Geoffrey and Mrs Dorothy Gowlland Correspondence.


Letters of 1942 between Geoffrey Gowlland (b. 1903), grandson of George Gowlland, and Mrs Dorothy Gowlland (b. 1877), widow of Lt.-Col. Edward Lake Gowlland. 


Dorothy's second letter to Geoff - note terrible handwriting

Geoff's deciphering of her letter -  her writing being even worse than his.


Geoff to Dorothy Gowlland - 6th December 1946


Dear Madam

A letter in "The Times" a week ago [see below] caught my attention and I am getting in touch with you, asking whether you will be kind enough to indicate on the enclosed Tree into which section of the Gowlland family you must have married.

For about four years, in an amateurish way, I had been collecting the names and dates of the various Gowllands, and have now some 140 on a most elaborate Tree.

I was not aware that I had any living Gowllands not placed and I very much hope you will be able to indicate which section of the Tree refers to you – and, if you are interested, I would be very glad to copy out the parts concerned.

Sincerely yours


Dorothy Gowlland to Geoff - 8th December 1946   [see above]


Dear Sir

Many thanks for your interesting letter I am afraid I cannot tell you which branch I married into, but I will try and find out. I think one of my sons (curiously also called Geoffrey) will be able to help. He is at present serving in Colombo as chief of the staff to the F. O. there. He (G) is an Acting Captain R.N. and I have another son Langton (Commander R.N.). His younger brother is shortly taking up a shore command in Hong Kong. My late husband, a Dr, was in the last war and became a Lt.-Colonel in the R.A.M.C. [Royal Army Medical Corps]. He died nearly 5 years ago. His name was Edward and his father’s name was Richard.  I have heard him speak of a Dr. Peter Gowlland. Unfortunately I had to divorce my husband – he latterly was Commandant of the Star and Garter Home for Disabled Sailors and Soldiers at Richmond.  If I may, I will keep the rough Tree and will let you know if I can get the information. Geoffrey returns home in January.

Yrs sincerely



Geoff to Dorothy Gowlland - 10th December 1946


Dear Mrs Gowlland

I thank you very much for your most interesting letter of the 8th December.

I called on your husband at The Star and Garter [Home] in February 1942, but he was then rather sick and I only stayed a very short while. I think I have most information about that section of the family on the tree and I have copied this out, but I was under the impression that it was your husband’s brother Geoffrey who was divorced.

Of your eldest son I have, at different times, heard quite a lot, particularly as he is my namesake and has distinguished himself in a number of ways. I should be very glad to meet him one day in the future.

You will see that it is four generations back that there is a common ancestor with the Stephen Gowlland.

At the end of the war I had looked forward to being able to call again on your husband and on the Stephen Gowlland who had died just over two years ago – from both of whom I hoped to collected some additional gossip or information.

It was very kind of you to take the trouble to reply to me and I hope that you or your sons may be interested in the section of the Tree which I have copied out and enclosed.

Yours sincerely



Dorothy Gowlland to Geoff - 15th December 1946


Dear Mr Gowlland

How very kind of you to send me such a good Tree and I am very interested in it.  I feel sure my two sons will also enjoy looking at it when they have a moment!  My son Geoffrey leaves Ceylon on Wednesday in H.M.S. "Victorious" for home, and on his arrival is to be married again to a Miss Woodhouse White, an W.R.A.C. officer who served under him in Colombo. His first wife Dorothy Procter died nearly 5 years ago in Vancouver - see Gladys's letters].  The other son Langton is going shortly to a shore command in Hong Kong.  So is terribly busy settling what to do with his wife and two girls of 16 and 14, a difficult problem in these days.  I should be so glad if you and Geoffrey could meet some day. This address will always find him until he can get a house of his own as he will probably go to the Admiralty next.

You have taken so much trouble over the Tree: please accept my very best thanks.

With kindest regards and good wishes for Xmas

Yours sincerely



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