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Susan Prowse-Tako's November Prowse Highlights

November 1795: William Prowse (later of HMS Sirius) accompanied Sir John Jervis to the Mediterranean on board 'Lively' frigate as a supernumerary Lieutenant and on arrival at that station, was appointed to the 'Victory' until 20 October 1796 when he was appointed Commander in the 'Raven'. (see pp 127-148, in my Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition)

November 1805: Thomas Prowse, Flag-Lieutenant of HMS Ajax at the Battle of Trafalgar, married Agnes Mudge (1782-1852), but drowned in the West Indies a year later when the whole convoy he was commanding went down in a terrible hurricane.....”not a soul was saved, not a single ship left afloat. His wife, whom he had married in November, 1805, (was) maid, wife and widow in one year”. Geoff Williams from Lancashire, England, is descended from Thomas Prowse of HMS Ajax, as well as from Judge Daniel Woodley Prowse of Newfound- land and Captain Nicholas Prowse (b.1823), master mariner, who was involved in the commissioning, trials and maiden voyage of the SS Great Eastern. (see p.128 in my Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition).

November 1900-November 1904: Charles Bertie Prowse was made Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion Somerset Light Infantry which he had joined in 1892. (p.241 in my Family History Book, 'Those in Peril')

November 1914: Prowse Point Cemetery in Belgium (the only military cemetery to be named after an individual, Brig-Gen Charles Bertie Prowse, was begun and continued to be used until fighting moved beyond the Ploegsteert area in April 1918. (see pp.173-178 in my Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition)

November, 1915: William Edward Prowse (1876-1950), son of James Ferris Prowse (1833-1903) and Eliza Bayly, appointed acting commander of HMS Ganges. He joined the Royal Navy in 1891 as a 15 year-old cadet and rose to the rank of Commander. He was attached to HMS Victory both as a sub-Lieutenant on at least two occasions, and again in 1915 as Acting Commander. He lost his left eye in a shooting accident in 1897/98, but continued his naval career until 1910. (see p. 369 in my book, 'Those in Peril').

6 November, 1935: The Hawker Hurricane (RAF's first monoplane fighter) flew for the first time. Claimed to be the fastest interceptor in the world with a top speed of 325 mph at 20,000 feet (6500 m). Our Battle of Britain pilot, Harry A.R. 'Keith' Prowse was shot down near Lille by flak on January 6, 1940 and force-landed his Hurricane in a field, returning to England by ship from Cherbourg just before France fell. (see p. 317 “Those in Peril').

7 November, 1885: Coast-to-coast Canadian Pacific railway completed, the government of British Columbia (BC) having made it a condition of joining the confederation rather than be annexed to the USA, that they be linked to the rest of the country by a railroad by 1891. Our BC, Canadian branch of the family began with the emigration of Albert Samuel Whitchurch Prowse, M.D. (1856-1950) to Vancouver in 1909. He was born in Devon, studied Medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London and married Annie Mower Wakefield (b. 1864). Their son, Ernest Whitchurch Prowse (1883-1966) was several times the Mayor of Vernon, BC. (see pp. 323-336 in my 'First Do No Harm' book).

7 November 1926: Birth of Dame Joan Sutherland, Australian opera singer. Another Australian opera singer was Alice Georgina des Voeux Prowse (died 5/28/1940), daughter of General des Voeux & wife of Alfred Bayly Prowse, who drowned after being swept off the conning tower of his submarine (see October 7 entry). Alice sang in grand opera companies and with the Carl Rosa Opera Company around the world. In current times, another Australian, Virginia Banyard, descended from Leslie Vernon Barrington Prowse (b.1887-1951), son of James Barrington Prowse (1857-1932), and grandson of Edward Prowse (1824-1862), his immigrant ancestor, has had a music career singing “everything from opera to Vera Lynn”, and in England, Tabitha Haldane-Unwin, daughter of Nick and Lindsay and granddaughter of Hilary Prowse Newton, graduated from a prestigious music academy with a view to a singing career. (see p.152 in my Prowse Family History book, 3rd edition)

