The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

What was new in 2021?


Another enjoyable year with the website. The news items in 2021 described below may be summarised as:

Family History

- contents of the 1921 Census to be published in 2022

- looking at the naval career of my grandfather William Bower

- details of the Jones Family in Swaledale

- Football in the Family and history of Beckenham F C 1947/50 including friendlies against Charlton and Wageningen


The Big One!

- review of progress of the Family History Project

Brecht One-Name Study

- developments in the Brecht One-Name Study

Sinking of the SS Britannia 1941

- another survivor's account of the Sinking of SS Britannia in 1941

- summaries on the 80th Anniversary of the sinking of SS Britannia

Local History

- summary of the Find the Lady project

- the Monday Morning Tape Service that Madeleine Newland provided to care homes in New Milton from 1989 to 2004.

What was New!

1921 Census

I was hoping to access the 1921 Census this year but the contents will not be published until early 2022.

Sinking of SS Britannia 1941

Right at the tail-end of 2020, I was contacted by 2 correspondents and the correspondence was completed in early 2021:

1. I was able to provide further information on a passenger, who sadly did not survive the sinking, to his nephew.

2. Incredibly some 80 years after the event, I was sent a copy of a magazine article, written by a survivor, Lt F.J. (Bill) Lansley (who appears to have been in the same lifeboat as Dad and signed Dad's Cabo de Hornos menu), by his son.

Account by Bill Lansley

Family History - The Big One!

The website came into its own in 2020 when the country was locked down due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic,Covid-19.

Last year, I spent a lot of the time on the Sinking of SS Britannia 1941 project but towards the end of 2020, I picked up my Big One! Project again.

The first thing I did was to conduct a review:

Review January 2021

To Do List

The original aim was to take on two of the bigger studies, Collier and the Brecht One-Name Study, before undertaking Reports for the remaining Main Names:

Bower/Brecht (Main Names) plus:


Collier/Hunt(Main Names) plus:


Because of the years of inactivity on this project, I decided that it would be best if  I start back with some of the smaller names like Farrow and Marjoram.

Brecht One-Name Study

London Electoral Roll 1832-1965

I mounted a mini-project to summarise some of the entries in the London Electoral Rolls 1832-1965 held by the London Metropolitan Archives.

These have been transcribed and digitised on Ancestry:

Brechts in the London Electoral Roll 1832-1965

London Metropolitan Archives searches

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group

Henry Brecht, 12 Fashion Street, Spitalfields
Colour manufacturer

Insured Oct 7 1811

Ancestry searches

I also found some information on Ancestry which I think is new to me:

Commercial/Business Directories

Robson London Directory 1820

Hy Brecht, Colour Manufacturer
12 Fashion Street, Spitalfields

Robson London Directory 1830

Hy Brecht, Colour Manf.
12 Fashion Street, Spitalfields

London Tax Records 1692-1932

1798 Christ Church

Bricht, Fashion Street Rent £20 Sums Assessed £2 3s 4d
- but See Note below

1812 Christ Church, Spitalfields

Bricht, Fashion Street Rent £20 Sums Assessed £2 3s 4d

This shows that Henry Brecht was in business in Fashion Street, Spitalfields from at least 1798-1830.

Certainly by 1833 he was operating from Bonner Street, Globe Fields/Bethnal Green (per bp of son Henry in Bethnal Green).


Heinrich/Henry Brecht was a colour maker in Fashion Street, Spitalfields and died in 1838 (age 54) making his birth 1783/4.

It appears that he was christened in Germany in 1784.

As mentioned above, when researching the Electoral Rolls in London 1832-1965, I found an entry under:

London Tax Records 1692-1932

Christ Church 1798

Bricht Fashion Street

This entry throws into doubt the previous entries and what they mean. A timeline illustrates this:

Heinrich/Henry Brecht

Christening 1784

Land Tax Records 1798 (age 14?)

Married 1808 (age 24)

Died 1838 (age 54)

The Land Tax Record date is not impossible but very unlikely.

Lucy Ann Cornwell/Cornwall & George Henry Brett/Brecht

An error of long-standing came to my attention.

From the outset, I was informed that Lucy Ann and George Henry had a son Charles Albert Cornwall born in a workhouse. In fact records show it was Albert Ernest Cornwall.

I have corrected the articles about this family.

