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The Tathams of County Durham
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Wilfrid George Tatham

Male 1898 - 1978  (79 years)



  • Name Wilfrid George Tatham  [1, 2, 3
    Known as "Gus" 
    Birth 12 Dec 1898  Shortlands Find all individuals with events at this location   [2, 3, 4
    Residence Mar 1901  70 Beckenham Rd, Beckenham Find all individuals with events at this location   [2
    Education abt 1907 - 1912  Summerfields School, Oxford Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Residence Apr 1911  Front Lodge, Summerfields School, Oxford Find all individuals with events at this location ; school boarder  [6
    Education abt 1912 - 1917  Eton College Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    • Foundation scholar at Eton [The Times, 17 Jul 1912]
    Decoration 1918  MC  [7
    Military Service 1918  2nd Lieut, 1st Coldstream Guards  [7
    • Account of Second Lieutenant Wilfrid Tatham, 1st Battalion, The Coldstream Guards, during Battle of the Canal du Nord, 27 September 1918. Tatham was a 19-year-old junior officer when he was involved in his first major battle during the Battle of the Canal du Nord. In his account he describes the formidable German defences of the canal, as well as an incident involving Captain Cyril Frisby, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. [Imperial War Museum sound archives]
    Education abt 1919 - 1922  King's College, Cambridge Find all individuals with events at this location   [3
    • Exhibitioner
    • Played & scored in Cambridge Univ Rugby trial 31 Oct 1919. Also playing (& scoring), Richard Rapier Stokes (Downside & Trinity), the future Labour MP & Minister. [The Times, 01 Nov 1919]
    Residence 1921  Barton, Wellington College, Crowthorne Find all individuals with events at this location   [7
    • with parents
    Degree/Qualif. 1922  Cambridge University Find all individuals with events at this location ; BA  [3
    Occupation abt 1922 - 1948  Eton College Find all individuals with events at this location ; Assistant master & house master  [3
    • Master of College at Eton. [MRT]
    Marriage 11 Aug 1931  St Mary the Virgin, North Aston Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 8
    Rachel Ellen Julia Balfour,   b. 02 May 1907, Chelsea Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Nov 1992, Abbey Nursing Home, Amesbury Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military Service abt 1939 - 1945  Major, Coldstream Guards  [9
    • Eton College Reopening Tomorrow: ... 7 masters have joined the forces since the end of the last half. These include 2 housemasters, Mr W G Tatham ... [house taken over by Mr O van Oss, later headmaster of Charterhouse] [The Times 30 Apr 1940]
    • Prisoner of war, World War II: W. G. Tatham, Major, Coldstream Guards; Army Number: 21893; POW Number: 1397. Camp: Oflag 79; Brunswick, Lower Saxony. [Prisoners of War of British Army, WWII. Naval and Military Press Ltd]
      Oflag VIII-F was a World War II German prisoner-of-war camp for officers (Offizierlager), located from 1942 at Mährisch-Trübau (Moravská T?ebová); in April 1944, most of the prisoners were transferred to Oflag 79 near Braunschweig. [Wikipedia]
    • British Officer Recaptured. According to a message on the German radio, Major W. G. Tatham, the Olympic Games athlete, who escaped from an Italian camp last autumn, is a "prisoner again in Germany." [Gloucestershire Echo 24 Mar 1944]
    Wilfrid George Tatham (1898-1978)
    Wilfrid George Tatham (1898-1978)
    Prisoner-of-war letter, 1944
    Occupation abt 1948 - 1954  Greece Find all individuals with events at this location ; British Council Representative  [10
    • possibly also covered Yugoslavia
    Decoration 10 Jun 1954  OBE  [11
    • OBE (Civil Division): W.G.Tatham, British Council representative in Greece. [The Times, 10 Jun 1954]
    Occupation abt 1955 - 1958  Bursar, Royal Society of Arts  [10
