The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower


Welcome to our website which includes reports on a series of family, local and naval projects.

What's New?

New activities in 2022:

What's New?


Family History

Research into our Family Tree:

Bower/Collier Family History including:

- the Family Tree with links to our 16 Great Grandparents- and their descendants

-Football in the Family(Beckenham F C& Stanhope Rovers)

Local History

Madeleine Newland - Cassette Tape Recordings Queen

In 2016, I visited Maddy to learn about her Monday Morning Tape Service, where she provided recordings of light music to local Care Homes during 1989 -2004.

Each tape had a commentary from Maddy (using the microphone shown) working from a script.

In 2021, I decided to publish the main findings of this extraordinary story that I found at the time.

List of Articles in the Project

Find the Lady!

A Local History Project where I traced a Victorian Lady who lived in the Lymington area in 1883-1893 and kept a Calling Book that my mother bought on Lymington market.

The Project is summarised in a series of articles with a Final Report:

Find the Lady! Index

Military History

Sinking of the SS Britannia in 1941

It is over 80 years since the SS Britannia was sunk by a German surface raider on 25 March 1941.

My father Frederick Bower survived the sinking and gave me his account:

Dad's account

Goan Journalist Melvyn Misquita marked the anniversary by publishing a poignant summary of what happened and the aftermath:

Summary of the attack & the aftermath

My father was rescued from a lifeboat by the Spanish vessel Cabo de Hornos. Since when there has been an extraordinary amount of contact with descendants of others who survived the sinking:

The Sinking of the SS Britannia

Joan Hughes, Woman Aviator

Joan Hughes was a member of the ATA in WWII ferying aircraft single-handed to where they were needed

Joan was the subject of an iconic photo standing by the wheel of a Stirling:

I first became aware of Joan Hughes when Len Collier's cousin Ted told me that he had seen a TV programme, Forgotten Pilots. Ted took relatives to see Joan's memorabilia at a pub in Loughton, Essex.

Over the years since, I have conducted research into Joan and her possible link to the Gardiner/Hughes Family:

Joan Hughes, Woman Aviator

Family History

The Big One!

Some years ago now, I decided to summarise/type up my family history records into a series of Family Research Project Reports starting with some of the names where there has been less research, before moving onto the main 16 names. This will be the biggest project I have ever undertaken and will take some years to complete.

The Big One!

Brecht One-Name Study

I have undertaken a detailed study into the name Brecht, my mother's maiden name, and the descendants of Heinrich (Henry) Brecht and his two wives Mary Somes and Harriet Piper:

Brecht One-Name Study

Silk Weavers named Collier

Research into Silk Weavers named Collier (my wife Chris' maiden name) living in Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Bethnal Green in East London in 18th & 19th Centuries with possible links to weavers of Huguenot descent (including Gaucheron/Kemp)

During this research, progress has been summarised:

Silk Weavers named Collier

Visits to Places of Interest

We have made many interesting and enjoyable visits including a memorable one to Ireland:

Photo taken at the Giant's Causeway - August 2017

Visits to Places of Interest - Main Index

Photo Album

Collation of the photos that appear throughout the web site:

Photo Album

Progress Reports

A summary of progress made in each of the projects:

Progress Reports

Contact Details

We hope that there is something of interest here for you and if so do e-mail us using our contact details:

Contact Details

Colin Bower
15 May 2022

Made with CityDesk