Mr George Gatey.
Died on the 22nd July 1940 aged 65 years
Spent most of his professional life in Windermere in the Lake District and retired to Little Common Bexhill, East Sussex.
Buried in the Churchyard of St. Mark's Church, Little Common, Bexhill, East Sussex
Attached is a photograph of the grave headstone of Mr. George Gatey, a retired solicitor, who was a very well known and respected gentleman. I first thought that his resting place indicated a military / CWGC grave - or a 'Civilian War Death' but a bit of basic research shows this not to be the case.
Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 27 July 1940
RETIRED SOLICITOR'S DEATH.
The death occurred on Monday, as the result of an accident, of Mr. George Gatey, of "The Corner", Barnhorn-road. For many years Mr Gatey, who was in his 66th year, was in practice as a solicitor, being head of the firm of George Gatey and Son, of Windermere and Ambleside, where he was a prominent figure and held a number of public offices. He came to Bexhill about four years ago on his retirement. He was a member of The Cooden Beach Golf Club.
Mr. Gatey leaves a widow, three sons and five daughters. Two of the sons are in the Services, Pilot Officer Norman Gatey R.A.F.,V.R. and Commander (E) Colin Gatey R.N., and daughter, Miss A.E. Gatey is in the F.A.N.Y., A.T.S..
The funeral took place on Thursday. Following cremation at Brighton, the ashes were interred in St, Mark's church-yard, the service being conducted by the Rector (the Rev G.N. Standish).
Mr. J.F. Towner and Messrs Longley and Co., St. Leaonard's-road was the funeral director.
Bexhill-on-Sea Observer - Saturday 17 August 1940
The Late Mr. George Gatey.
The "Westmoreland Gazette" pays high tribute to the late Mr. George Gatey of The Corner, Little Common, who lived at Windermere all his life until he retired and came to live at Little Common in 1936. Mr. Gatey was well known and loved in The Lake District and held many public offices. He was a keen sportsman, having been Captain of the Windermere Golf Club and the Secretary of the Windermere and District Angling Society. He was also interested in cricket and bowling.
The following is an extract from the tribute paid to his memory by the Rector of Windermere in the Parish Church at the end of his sermon on Sunday, July 28th :-
"One of his friends testified to me that he had never heard him say an unkind word to anyone or about anyone, and that he was a fine English Christian gentleman. Personally I feel that I have lost a friend of over 30 years standing - one in whom there was no guile. We sympathise with his widow and their family in the suddenness of his untimely death. Truly it may be said of him 'The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God' ".
According to the newspaper report, Mr George Gatey died "as the result of an accident" - but I haven't yet worked out what happened.
A basic search of "George Gatey solicitors" shows references to original legal letters are still kept in The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
I can find no reference to either of the named military sons or daughter in the CWGC register so, therefore, I think they survived the war.
The "Westmoreland Gazette" is still a publication in the Lake District.
Mr. Gatey's headstone does look like a Military / CWGC style headstone. I wonder if he had a military history of some sort and this headstone was commissioned by his children in the Services - may be ? ..... perhaps ?...... possibly ?
If you wish to see his grave, headstone, then go through the main gate of St. Mark's. Little Common, turn right and go to the very Eastern boundary - he lays next to the East boundary in the rhododendrons. The lower part of the headstone inscription shows that his wife, who survived him for 24 years, is buried in the same plot. The inscription shows that Margaret Gatey "late of Portinscale" , which is in the Lake District, died aged 84 years on the 15th June 1964.