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Susan Prowse-Tako's October Prowse Highlights

October 1934: The best-selling novella, “Goodbye Mr. Chips”, by James Hilton, is published in the UK. One of the people presumed to be the inspiration for 'Mr. Chips' was Arthur Hall Prowse (1867-1/1/1942), son of Benjamin Prowse (2/25/1829-11/23/1897) & Sarah Hall (c. 1845-1881). A.H. Prowse was 2nd master, then acting headmaster, at the Sir George Monoux Grammar School in Walthamstow, London, which James Hilton (1900-1954) attended until age 15.

4 October, 1822: Birth of Rutherford B. Hayes in Delaware, Ohio (descended from the Gidleigh Castle & Chagford branch of the family through John & Jone Orchard Prous) - American Statesman and 19th President of USA, 1877-1881, during which time he supported the welfare of minorities & reformed the Civil Service. (see October 23 entry & page 68 of my book, Those in Peril)

4 October 1905: Orville Wright is “the first person to fly an aircraft for more than 33 minutes”. Orville & Wilbur Wright were actually 50 years behind an “eccentric Englishman, Sir George Cayley” (born 1773) (& descended from the Cailly's of Normandy, whose ancestor, Osbern de Cailly married our Heudeberge de Preaux in circa 1098) & who in 1853 designed a 'heavier-than-air' machine that his coachman flew for about 900', becoming the first adult to fly – and who promptly resigned his position upon landing! (see pp. 36-39 in my book 'Those In Peril')

7 October, 1896: Death of Eliza Bayly Prowse, wife of James Ferris Prowse (1833-1903). They were the parents of Alfred Bayly Prowse (5/19/1881-2 Apr. 1910), who died tragically at sea being washed overboard & lost while in command of C.37 submarine on the 2nd April, 1910 “at 2 a.m.” as it was coming into port at Portsmouth. (see pp. 150-152, in my 'Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition').

9 October, 1192: Richard the Lionheart abandons the Holy Land after the unsuccessful 3rd Crusade – but ransoms William de Preaux, (who had saved his life during an ambush by the Saracens & been taken prisoner by them) for ten of his noblest Saracen prisoners, before he left. (see p. 109 in my 'Prowse F.H.' bk, 3rd edit)

10 October, 1860: Death of Captain William Jones Prowse, R.N., of the Kingston Manor branch of our family, who had patrolled around St. Helena in 1819, in HMS Conqueror, to prevent Napoleon from escaping. (see pp. 348, 353, 354-355, 359, 360, 361 in my book 'Those in Peril')

14 October, 1066: The Battle of Hastings – probably still the most famous date in British history! A Norman ancestor of ours, the 'Sire de Preaux', mentioned on the Battle Abbey Roll, whom we believe to be Jean (John) de Preaux, an uncle of Heudeberge de Preux (see Oct 4 entry),fought in this epic battle, which brought sweeping changes to Britain, especially in the language (French became the language of the land for the next 300 years), law & order, administration (The Domesday Book) & architecture (castles). (See pp. 77-91 'Those in Peril').

14 October, 1939: Senior Master George Prowse survived the sinking of the Royal Navy's battleship “Royal Oak” which was torpedoed & sunk by a German U-boat in Scapa Flow with the loss of 810 men.

15 October, 1891: Birth of Montague Prowse in Surrey, England (10/15/1891-11/24/1954) who was a great-nephew of William Prowse of 'Keith Prowse & Co.' He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1914 & served in the Royal Naval Division's Egyptian Expeditionary Force during WW1. He married an American heiress, Martha Peabody, daughter of General Francis Peabody, in 1923 & inherited a 400 acre historic farm in Massachusetts, where the 'Suffolk Resolves', the basis for the American 'Declaration of Independence' was drawn up at the Doty Tavern on that land. After his marriage, the farm was renamed “Prowse Farm'. Montague died while a passenger on the ocean liner 'Queen Mary' as it came into port in Southampton in 1954. Montague's younger brother, Gerald Prowse (1893-1917) was killed in action in France, age 24, while serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment, 'B' Company, 9th Battalion, & is buried in the Arras Memorial Cemetery in France. Montague & Gerald's cousin was Rupert D'Oyly Carte, the son of the English talent agent, theatrical impresario, composer & hotelier, Richard D'Oyly Carte, who brought together the dramatist, W. S. Gilbert & composer, Arthur Sullivan nurturing their collaboration of 13 Savoy operas & founding the D'Oyly Carte Opera Co. (see pp. 337-348 in my 'First Do No Harm book).