    Residence abt 1959 - 1970  22 Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick Find all individuals with events at this location   [12, 13
    Residence abt 1970 - 1978  Woodcot, St Helena Find all individuals with events at this location   [12
    • Became archivist of St Helena. Co-author of Astronomers and other Scientists on St Helena, by W G Tatham and K A Harwood.
    Death 26 Jul 1978  Woodcot, St Helena Find all individuals with events at this location   [14
    • Tatham - On July 26th, at Woodcot, Island of St. Helena, South Atlantic, Wilfrid, in his 80th year, husband of Rachel (nee Balfour), sometime housemaster at Eton. [The Times]
    Notes 
    • Wilfrid George Tatham. b. 12 Dec., 1898. Educ.: In 1908, Preparatory School, Summer Fields, near Oxford. In 1912, King's Scholarship at Eton, In 1915-1917: He was a member of the Sixth Form, and of the Eton Society. Played for the School at the Field game, and Rugby Football, and for College at the Wall. Victor Ludorum, and winner of the Public Schools Championships in the Mile and Half-Mile, organized by The London Athletic Club at Stamford Bridge. Exhibitioner of King's College, Cambridge. In 1917, edited the Eton Magazine, and held the Five-Guinea Prize for Music. Left Eton, third in the Sixth Form, in 1917, and later that year was commissioned in the Coldstream Guards, 1st Battn.; played Rugby for the Public School Services' XV. In 1918, Served in France with the 1st Battn. Coldstream Guards; and awarded the M.C.; was promoted full Lieut., and commanded his Company on several occasions. After being with the Guards in Cologne, on his return to England, he played for the Harlequins; and in 1919, Easter Term, matric. King's Coll., Cambridge. He then commenced a busy athletic career. Played Rugby for King's College; captained the Tennis Club; and "ran" the College Musical Society. He was awarded a Half-Blue for Athletics (Mile), and ran for 3 years against Oxford, also for 2 years in the Relay Races against Oxford. 1920, March. He ran for Oxford and Cambridge in U.S.A., in the Two Miles College Championship Relay Race, at Pennsylvania University, in which the English Team won, breaking the World's Record. Returning to Cambridge, he ran in the A.A.A. Sports, at Stamford Bridge; and was selected to represent England in the Mile at Crewe, in the contest against Scotland and Ireland; also for the Olympic Games at Antwerp, As will be seen, he was unable to return from America in time to run for England in Belfast, and he was also unable to compete in the Olympic Games in 1920. He ran for England against Scotland and Ireland in 1920, and 1923; (Reserve, 1926). In 1920, at Crewe, in torrential rain, against the Scotch Champion, he came in Second in the Mile, but strained his heart, and was unable to compete in the Olympic Games, in 1920. He commenced 1921 by winning the Mile, Half-Mile,, and Quarter-Mile; and was Second in the Hurdles and Hammer, for King's College, Cambridge, against New College, Oxford. In July, 1921, he went for the second time to America, with the Oxford and Cambridge Teams, to compete against Harvard and Yale, on 23rd July, and against Cornell and Princeton, on 28 July; so that he was unable to run for England in Belfast. On his return, he ran for England against France, in Paris, in 1921; also in 1922, at Stamford Bridge; and again in 1926. In 1922, he was in the "Nine-to-One" victory of Cambridge against Oxford; and also ran for Cambridge in the return Four Mile Relay Race against Pennsylvania and Oxford, promoted by the Achilles Club, at Queen's, London, in which Cambridge won. Winning in somewhat less important events in June, in the following July, 1922, he ran in the A.A.A. Championships, and for England, against Scotland and Ireland, at Glasgow; and, as already stated, against France, at Stamford Bridge. Then as a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Athletic Teams which made a Tour in Central Europe, he won the 1500 Metres and Mile at Prague, and the 1500 Metres at Buda Pest, against the Czech Record Holder, at the