The following article is adapted from text kindly provided by Dr James "Jimmy" Whittaker, Dec 2017:
What's on the gravestone?
In previous articles, I mentioned I’ve been investigating some of the characters buried in St. Saviour’s Churchyard in Eddington and yes, another person of interest has arisen from the grave. On his gravestone, we learn the following details:
Commissioner of Police, Uganda
Died 14th January 1938, aged 56
The search begins:
With this information, I once again started to investigate. I hoped to learn what his initials stand for, his place of his birth, whether he married, where he died and anything else about his life. If you like, what can we learn from the distillation of these few facts in order to create the life history of a complete stranger?
For starters, Frederick Thomas George Tremlett was born in Stoke Demerel in Devon on 23rd September 1882, the son of Frederick William Tremlett and Elizabeth Mary Parkinson.
In 1891 FTG is found living in the garrison at North Camp, District Battalion for Infantry Regular Forces, Farnborough with his family which then comprised:
- his mother, Elizabeth Mary Tremlett, b.Aldershot, 1861
- his sister, Elizabeth Mary, b.1884, Cork, Ireland
- his brother, Thomas Parkinson Tremlett, b 1885, Kings County, Ireland, and
- his sister, Violet Louisa, b.1889, Hartley Wintley
It is safe to assume, based on the information above, that his father Frederick William Tremlett was on active service somewhere in the British Empire during the census of 1891 and that sometime during the period 1883 to 1888, FTG had lived in Ireland.
The family is absent from the 1901 census, except for his sister Violet Louisa, a pupil at the Girls Masonic School in Battersea. [Searching through the World War 1 School Archives of Denstone College, we find that FTG was an old Denstonian and so sometime between 1891 and 1900, he attended this school in Staffordshire. This public school was attended by quite an array of famous people including the writer Quentin Crisp and John Makepeace, the furniture designer.]
The family re-emerges in the 1911 census, living in Woodford, Essex where FTG’s mother is a widow living on private means and his brother and sisters appear to be doing quite well. Thomas is an insurance clerk, Elizabeth Mary is a government typist and Violet Louisa is school mistress. But alas no FTG, so
where was he hiding?
FTG Tremwell in the West Indies:
Examination of the Outward Passenger Lists in 1900 reveals that young Frederick aged 18 had headed off to Kingston, Jamaica to become a missionary.
Eleven years later in Jamaica, he married Minna Corinne Marshall (b.1844 Jamaica), the daughter of Edward Neilson Marshall and from the marriage certificate, we learn that FTG is now a policeman.
FTG’s son, Frederick James Tremlett, was born on 5th July 1912, in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica and was later to follow in his father’s footsteps as a policeman (see later).
Outward and Inward passenger lists supplied by shipping companies provide a wealth of information regarding his subsequent movements.
In 1912, FTG arrived in Bristol from Port Limon, Costa Rica with his wife. His permanent residence was given as Jamaica.
In 1913, he was initiated into the Masonic Lodge of Friendship, Mauritius and his status is shown as a police inspector, aged 31.
As reported in the Scottish Gazette in 1918, FTG was promoted to captain, was then the deputy inspector general of police in Mauritius and was awarded Member of the Most Excellent Order by the Mauritian Government.
In 1920, he is reported to be leaving the Port of London with his wife and son for Mauritius and his occupation is given as “police”.
...then East Africa:
1925 sees him leaving for Mombasa, classified as a civil servant working for the Crown Agents and living in Kenya.
In 1931, he sailed to Mombasa, still a permanent resident of Kenya, and a civil servant working for the Crown Agents.
In 1934, FTG arrived at London by ship from Yokohama, staying at the Palace Court Hotel. His occupation was given as “police” and country of last permanent residence was Uganda.
In the 1935 Birthday Honours list for the British Empire, announced on 3 June 1935 to celebrate the Birthday and Silver Jubilee of King George V, he is awarded an MBE for his role as Commissioner of Police and Prisons, Uganda Protectorate.
In 1936, FTG arrived in Southampton by ship from Mombasa, Kenya, accompanied by his son, Frederick James. He remained Commissioner of Police and his son was recorded as an assistant police superintendent from The Straits Settlements. This was a former British crown colony comprising parts of the southern and western Malay Peninsula and adjacent islands, including Singapore which had been under direct British control from 1867 until 1946 when Singapore became a separate colony.
At this time, FTG is heading for Byng Mansions, Bournemouth and his son, aged 23, is on his way to Broadstone, a suburb of Poole.
FTG’s last permanent residence, shown on the ship’s manifest, is Uganda.
His overseas police service is summarized below and perhaps explains the reasons for his presence in each country.
- Jamaica, 23rd April 1904 to 25th December 1912: Following the forced eviction of the Spanish by British Troops in 1655, Jamaica became a British Colony under British Rule and remained so until 1962 when it gained its independence.
- Mauritius, 26th December 1912 to 9th November 1922: Deputy Inspector General. Mauritius became a British colonial possession in 1810 and remained so until 1968. It had formerly been a Dutch colony (1638–1710) and then a French colony (1715–1810).
- Uganda 10th November 1922 to 30th September 1936: Commissioner of Police and Prisons. Uganda was a British protectorate from 1894 until 1962. A protectorate is a territory which is not formally annexed but in which, by treaty, grant or other lawful means, the Crown has ultimate power and jurisdiction.
Frederick Thomas George Tremlett died on 14th January 1938 whilst on holiday in Nice, France at the Hotel Alexandra. Probate was granted to his wife, Minna Corinne Tremlett, who died in Bournemouth 1970, aged 86.
What is the Hungerford connection?
Just what connects FTG with Hungerford remains a mystery.
There are several other graves in St Saviour's bearing the surname Tremlett, namely Eric Wilmot Tremlett and his wife Yvonne Daphne Tremlett who died in Worthing, Sussex in 1989 and 1991, respectively. So like FTG who may have been a relation, why did they choose to be buried in Hungerford? Surely there must be some connection?
One possible answer is that Eric Wilmot Tremlett was his second son, also born abroad, since there are no UK records of his birth or marriage.
Solving the Hungerford connection:
Peter Tremlett kindly explained (via Facebook, Nov 2018): "As grandson of Frederick, I can solve that part of mystery … Frederick's sister Elizabeth Mary (we knew as Auntie Maud) married Dudley Wells who was a bank manager in Hungerford. We have a picture of White House in Hungerford dated 1931. I think my grandmother (known as Minny) asked Dudley for his burial choice as her 3 sons were all young men in their 20's. My dad, Eric was born in Mauritius in 1917 … the name James is odd as my dad's older brother was called Innes … who was a Chinese Intelligence Officer in Singapore, so this fits with info Dr Whittaker obtained. I am doing more family research at the moment. We buried my Dad and Mum in same plot as Frederick because my father travelled a lot in the RAF and it seemed right to unite father and son in Hungerford."