My father Bertram STOWELL(1) was born on 21 Jan 1910 at 3 Hanover Square, Broughton, Lancs1. He was the second son and third of three children of Percy STOWELL(19) and Rose Emily BERTRAM(20).

Bertram with his siblings Eileen and Leonard, possibly at Southport A studio portrait, with Eileen and Leonard Bertram at about the age he went to Greshams

The family continued to live at 3 Hanover Square, Higher Broughton, for a while, and the three children were there at the time of the 1911 census2, in the care of an 18 year old governess, Mabel WALKER, and cook Ellen EVANS.Their parents were away on holiday. At some stage the family moved to Southport.

I do not know how his early years were spent, but in the Lent term of 1919 he went to the Junior School of Greshams, at Holt in Norfolk, and was in Old School House when he moved to the senior school. His elder brother, Leonard, joined the school in the same term. The reason for their being sent was the separation and divorce of their parents when my grandmother went away with the then Vicar of Holy Trinity, Southport, the Rev. Parkyn.

At school, when in the Senior School, he won both football (rugby) and hockey colours. He left school in 1928 and became a management trainee with the Bleachers' Association in Manchester. He continued to play both club hockey for Alderley Edge and county hockey for Cheshire, having decided against continuing to play rugby. He became a hockey international, playing in 13 matches for England between 1931 and 1935. His advent as an international player was described in an article in the Hockey Weekly in March 1931.

On 03 Oct 1933 Bertram married Alice Thorburn BRIGGS(2), of Carolside, Upper Park Road, Didsbury, Manchester. His address at the time was 102 Wilmslow Road. The wedding took place at St. Aidan's Presbyterian Church, Didsbury. On the marriage certificate Bertram was described as an apprentice manager, "Bleach Works"3. Bertram and Alice had five children.

Bertram and Alice
  wedding photo

In 1935, Bertram was sent as an assistant manager to the Bleachers' Association's works at Luncarty, James Burt-Marshall Ltd. on the River Tay a few miles upstream of Perth. The firm had become part of the Bleachers' Association in 1917. Since 1928 the manager had been Major the Hon. Robert Edward Udny Hermon-Hodge4 (1882-1937), who died aged 55 on 2 May 1937 at Nuffield House, Guy's Hospital, London 5. Following Hermon-Hodge's death, Bertram was made manager, and later, Managing Director, a position he retained when the Bleachers' Association was taken over by Whitecroft Holdings, and until he retired in 1975.

Following Bertram's retirement in 1975 he and Alice moved to Almondbank, just a few miles away from Luncarty, which had been their home for so many years. Alice died on 17 Apr 1999, aged 89, and Bertram died, aged 93, in the evening of 26 May 2003 at Rumbling Bridge Nursing Home, Kinross, where he was recovering from an operation. He was cremated at Perth on 5 Jun, and both his and Alice's ashes were buried at the Redgorton cemetery, which is between their long-time homes of Luncarty and Almondbank.


1) Birth certificate. Birth registered on 17 Feb 1910 in the sub-district of Broughton, in the district of Salford. The informant was his father, described as Secretary to a Limited Company. Registration book no.109, p.64, entry 320. The birth date was originally entered as 28 January, but was corrected to 21 January on 18 Mar 1910.
2) 1911 England census, piece 24006.
3) Marriage Certificate.
4) The Bleachfields of Perth. A Short History of the Bleaching Industry around Perth, 1735-1998, by John MacKay. Wm. Culross & Son Ltd., Coupar Angus.
5) England National Probate Calendar, calendar for 1937, p.277, through, accessed 2 Jan 2013.
6) Death Certificate.

© John Stowell 2012/2013             This file last edited on 5 May 2013.

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