.ricorso.net/rx/az-data/authors/w/Wilson_A2/life.htm

Edited by Sinabhfuil

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charlie962
20 hours ago, Sinabhfuil said:

Did you say the Wilson/Bloomer marriage cert was available somewhere?

Should be available - not sure where NI records are archived. There is a brief anouncement of his engagement in the Belfast newspapers 1915. Again no rank mentioned.

20 hours ago, Sinabhfuil said:

a personal letter

Amazing what turns up.

 

I wonder where he got his experience to become Foreign News Specialist at Min Of Info 1939 ?

 

Charlie

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Sinabhfuil

I wonder too! 

 

The Northern Ireland census results are available free with the rest of Ireland. Birth, death and marriage certs are another matter; I don't know where to find them. Are those things normally available on Ancestry? If so, I have a brother-in-law who has an account and I can ask him to root it out. 

It's most mysterious the way Alec disappears after 1915 or so, apart from a couple of dubiously dated books on Ulster politics, and the familyish-sounding Fragments That Remain, published in 1950 but only available for those who have to brush their diamonds out of the way before ordering from AbeBooks. 

It doesn't seem that Alec and Mabel had any children either. Nearest reference I can find is an Irish Times piece referring to him (if it is him) living in England and breeding Sealyham and Cairn terriers.

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

When not breeding dogs (the profession of a gentleman ?) he was scribbling perhaps:

 

He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy, Here is his 1914 certificate courtesy of the RIA:

2110836779_GWFWilsonAGMRIAcert1914.JPG.0285c66e27b0b3e1e42ab34d5abcacc3.JPG

 

I note that in 1922 He was :

Ulster Pensions Committee- member and Vice-chairman  Mr AG Wilson JP,  Croglin Ballyaughlis, near Lisburn.

 

Still nothing suggesting holding military rank 14-18.

 

Charlie
 

Edited by charlie962

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

I think that he did a fair bit of speaking in the 20s in UK re League of Nations .

I think the reference to Alec Wilson MRIA speaking in 1929 is him- would you agree ? If so there are other refs to him speaking at various dates.

1041613748_GWFWilsonAGLNU.JPG.bfd1ff42b9a11b233fd97994b9c0fbc8.JPG

 

If that is him then that would make a possible link to this book published 1933. Am I jumping the gun ?

 

But that makes more sense of his 1939 position.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

To keep 'on topic', I wonder what he was actually doing in 14-18 period that perhaps links to this ?

 

I think we are on the right track. This extract of a newspaper article 1930 in the Bedfordshire Times, courtesy FindmyPast.

1027947555_GWFWilsonAGLeagueBedford1930.JPG.17cbf0bceb2255e3e3c07259cc8c233f.JPG

 

 

 

Charlie

 

Edit- He was part of HQ LNU into the late 30s at least. Wiki has this short article with a helpful quote:

Even Austen Chamberlain remarked that the Executive Committee contained "some of the worst cranks I have ever known".   Winston Churchill said of the Union: "What impresses me most about them is their long suffering and inexhaustible gullibility".

 

Can I suggest contacting LSE ?

The papers, records, minute books, pamphlets, reports and leaflets of the LNU are deposited at the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the London School of Economics in Westminster

 

 

Edited by charlie962

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corisande
9 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Should be available - not sure where NI records are archived.

 

This is what you want, but it does not tell you anything

 

Of course Northern Ireland did not exist in 1915, so it is under Irish GRO :)

 

bloomer.jpg.dcbeb3542b3b1eb825d02e7b93132058.jpg

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charlie962

Well done, many thanks. It seems to confirm him as Gentleman rather than Officer or whatever. Or did officers always put gentleman on their wartime marriage certificates, being that they were always both ?

Charlie

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Sinabhfuil

Thank you, I think we have him; some of the Irish Times articles also refer to the League of Nations. I'll contact the LSE (London School of Economics, yes?) but what's the LNU, please?

If he was working for Harland & Wolff as a shipbuilder and marine engineer - they haven't yet replied, but they're in administration, so there may be nobody to reply, God help them - then I suppose his profession would have been seen as essential.

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