Search for John Christopher Brecht & Susannah Pardom, Widow

I did another random search on Ancestry and found an intriguing marriage:

St John the Evangelist, Smith Square

Godfried Pardom (suggesting that he is German)
married 26.12.1777
Susannah Phillips

Pardom was a rare name in London and it had been transcribed incorrectly. Godfrey and Susannah lived amongst the German community including sugar bakers in Alie Street

Susannah was widowed and married John Christopher Brecht who appears to be Jurgen Christoph Brecht a sugar refiner in London in 1784 (and possibly the Uncle and Godfather of Heinrich/Henry Brecht).

Certificates Held

I provided a Names Index for the 60 odd certificates held:

Brecht Certificates Held

Elizabeth Piper Brecht

Reviewing for which of Henry Brecht's children Harriet Piper was the mother, I noticed for the first time that the Parish Records of St Dunstan & All Saints gave the birth date of Elizabeth Piper Brecht as 13.1.1830, when she was christened as an adult.

William Thomas Brecht

I knew William Thomas Brecht married Ellen but I found her surname in an Ancestry search:

All Saints, West Ham, Essex

William Brecht (age 26) Father George Brecht
married 25.12.1895 (Christmas Day)
Ellen Hall

Find the Lady!
Sinking of SS Britannia

My Probus Club came up with a monthly Newsletter during the lockdown.

I submitted summaries for two of the main projects that I have undertaken:

Find the Lady! Summary

Sinking of SS Britannia. Summary

80 Years since the Sinking of the SS Britannia

This year was 80 years since the SS Britannia was sunk by a German surface raider on 25 March 1941.

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

Summary of the attack & the aftermath

Family History

My Grandfather William Bower's Date of Birth

There has always been a bit of a mystery about my grandfather's date of birth for which I have never found the registration of his birth

Having another look, I found new pieces of information on Ancestry:

1. Entries in the books of the Training Ship "Exmouth"

Training Ship "Exmouth 1876-1918
Record Book

1. Bower Wm No 769

Age: 12

Date of Entry: 22.5.1878

Date of Discharge: 25.6.1878

Discharge: to Union (Mile End)

2. Bower, William No 957

Age 13

Date of Entry: 18.6.1879

Date of Discharge 13.5.1882

Union: Mile End

Discharge: Ship "Bell"

Comments include:

25.9.1881 Rated Gold Case Boy
15.10.1881 Rated Gun-room boy
28.1.1882 Rated Chief Lamptrimmer

3. William Bower

Age 15

Date of Entry: 21.2.1883

Date of Discharge: 1.3.1883

Union: Mile End

Discharge: Royal Navy
HMS Boscawen
Blue Jacket

(William's DOB given in his Royal Navy service record is 23.10.1867. He signed on in 1885 age 18 for 10 years)

2. A record of his christening when he was 13 (about the time he joined the Exmouth)

St Peter & St Paul, Grays, Thurrock

William Bower (Age13) born abt 1866 bp 9.8.1879
(Parents George & Martha Bower)

I was hoping that he was christened as an infant!

I have summarised the information I have on William Bower in date order:

Summary of Records Held

I have also listed the places where William Bower lived including entries in the Electoral Rolls:

Places where William Bower lived

Bower/Jones Family

I had previously found out that an ancestor in the Jones Family  was a lead miner in Swaledale.

I was lucky enough to find a map of Swaledale in a local charity shop. It shows places where the family lived, e.g. Reeth, Grinton and Marrick:

It reminded me to go back to the Family Trees submitted to Ancestry by other people.

Though there are some errors, I will put some of the information into an Appendix.

Census 1841

One of the benefits is that I found brothers John and David Jones, Brokers living together in London. This was before John Jones married Elizabeth Counter later in 1841:

1841 Census

Wellington Place, Mile End Old Town, Stepney

John Jones (25) Broker (not born in Middlsex)
- he married Elizbeth Counter later in the year
David Jones (30) Brother Broker (not born in Middlesex)
Hannah Jones (30) David's Wife
Martha Jones (3)
David Jones (2)
Thomas Jones (9 months)

Bp of Martha Hannah Jones

At long last, I found the christening of Martha Hannah Jones but not the registration of her birth.