18 October , 1329: An order was made to exhume the body of Sir William Prouz (1245-1315), last Lord of Gidleigh Castle, from Holberton, for reburial in Lustleigh, Devon, after his daughter, Lady Alice le Prouz, petitioned three Bishops of Exeter, including John Grandison. (see p. 46 in my “Prowse Family History “ book, 3rd edition)

18 October, 1980: The Doty Tavern was among 18 historic buildings bulldozed in the middle of the night in defiance of a promise to the Town of Canton, Massachusetts. This historic site later became known as 'Prowse Farm' when Martha Peabody married Montague William Warren Prowse (1891-1954). (see 15 October entry & p. 80 in my Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition).

21 October, 1805: Battle of Trafalgar, in which our intrepid ancestor, William Prowse of HMS Sirius, played a pivotal role by notifying Nelson that the combined French/Spanish fleet were coming out of Calais Harbor, being the first British ship to be fired upon by the enemy & after reaching Nelson's fleet, being one of the last persons to speak with Admiral Nelson before he died in that battle. William is immortalized in the famous painting by Thomas Davidson 'Hoisting the Signal...' where he is seen looking through his telescope & standing behind Nelson, Thomas Hardy & Captain Blackwood. Beside him is his nephew, Charles Adair,(1776-1805), Captain of the Royal Marines aboard HMS Victory, who was killed during that battle. Nelson's rout of the Franco-Spanish fleet, whose losses included 18 ships, 6,000 killed or wounded & over 20,000 taken prisoner, so stung Napoleon that he never initiated another naval campaign. Nelson's losses were zero ships & approx. 1,700 killed or wounded. (See pp 127-148 Prowse F. H. Book, 3rd edition, & pp.143-191 in my book 'Those in Peril')

21 October, 1890: Armada Memorial unveiled by HRH Prince Albert, Duke of Edinburgh (& Queen Victoria's husband) on the 85th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Our Prowse family shield hangs proudly on this Memorial on Plymouth Hoe, the 4th shield from the left – between the Rashleigh & the Grenville family shields. (see pp 101/102, 'Those in Peril').

21 October, 1940: The Battle of Britain ends, in which the RAF lost 915 aircraft & the Luftwaffe 1733. Our BoB pilot hero, A.R. 'Harry' Prowse (1921-2010), flew with both 266 & 603 squadrons & thankfully survived this battle only to be shot down over France in the following year & spending the remaining 4 years of the 2nd world war in the German POW camp, Stalag Luft 111. (see pp. 313-330, 'Those in Peril').

23 October, 1455: Nicholas Radford (1385-1455) was brutally murdered by his godson, Thomas Courteney, 5th Earl of Devon. Nicholas was a prominent lawyer and Member of Parliament & his heir was his nephew, Roger Prouz who inherited his estates at Upcott (nr. Tiverton, Devon), his sister, Thomazine Radford, having married 'Prouse of Prouse'. This murder was “ranked among the most notorious crimes of the century”. Roger Prouz was descended from Sir Hugh Prous, 3rd son of Sir William Probus & Alice Ferrers, & younger brother of Sir William le Prouz, last Lord of Gidleigh.

23 October, 1642: Battle of Edgehill in the Cotswolds between Charles 1's Cavaliers & Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary Roundheads. Our Prowse ancestors fought for both sides in this English Civil War; William Aysh, whose daughter, Mary, married James Prowse was a Royalist , and Thomas Trowbridge, a descendant of John Prous & Jone Orchard, served as a captain in Cromwell's army in the defense of Taunton when the royalist army besieged the city. Thomas emigrated to America & many of his descendants achieved prominence in the U.S., including Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the USA. Several other Prowses are recorded as being transported to the plantations in America following this civil war. (see p. 12 'Prowse F. H. Book, 3rd edition').

24 October, 1608: Birth of John Prouz (b. 1520), who married Margaret Southcot, daughter of John Southcot of Indeho in Bovey Tracy. John's marble monument hangs on the South Wall of Chagford Church. John was the 7th generation of our family to hold Waye Barton manor in Chagford & was the gt-gt-gt-grandson of Lawrence Prous, son of John Prous & Jone Orchard. In her Will, Margaret requested “to be buried as near as may be to my late husband, John Prouz, if I die at Chagford” (see p. 61 Prowse Family History Book, 3rd edition). Incidentally, Bovey Tracy was also the ancient ancestral home of Elizabeth Skardon (born October 24, 1829-1909) who married Dr. William Prowse (1825-1917), my great-grandfather, on October 13, 1853.

