DCSIMG

Comment: In honour of George Bowyer – and certainly not Nadine Dorries

Daphne Bowyer, wife of George Bowyer; May 1929.

Daphne Bowyer, wife of George Bowyer; May 1929.

  • by John Taylor - The Way We Were
 

WEARYINGLY, there seems to be a trait among some political specimens to treat the privilege of Parliamentary election as an opportunity to appear on such tacky reality shows as I’m a minor attention seeking celebrity, get my fizzhog on the telly.

Oh dear, perhaps a sad reflection on the values of modern society.

And so, in this Remembrance month, lets remember one MP for whom duty to his constituents, and ex-comrades, always came first, George Edward Wentworth Bowyer, of whom ‘Whether it was an intimate friend, a constituent, or just an acquaintance that needed his help he was always available.

Born on January 16, 1886 he was the eldest son of Lt. Col. W.G. Bowyer of Weston Manor, Weston Underwood, and after and education at Eton and New College, Oxford, was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1909, subsequently practising on the Midland Circuit. In 1910, he joined the Buckingham Battalion of the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry (Territorials) and as a Captain, being mentioned in despatches, fought on the Western Front during the First World War, being awarded the Military Cross for gallantry on the field.

On the evening of May 6, in the trenches near Ypres whne commanding the Wolverton Company of the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry Territorials, he was hit in the shoulder by a piece of rifle grenade, but fortunatley the fragment missed the bone.

Having arrived on the Saturday at the London Hospital, he was transferred to the Military Hospital in Hampshire, and returned to France in 1916 as Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of the county regiment. In this capacity he then remained until early 1918, when recalled for special service at the Admirality. In 1918, the year before his marriage to the Hon. Daphne Freeman-Mitford, he entered politics, and as the Coalition Conservative Member for North Bucks would from 1918 until 1937 contest and win seven elections, all with substantial majorities.

Knighted in 1929, in 1935 he was appinted as Comptroller of His Majesty’s Household, and following the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Home Guard Directorate at the War Office, where he remained until the end of the war.

Keen on hunting, during the summer he played cricket for the village and other local clubs, while in other activities he was President of the Olney branch of the British Legion.

He had three children – a daughter and two sons – but his eldest son was killed in action during the Second World War, while serving with the RAF.

Therefore, his younger son, the Hon. Bertram Stanley Mitford Bowyer, born in 1927, would succeed to the barony at his father’s death on the morning of Tuesday, November 30, 1948, following an operation in a London nursing home.

The coffin was borne from The Manor in a farm cart drawn by two horses and with many notables present the funeral was held at Weston Underwood Church on Friday, December 3, 1948.

At the entrance to the church, the two standards of the Olney British Legion branch were held aloft.

As with Sir Frank Markham, the subject of a previous article, he was a politicain of true dignity and diligence, and neither would have ever dreamt of using their position to appear in some tawdry apparent remake of ‘Carry on Up the Jungle’.

 

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