8 November, 1876: The New York Times asserts that neither Samuel Tilden nor Rutherford B. Hayes has won the U.S. Presidential election. Hayes, born on October 4, 1822, and descended from the Gidleigh Castle & Chagford branch of the Prouz family through John and Jone Orchard Prous, was selected months later by an electoral commission and Congress. (see p.191 in my Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition)

8 November, 1942: During WWII, British and American forces land in French North Africa in the biggest amphibious landing ever attempted at that time involving 850 ships. Cedric Barrington Prowse, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., MA, MB, B Chir Cantab, MRCP, MD, FRCP, (1903-1959) volunteered for medical service in 1938 and became a lieutenant RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps). Being promoted to Major later that year and rising to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in charge of a medical division. He served in North Africa with the British First Army and in the Italian Campaign with the Eighth and Fifth Armies and told the story of being among the first front line casualty doctors to use the new miraculous drug, Penicillin, while military police stood over the doctors in the Operating Rooms to make sure they did not sell the drug on the black market! (see pp. 211 & 216, in my book, 'First Do No Harm').

10 November, 1735: Birth of Granville Sharp (1735-1810), “English anti-slavery activist who succeeded in ending England's participation in the slave trade”. He was the brother of Elizabeth Sharp (1733-1810) who married George Prowse (1737-1767) of Wicken Park, Northamptonshire (see 30 November entry here). His Memorial hangs in Westminster Abbey in the Poet's Corner. (see pp. 181-184 Prowse Family History Bk,3rd edit)

11 November, 1918: The Great War (World War I) ends. Lives lost thought to be around 9 million with another 27 million injured. Prowse/Prouse war casualties were 49 Prowse and 8 Prouses killed, four members of our family dying on the first day of the battle of the Somme (July 1, 1916) and three family members dying at the Battle of Jutland (31 May, 1916). (see pp. 335-340, 'Those in Peril').

13 November, 1771: Our William Prowse (HMS Sirius) served on board the 'Dublin' as an able seaman until 24 February, 1776; then to the 'Albion' from 1st November 1776-21 December 1781, mostly in the West Indies and in Admiral Byron's action off Grenada. (p. 168 'Those in Peril').

15 November, 1801: William Jones Prowse (1788-1860), of the Kingston Manor branch of the family, entered the Navy as a 'third-class boy' at age 13, on board the 'Narcissus'. (p. 354, 'Those in Peril')

15 November, 1956: Elvis Presley's first film/movie, 'Love Me Tender' premiered in New York. Elvis' link to our family story is in his brief affair with Juliet Prowse (1936-1996) during the filming of “G.I. Blues” in 1960. (pp. 393-402, 'First Do No Harm'). Incidentally, on November 2,1957, Elvis set an all-time record with 8 simultaneous UK Top 30 entries.

17 November, 1880: The first three British female graduates receive their B.A. Degrees from London University. Jane Effie Prowse, M.B., Ch.B., (1873-1959), our family's very first known female physician, born in Liverpool to William Prowse (1844-1889), an “American Produce Merchant” and Jane E. Thompson (1845-1921), both of Liverpool and descended from the Prowse Clipper Ship family, graduated from the Queen Margaret College of Medicine in Glasgow in 1898. Women were not allowed to matriculate until 1892 in any Scottish university. The

School of Medicine in Glasgow was set up in 1890. (p. 263-268, 'First Do No Harm'). Jane Effie's niece, Margaret Prowse Lyon (1914-2003) studied Medicine at King's College, London and became a Medical Missionary together with her husband, Colin Monypenny Bowker, in Portugal and Tanganyika, Africa. (see pp. 269-276, 'First Do No Harm')

18 November, 1836: Birth of Sir W.S. Gilbert, English playwright and lyricist, who collaborated with Sir Arthur Sullivan on the Savoy operas. Our gifted family humorist, William Jeffery Prowse (1836-1870) often used to visit with W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan fame, at Gilbert's chambers in London. Here young critics and journalists met every Saturday and soon challenged 'Punch' magazine with their own 'Fun' magazine. Sir Arthur Sullivan died on 22 November, 1900. (see p.338 , 'First Do No Harm').

18 November, 1916: Douglas Haig calls off the Battle of the Somme between the British and German Empires after 5 months of massive slaughter on both sides. Four family members died on the 1st day alone. (see p.335, Those in Peril').