Athletic Meeting, which finished on 17 Sept., 1922, In 1920-1926, he competed in the Open Championships in England, winning the 440 Yards Hurdles in 1924, In 1924, also, he competed in the Olympic Games in Paris, in the 400 Metres Hurdles. In 1923, he got together a team of Old Blues and Internationals to run against Cambridge in London. In 1920, he took 2nd Class, Division 1., in the First Part of the Historical Tripos; and graduated B.A., June, 1922, when he left Cambridge. Returning from Buda Pest, after the Athletic Meeting, in Sept., 1922, Mr. Tatham became an Assistant Master at Eton College. [Curtis, 1st version]
    • After pages 13a. and 13b. had been duplicated and distributed, the Compiler was informed by Mr. W. G. Tatham that he regretted finding so many facts of very little importance incorporated in his record, which seemed to him out of all proportion to the rest of the Notes. He sent a shorter version which he desired substituted; and, in fairness to Mr. Tatham's acute sense of modesty, this briefer entry is here given for alternative use by future Editors of these Notes, when, if ever, they have been rendered suitable for publication. Henry Curtis, May 1927.
      Wilfrid George Tatham. b. 12 Dec, 1898. Educ. 1908, Summer Fields, near Oxford. 1912, King's Scholarship at Eton. 1917, Exhibition at King's College, Cambridge. 1918-1919, Served in France with the First Battalion Coldstream Guards; and awarded the M.C . Matric. King's College, Awarded a Half-Blue for in the 1922. Athletics (Mile) and ran for 3 years against Oxford. Ran for joint Oxford-Cambridge Team in Two-Miles relay race in U.S.A., which the Team won, breaking the World's record. Ran for England against Scotland and Ireland twice and against Prance three times, and in the Olympic Games in 1924, in which year he won the 440 Yards Hurdle Open Championship of Great Britain. He also ran for the British Empire v, U.S.A. Graduated B.A., after taking 2nd Class Div. 1 first part of the Historical Tripos. Became an assistant master at Eton College. [Curtis, revised version]
    • Ran 400m hurdles in 1924 Paris Olympics (came 16/24). Ran 800m in 1928 Amsterdam Olympics (came 20/49). Ran for joint Oxford-Cambridge team in March 1920 in two-mile relay race at Pennsylvania University, which the team won, breaking the world's record. [Sports websites, various]
    • A contemporary in his house [at Lancing] was a keen athlete and forever reading books about who had won this or that. One afternoon he shouted, "Was it a relation of yours who won a gold medal in the Olympics with Harold Abrahams?" Jeremiah had never heard of any relation having done anything of the kind, but replied, "Oh yes, it was my Uncle!" He thought that would be the end of the matter. It was not. The other, when practising jumping over something, next day, told his housemaster, who coached athletics, that Jeremiah's uncle had an Olympic gold medal. The man in question had taught at Eton and coached the athletes. Their housemaster knew him. He said to Jeremiah, "I understand that Wilfrid was your Uncle....a very sardonic man....". Two teachers, having been scholars of that school, had been taught by him. The whole thing had got out of hand. Here he was, in his last year, basking in the reflected glory of a man who, as far as he knew, was no relation whatever. When he returned home he thought it wiser not to ask. It was better not to risk exploding a useful myth. Whether true or false it served a useful purpose for many years, and even enabled him to obtain credit in shops. If he knew it to be true, it would not improve its usefulness. If he learned that it was false, it would be hard to maintain it convincingly. [A Book of Jeremiah, p. 49] [Note: Wilfrid was 1st cousin of the writer's father; an Olympic athlete, though not a gold medallist.]
    • Fine violinist - led school orchestra, etc. His wife Rachel was Joseph Joachim's great-niece.
    Person ID I0056  Tatham | Meaburn branch | Descendant - male line
    Last Modified 18 Dec 2014 

