The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower


Early in the year, there was a software glitch and the normal home page was not displayed for 3/4 months. Apologies to anyone who tried to visit the website during this time.
A shame because I was celebrating running the website for 20 years!

Big Birthday

We began the New Year celebrating my 80th Birthday!

Website Contents

The website includes reports on a series of family history, local and military projects.

What's New?

There have been the following new activities in 2024:

What's New?

Family History

Research into our Family Tree:

The main content of our website is research into our Family History:

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)

A number of Family History Projects have been undertaken - please see below.

Local History Projects

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

In February 2006, I donated the Calling Book to the St Barbe Museum, as planned:


Military History Projects

Sinking of the SS Britannia 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

Later, I inherited his memorabilia:

Dad's Memorabilia

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:

Main Index-Britaania Project

Joan Hughes, Woman Aviator

Joan Hughes was a member of the ATA in WWII ferrying 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 Projects

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!

At present, I have completed 13 reports including 7 of the 16 main family names.

Brecht One-Name Study

St Mary's Church, Islington where Heinrich Brecht married Mary Somes in 1808, one of the first pieces of information I obtained all those years ago

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)

The Providence Chapel, Austin Street, Bethnal Green where Emma Collier (daughter of Charles Collier, Chris' 2x Great Grandfather) married William James Cordell, all Silk Weavers, the latter of Huguenot descent:

During this research, progress has been summarised:

Silk Weavers named Collier

Project Summaries

I have started to write summmarie for each of my propjects:

Project Summaries

Visits to Places of Interest

We have made many interesting and enjoyable visits including a vist to St. Mary's, Everton, Hampshire to see the Flower Festival celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee:

The above display celebrated the Queen's horse Estimate winning the Ascot Gold Cup in 2013

In May, we saw a statue of Estimate in the lovely grounds of Sandringham House in Norfolk

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
26 June 2024

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