St Dunstan's, Stepney

Martha Anne Jones (should be Martha Hannah) bp 21.7.1844
(Parents John Jones, Labourer of Mile End Old Town and Elizabeth)

John Jones' mother Martha (Spence) Jones and his sister Isabella were still living in Reeth in 1841:

1841 Census

Reeth, Grinton, Yorkshire

Martha Jones (age 70) born in County - Yes
Isabella Jones (age 25) ditto
Mary Jones (age 2 months) ditto

(Isabella, Charwoman (age 37) and Mary (age 7) were still living in Low Street, Reeth in 1851)

At the turn of the year and into the New Year, I began to assemble an Appendix of information about the family when they lived in the lead-mining area in Swaledale, North Yorkshire:

Jones Family Appendix

Football in the Family
- Beckenham F C, Stanhope Rovers & Beckenham Town

Remarkably, within a few days of each other, I was contacted by 2 people about football in Beckenham

One wanted to put some historical information about Beckenham F C and Stanhope Rovers in Beckenham Town's programmes and I was able to send him:

1. A photo of a "Beckenham Town" Team

Some years ago, I was sent this undated puzzling photo by one of the founders of Stanhope Rovers.

My correspondent sent me the same photo believed to be dated 1936, published by the Ardath Tobacco Co Ltd as their Photocard No. 10.

The above photocard had further information about Beckenham F C (called by Ardath, Beckenham Town):

"Affiliated to Kent County Association since 1878, this club now plays in the Kent Amateur League after being Champions of the London League 1926/27.
Three times semi-finalists for the Kent Amateur Cup and in 1934/35 reached the final for the Kent Benevolent Fund."

2. Copies of Beckenham's Fixture List in 1949/50.

Beckenham F C 1949/50

Beckenham F C

The other correspondent told me that his father was a leading figure in Beckenham F C. He played for Beckenham in the 1940s and 1950s and stayed on as one of the club's officials

He sent me a copy of the programme for Beckenham's friendly against Charlton on Saturday 2 April 1949 played at Stanhope Grove.

Apart from the rareness of the programme, it was particularly interesting for 3 reasons:

1. His father played outside right in the match with well-known figures Cyril Roberts and Bunny Copper. ("Ticker" Walsh did not play against Charlton as he got married that day)

2. The programme shows the close links it had with Crystal Palace with "Mr F. Dawes (Crystal Palace F C )" named as Club Coach

3. The programme includes the statement, "Since the club's formation in 1947". Perhaps this is reference to the reformation of the club after WWII.

According to another website, it must be shortly after this that the club moved to Stanhope Grove:

Potted History of Beckenham F C

This gallery of photos includes a programme for a match Crystal Palace v Millwall in which 3 of the players played for Beckenham F C (Ray Potter and Frank Morris for Palace and Bill Lloyd for Millwall)

My correspondent also played for Beckenham and memorably played for a Beckenham XI against the original TV All Stars XI.

He recalls his father approaching Bromley F C in the late 1960s for a merger with Beckenham F C which had become very run down.

(According to Wikipedia, a new club Beckenham Town was formed in 1971 based on the Stanhope Rovers team and in July 1980 moved to its current ground in Eden Park.)

Easter Friendlies against Wageningen

I already had a photo of the annual friendly against Wageningen during Easter 1948 - March 29th 1948

The annual event in 1950 is shown in the above Fixture List on April 10.

I was fairly sure that my uncle, Tom Bower, refereed one of the annual friendlies when I was a small boy.

Out of the blue, I spotted the programme for the 1948 match was for sale on the internet.

To my delight, this was the first visit of Wageningen to Beckenham and my Uncle Tom Bower was the referee!

The match was in fact played on Saturday 27 March 1948.

In the programme, it explains the above photo, where Beckenham F C presented an autographed football as a small souvenir of the occasion.

Extraordinarily I was then sent the match report in the Norwood News dated Friday 2 April 1948:

So after nearly 75 years, I have:

- the programme from the match

- a photo taken at the match, and

- a match report!

Local History

Madeleine Newland - Cassette Tape Recordings Queen

In 2016, my attention was drawn to a large number of cassette tapes of light music recorded by Maddy (using the microphone shown)in 1989-2004 for local care homes.

When I dug a bit deeper, I found that in fact Maddy's life was an extraordinary one. Local historian, Nick Saunders, summarised Maddy's achievements in an article in the New Milton Mail/Barton Bugle in June 2016.

Maddy would have liked the boxes of cassette tapes to be lodged with a museum but this did not prove possible.

All this time later, it occurred to me that I could at least put a summary of Maddy's Monday Morning Tape Service that she introduced in 1989.

Maddy deserves nothing less!

Madeleine Newland's Story

Colin Bower
21 December 2021

What was new in 2020?

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