    Father George Allen Ralph Tatham,   b. 14 Aug 1860, Great Ryburgh Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1933, Newlands, de la Warr Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Mary Welbank Fowle,   b. 10 Apr 1862, Staines Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 09 Dec 1927, Newlands, de la Warr Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years) 
    Marriage 03 Sep 1891  St Nicholas, Islip Find all individuals with events at this location   [3, 15, 16
    • September 3, at St Nicholas Church, Islip, by the Rev George E Tatham, Vicar of St Paul's, East Molesey, assisted by the Rev F M Beaumont[*], MA, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Coventry, G A Ralph Tatham, to Mary, daughter of the Rev T W Fowle, MA, Rector of Islip, Oxford [Belfast News-Letter 09 Sep 1891].
      [*] Francis Morton Beaumont, born Winchelsea abt 1839, son of Dr John Beaumont, general practitioner; sometime Fellow of St John's College, Oxford; no known connection with the 2 other Beaumont families in this tree.
    Family ID F0024  Family Group Sheet

    Family Rachel Ellen Julia Balfour,   b. 02 May 1907, Chelsea Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 07 Nov 1992, Abbey Nursing Home, Amesbury Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Engagement 17 Jun 1931    [17
    Marriage 11 Aug 1931  St Mary the Virgin, North Aston Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 8
    • The marriage took place at St. Mary the Virgin, North Aston, Oxfordshire, yesterday afternoon, of Mr. Wilfrid G Tatham, of Eton College, Windsor, son of Mr. G. A. R. Tatham and the late Mrs. Tatham, of Bexhill-on-Sea, and Miss Rachel E. J. Balfour, of 34, Elvaston-place, S.W.7, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Balfour. The Rev. F. Tatham [Frederick Hugh Tatham, bridegroom's uncle] and the Rev. C. P. Walde officiated.
      The bride, who was given away by Mr Lionel Balfour, wore a gown of parchment-tinted satin, under a short coat to match, with elbow-length sleeves, and long parchment-tinted gloves, and carried a sheaf of madonna lilies. Her veil was of tulle, and the train of the same material was carried by Master Mark Hichens. She was attended by one little girl, Miss Stella Hichens, who wore a Kate Greenaway dress of coral-pink moiré, and the trainbearer wore coral-pink trousers with a white crêpe de Chine blouse.
      Mr. White Thompson was best man, and the Merton College choir provided the music. A reception was held at North Aston Hall after the ceremony by Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Hichens, and among the guests were:--
      Mr. G. A. R. Tatham [George Allen Ralph Tatham, groom's father], Miss Anne Tatham [Marian Sarah Tatham, sister], Mr. and Mrs. A Tatham [Allen Ralph Tatham, brother, & June Rabon], Mr. and Mrs. Norris [Thomas Pilkington Norris & Elsa Mary Tatham, sister] [+ 49 further names, not known as Tatham relatives].
      The honeymoon is being spent in St. Jean de Luz. The bride travelled in a brown crêpe dress, with a sleeveless coat to match, and a white felt hat. [8]
    Notes 
    • no children
    Last Modified 23 Nov 2011 
    Family ID F0314  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 12 Dec 1898 - Shortlands Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Mar 1901 - 70 Beckenham Rd, Beckenham Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - abt 1907 - 1912 - Summerfields School, Oxford Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - school boarder - Apr 1911 - Front Lodge, Summerfields School, Oxford Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - abt 1912 - 1917 - Eton College Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - abt 1919 - 1922 - King's College, Cambridge Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1921 - Barton, Wellington College, Crowthorne Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDegree/Qualif. - BA - 1922 - Cambridge University Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Assistant master & house master - abt 1922 - 1948 - Eton College Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - < - 11 Aug 1931 - St Mary the Virgin, North Aston Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 11 Aug 1931 - St Mary the Virgin, North Aston Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - British Council Representative - abt 1948 - 1954 - Greece Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - abt 1959 - 1970 - 22 Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - abt 1970 - 1978 - Woodcot, St Helena Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 26 Jul 1978 - Woodcot, St Helena Link to Google Earth
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  • Histories
    Note on the Tathams of Tatham & Lousada
    Note on the Tathams of Tatham & Lousada
    by Wilfrid George Tatham (1898-1978)

  • Sources 
    1. [S02] BMD Index, marriage reg Woodstock, 3Q1931.

    2. [S01] Census, UK, 1901.
      age 2

    3. [S04] H Curtis: Notes for a Pedigree of the Tathams of Co. Durham.

    4. [S02] BMD Index, birth reg Bromley, 1Q1899.

    5. [S05] The Times, 18 Jul 1912.

    6. [S01] Census, UK, 1911.
      age 12 b Bromley

    7. [S29] Medal Index Cards WW1.

    8. [S05] The Times, marriage notice, 12 Aug 1931.

    9. [S37] Army Lists & Records, Prisoners of War of British Army, WWII.

    10. [S03] Family Members, MRT.

    11. [S05] The Times, Birthday Honours, 10 Jun 1954.

    12. [S03] Family Members, RCC.

    13. [S17] Telephone Directories.

    14. [S05] The Times, death notice, 31 Jul 1978.

    15. [S02] BMD Index, marriage reg Bicester, 3Q1891.

    16. [S11] Newspaper, Belfast News-Letter 9 Sep 1891.

    17. [S05] The Times, forthcoming marriages, 17 Jun 1931.