24 October,1817: Birth of Albert Philpott Prowse (1817-1893)in Clifton, Bristol, who married Mary Anne Whitchurch (1819-1899) in 1842 & was the Chief Accountant for the South Devon Railway & also worked for the Great Western Railway with Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the great British engineer. In 1888, he drove the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould around Devon & Cornwall in his pony trap when Baring-Gould was collecting folk songs for his “Songs of the West”. (p. 453-459 in my 'First Do No Harm' book). Baring-Gould, who married a mill girl and had 15 children by her (!) was also the creator of the hymn, 'Onward Christian Soldiers'.

27 October, 1939: Birth of John Cleese, British comedian, who went to Clifton College, Bristol. Both my father, A.S. 'Keith' Prowse(1901-1971) & my uncle David C. Prowse (1899-1976), attended Clifton College as day pupils whilst living at 5 Landsdown Place in Clifton. David left Clifton in 1917 & Keith in 1918 to pursue their medical careers at the University of Bristol (David doing so after enlisting in the Royal Engineers until the end of WW1 in 1918) Rumour has it that John Cleese was expelled from Clifton for painting footsteps to suggest that the statue of General Haig (who commanded the British forces during WW1 & was an Old Cliftonian) had got down from his plinth & gone to the 'loo'! Or perhaps, for staging a suicide jump while shouting “I can't stand it any longer”, before a dummy plummeted to the ground in front of horrified parents!

29 October, 1782: Marriage of Thomas Prowse (1762-1843), only child of Thomas Prowse of Olveston, & Mary Stevens, to Mary Barrington (1763-1812), daughter of Thomas Barrington & Ellen Watkins, in Henbury, a suburb of Bristol, England. The Barrington name continues among branches of our family in the UK and Australia. (See Genealogy Chart on page 70c, 'Prowse F. H.Book, 3rd edition').

30 October, 1914: Major Charles Bertie Prowse awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) for his action on this day at Ploegsteert when the Germans advanced towards the defenses held by the Somerset Light Infantry. Charles Bertie Prowse 'decides to launch a counter attack leading the assault himself without artillery cover, only lightly armed...they clean out the trenches & push back the enemy. The speed & ferocity of the manoeuver was a complete success'. In his honour, one of the cemeteries in Ploegsteert is named after him - 'Prowse Point Cemetery' - the only military cemetery in the Salient to be named after an individual. (see pp.223-268 'Those in Peril').

FAMILY BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES & DEATHS IN OCTOBER, Past & Present! Oct. 8: Birthday of Dr. Hilary Skardon Prowse Newton.

Oct 13, 1853: Marriage of Dr. William Prowse (1825-1917)& Elizabeth Skardon(1829-1909).

Oct 17: Birthday of Lucy Amber Hurst, dau. of Martin & Nicola & granddaughter of Vee & Bill

Oct.20, 1956: Birthday of David Causton (d. 2009), son of Drs.Alison Prowse & John Causton.

Oct 22, 1971: Death of my father, Dr. A.S. 'Keith' Prowse, younger son of Dr. Arthur Bancks Prowse.

Oct 24, 1829: Birth of Elizabeth Skardon, wife of Dr. William Prowse.

Oct 28, 2000: 22nd Anniversary of Julia & Alan Davey's marriage.

Oct 29, 2003: Death of Dr. Roger B. Prowse (b.1927), husband of Mary (1925-2011) & father of Chris, Laurie, Vee & Barbara.

Oct 30: Birthday of Michael Clarke, son of Annis & Gerald & grandson of Drs. Alison Prowse & John Causton

ALSO REMEMBERING ............................ THE PROWSE/PROUSE WAR DEAD OF WW1 & WW11

Private Alfred Earl Prowse - 1st Bn. Devonshire Regiment – Le Touret Memorial, Pas-de-Calais, France. Died on the 24 October, 1914. (Panel 8 & 9).

Private Bertie Prowse - 1st Bn. Devonshire Regiment – Le Touret Memorial, Pas-de-Calais. Died 22 October, 1914, age 31. Son of Charles & Annie Prowse, husband of Elizabeth Mary Barrett (formerly Prowse) of 3 Halloway Rd, Fordington, Dorchester. (Panel 22 & 23).