19 November, 1869: The Hudson Bay Company sells the Northwest Territories to Canada. John Rae, (1813-1893), who graduated from Edinburgh University with a medical degree at age 19, and joined the Hudson Bay Co. as their medical officer, mapped thousands of miles of the arctic circle and discovered the Northwest Passage, and is related to our Prowse family through the marriage of his aunt, Jeannie Rae to Francis Winter (1776-1827), then through their granddaughter, Margaret Winter Mitchell's (1860-1921) marriage to Dr. Arthur Bancks Prowse (ABP) (1856-1925), my grandfather and prolific family historian. (see pp. 241-243, 'First Do No Harm')

21 November, 1943: The patrol frigate, USS Prowse, is launched by Walsh-Kaiser Company, Providence, Rhode Island. She was transferred to the UK on 21 June, 1944 and renamed HMS Zanzibar. (see pp. 394-399 in my book 'Those in Peril').

23 November, 1963: The BBC premiered a new sci-fi TV show called 'Doctor Who'. One of their episodes, entitled “The Crusades” (#14) tells the story of how William de Preaux saved Richard the Lionheart's life at Jaffa while on the 3rd Crusade. Only episodes 1 & 3 survive of the 4 episodes and are described as “one of the better examples of pure drama, boasting surprising realism and intelligent handling of the subject matter...and is one of the best 'Doctor

Who' historicals”. Actor John Flint portrayed William. (see p.48, 'Those in Peril').

23 November 1874: English author, Thomas Hardy's novel, 'Far from the Madding Crowd' is published. Hardy also wrote a beautiful poem entitled “The Sea Fight” commemorating Captain Cecil Irby Prowse, R.N.'s, death at the Battle of Jutland, because the wife of his minister at Stinsford Church in Dorset, was Cecil Irby's sister, Ethel Florence Prowse Cowley. (see p.231, 'Those in Peril').

28 November, 2020: Death of Dave Prowse, aka Darth Vader/ Green Code Man. Dave was born July 1, 1935, in Bristol, England. A passionate bodybuilder, Dave participated in the Mr. Universe contest and won the British heavyweight weightlifting title before entering the movie industry where he gained fame as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Awarded the MBE in the Queen's 2000 Millennium Honours List for his services to charity and road safety (as the Green Code Man, a character used in a UK Government road safety campaign to teach children how to cross the road safely). He was joined that day by another Prowse family member, Simeon Prowse, who was the youngest person at that time at age 32, to receive an MBE “for inspirational leadership in the face of overwhelming adversity” whilst serving in the British army in Bosnia. Simeon says that 'on the day of the award there was a mix of military and civilian recipients, the military guys all in uniform. The group I was with were spotting celebrities in the enormous Green Room (at Buckingham Palace) and one of them saw Dave Prowse – quite easy as he was head and shoulders above most people. He said “Do you think he will talk to us?”, so I said I thought he probably would and took them over. I introduced myself as Irving's son & grandson of Ted from Bristol, much to the amazement of my new army friends and Dave made us all laugh with a string of brilliant anecdotes, so it was a very memorable day”. (See picture below). (See Dave's biography at & also p.202 in Prowse Family History book, 3rd edition.)

Simeon Prowse and his father, Irving Reginald Prowse, with Dave Prowse, aka Darth Vader & the Green Code Man, receiving their MBE's at the Millennium Honours List at Buckingham Palace.

Incidentally, Simeon, who is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, is the husband of the prolific and renowned British author, Amanda Prowse. They were married in 2008 and Simeon describes himself as Amanda's “biggest fan” and says that she is the “most prolific writer of successful contemporary women's fiction here in the UK at present”. She had 30 books published in 10 years. Simeon's father is Irving Reginald Prowse and his grandfather was Ted Prowse, an aircraft electrician at Filton.