Lance-Corporal Francis Prowse - 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles (Quebec Regiment) – Vimy Memorial, Pas-de- Calais, France. Army. Canadian. Died 1st-2nd October, 1916, age 20. Son of Elizabeth Helen Prowse of 395 Reading St., Kirkdale, Liverpool, England & the late Francis James Prowse.

Private Francis, James Harold Prowse - 1st/7th Bn. Worcestershire Regiment – Barenthal Military Cemetery, Italy. Army. British. Killed in Action 10 October, 1918 (just 32 days before the end of the war) Age 25. Son of Mr. & Mrs. R. Prowse of Oxford, husband of Agnes May Prowse of 74 Islip Rd., Sunnymeade, Oxford.

Private George Henry Prowse - 2nd Bn. Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry – Ypres Town Cemetery, Ieper West- Vlaanderen, Belgium. Army. British. Died of wounds on 23 October, 1914, age 30. Son of Robert Prowse of 15 Bridge St., St. Ebbs, Oxford; husband of Nellie Rose Prowse of 73 Magdalen Rd., Oxford.

Lance-Corporal George Scott Prowse - 10th (Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars – Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. British. Died 31 October, 1914, age 29. Son of Emma Prowse of Sowell's Farm, Kentisbeare, Cullompton, Devon. (Panel 5).

Rifleman Hubert Loxton Prowse - 3rd Bn. Rifle Brigade – Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton Hainout, Belgium. Died 18 October, 1914, age 31. Brother of Mr. G.T. Prowse, 31 Belton Rd, Easton, Bristol. (Panel 10). (Note: Ploegsteert is also where Prowse Point Cemetery is located – named after Brig. Gen. Charles Bertie Prowse).

Gunner Joseph Prowse - 546th Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery – Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Army. British. Died 11 October, 1918, age 27. Son of Joseph & Ellen T. Prowse of Tregiffian Cliff, St. Buryan, Cornwall. (Panel 6 to 7 & 162).

Private Peter Prowse -2nd/7th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers – Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Army. British. Died 9 October, 1917, age 33. Son of Richard & Mary Prowse of 35 St. Albans Rd, Liscard; husband of Margaret Ellen Prowse of 64 Silverlea Ave, Liskard, Cheshire. (Panel 54 to 60 & 163A).

Lance-Corporal V. Prowse - 1st Battalion Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment) – Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England. Army. Canadian. Died 7th October 1918. (111A. BA. 12).

Private William Edmund Prowse - 7th Bn. Somerset Light Infantry – Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Army. British. Died 1st October, 1916, age 26. Son of Mary Prowse of Coburg Lane, Plymouth, Devon & the late John Prowse; husband of F. Prowse. (Pier and Face 2A).

Able Seaman Joseph William Prouse – HMS Aurora – Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, England. Royal Navy. British. Died 30 October,1943, age 19. Son of Joseph & Hannah Mary Prouse of Redcar, York- shire. (Panel 75, Column 2).

Lance Bombadier Ronald Prouse – 142 (The Royal North Devon Yeomanry) Field Regt. Royal Artillery - Mintumo War Cemetery, Italy. Army. British. Died October 13, 1943, age 24. Son of Henry & Minnie Prouse of Hartland, Devon.


AND FOR MY 'TAKO' CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN: 23 October, 1956: Start of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. This began when students from the University of Budapest protested against the repressive Russian Communist regime that had ruled in Hungary since the end of WW11. It started as a peaceful protest demanding a more democratic political system & freedom from Soviet oppression. My husband, Sandor, took part in this protest & was also among the student leaders voted in to direct the opposition to the government. “For a few euphoric days it looked, miraculously, as though the revolutionar- ies might even win. Then reality bit back. The Soviets invaded with overwhelming force. The Hungarians were brutally crushed, their capitol was devastated, thousands of their people died.Why Hungary & why 1956? The most obvious reason is that in the early 1950s Hungary lived under the most oppressive dictatorship in the Eastern bloc..nowhere was the hatred as strong and deep as in Hungary” (Source: Twelve Days, Revolution 1956” by Victor Sebestyen). Thousands were executed or imprisoned in reprisal. Almost a quarter-million Hungarians fled into Austria. Sandor escaped to Austria in mid-November, coming to Britain in 1957 on a Ford Foundation scholarship, to finish his engineering degree at Glasgow (Strathclyde)University, and 12 years later, emigrated to Canada and on to the USA in 1969.

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