30 November, 1915: Winston Churchill born. His wife was Lady Clementine Hosier. Could she be related to our Wicken Park, Northants, branch of the family? The Spencers, ancestors of the late Lady Diana, sold Wicken Park in 1716 to Charles Hosier, a 'gold throster' from London, who was the grandfather of the Elizabeth Sharp who married Thomas Prowse of Compton Bishop, Axbridge & Berkley. Elizabeth inherited Wicken Park from her father, John Sharp and his wife, Anna Marie Hosier. Their son, George Prowse married another Elizabeth Sharp (sister of Granville, the slavery abolitionist). (see 10th November entry here & page 70 in my book, 'Prowse/ Prouse Deaths, Burials, Testaments & Wills'). (Update: There is apparently some dispute as to just who Clementine's father may have been as her mother was reputedly “rather free with her services”, so it is unlikely that she is in fact related to our Wicken Park branch of the family!). Her father was probably Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837-1916), grandfather of the famous Mitford sisters OR possibly her father was Capt. William George 'Bay' Middleton, a noted horseman.



November 1: Birthday of Ben Hamilton-Jones, partner of Aliina S. Newton (whose grandmother is Dr. Hilary Prowse Newton).

November 4: Birthday of Michael Jonathan Prowse, son of Laurie and Jo Prowse and grandson of Roger and Mary Prowse

November 8, 2011: Death of Mary Shaw Prowse, mother of Chris, Laurie, Vee and Barbara.

November 9, 1834: Marriage of Arthur Skardon 'Keith' Prowse and Joan W. Grant (my parents) in Colombo, Ceylon.

November 14, 1909: Death of Elizabeth Skardon (see Nov.19 entry here)

November 19, 1825: Birth of Dr. William Prowse (1825-1917) who married Elizabeth Skardon (1829-1909).

November 20: Birthday of Samuel Thomas Prowse, son of Laurie and Jo Prowse, and grandson of Roger and Mary Prowse.

November 22: Birthday of Olivia Mary Prowse, daughter of James and Orla Prowse.

November 23, 1931: Birth of G. Noel Cash, husband of my sister, Anne Prowse and father of Andrew and Pippa.

November 25, 1927: Birth of G. Brian Newton, husband of Dr. Hilary S. Prowse and father of Lindsay and Paul. Also, birthday of Roarke H. Prowse Newton, son of Paul and Debbie and grandson of Hilary.

November 26: Birthday of Christine Barrington Prowse Durant, wife of Christopher and mother of Melissa and Dominic.




Andrew Prowse - 464th Bty Bde. Royal Field Artillery. Rank: Driver. Died of disease on the 11th November, 1918 at age 26. Son of Joseph and Ellen T. Prowse of St. Buryan, Cornwall. Buried in the Terlincthum British Cemetery, Wimille, France.

Private Anthony John Prowse - 3rd (Kings Own) Hussars – Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France. Died of wounds on the 13 November, 1914, age 23. Son of Peter Thomas and Augusta Ann Prowse of Blackawton, Devon. Native of Ringmoor, Kingsbridge.

Private Lewis Prowse - 1st Bn. Devonshire Regiment – Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. British Army. Died 27 November 1914, age 37. Brother of Mrs. P.M. Underhill of Tarrs Lane, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Devon (Panel 21).

Serjeant Richard William Prowse - 1st Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment – Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. British Army. Died 8 November 1917. (Panel 35 to 37 & 162 to 162A).

Private W. Prowse - 49th Bn. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) – Auberchicourt British Cemetery, Nord, France.British Army. Died 1 November 1918, age 26. Son of William and Eliza Ann Prowse of Manor Farm, Nancekuku Illogen, Redruth, Cornwall.

Private W. Prowse - 1st/4th Bn. Royal Berkshire Regiment – Thelus Military Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France. British Army. Died 9 November, 1917.



Leading Stoker Arthur Joseph Prowse – HMS Hecla, Royal Navy – Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England. Died 12 November 1942 (Panel 69, Column 3)

Signalman Edward William Prowse – Royal Canadian Corps of Signals – Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia, Canada. Army. Canadian. Died November 14, 1944, age 25. Husband of Winnifred A. Prowse of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Panel 16).

Serjeant Franklin John Prouse – 7th Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. – Marystow (St. Mary) Churchyard, Devon, England. Army. British. DCM. MM. Killed in action 28 November 1941, age 27. Son of Ida Mary and John Byron Prouse; husband of Ivy Prouse of Milton Abbot, Devon. Remembered at (3.G.8) Tobruk War Cemetery in Libya.

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