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Need help finding Commander Reade


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#1 David Birchall

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:17

I know that some of the members of this forum are very good at finding information on people. I would like to ask for help in finding out about the first owner of my Derby Bentley-serial B108FB. He was Commander W.R. Read according to information from TNFer Ralf Pickel. He lists his address as "Park Hotel, Newton Abbot" and also "c/o Glen Mills, Whitehall, London" . Shades of Bond, Commander Bond...
According to the log book he kept of the car he spent two months in Germany in the summer of 1938 and two months in France in 1939.
I have owned the car for fifteen years now but have never been able to trace any surviving family-I am hoping for period photos and information on Commander Reade.
Any help greatly appreciated.

Edited by David Birchall, 27 January 2012 - 17:05.


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#2 arttidesco

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:25

The hotels, if they still exist at all, appear to have been renamed, if Commander W Reade was in the Bond business it is no surprise to find nothing about him on the net, if you have the original registration you 'might' be able to establish where the car was first registered.

#3 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 05:48

If he was in the Navy as a commander, then the "Navy List" should be searched for 1938 and 1939. These annual publications list all commissioned officers and can be found in the UK National Archives at Kew. If no one can go and look I can give you the name of a very reliable researcher there.

#4 eldougo

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:25

Bu**er!!
How do I delete two posts? ):


Press the REPORT button below and they will remove it for you,

#5 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:50

According to a Spring 1939 Glass Index the reg nr of your car was from Southampton, issued between Nov.35 and Feb.36.
But you might already know that.... :wave:

#6 D-Type

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:54

Bu**er!!
How do I delete two posts? ):



Press the REPORT button below and they will remove it for you,

On your own posts, at bottom right next to the "QUOTE" and "REPLY" buttons there are two more buttons "EDIT" and "DELETE". Just hit "DELETE" and confirm when asked.

This doesn't work with the first post of a thread - to delete that you have to do as eldougo says and hit "REPORT" and ask a moderator to do it for you.

#7 David Birchall

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 16:20

Update: Twinny emailed me to say he had combined the 3 threads and there seemed to be a glitch in the server software causing these problems. Once he had done that I could delete the extra posts-thanks to those who responded.

I was not aware my car was first registered in Southampton-I had thought London-it is not eay to get between Newton Abbot and Southampton as I discovered when I worked on P&O Lines and lived just outside Newton Abbot.

It is possible that the name is spelt Read--I have his signature which ends at the 'd' but then signatures can be very odd.

Thanks to all, any and all input welcome, David B

#8 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 16:37

In Bernard L. King´s book he is listed as Cmdr. W.R. Read, R.N.
He also does list photos in "On The Road" issue 9, page 25 and issue 10, page 10.
OTR was published bi-monthly by Bentley Motors (1931).
(Costly) Reprints here.

Edited by Ralf Pickel, 27 January 2012 - 16:42.


#9 David Birchall

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 17:08

In Bernard L. King´s book he is listed as Cmdr. W.R. Read, R.N.
He also does list photos in "On The Road" issue 9, page 25 and issue 10, page 10.
OTR was published bi-monthly by Bentley Motors (1931).
(Costly) Reprints here.


Many thanks Ralf-that is great information! I wonder if anybody I know has those....?

#10 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 17:32

I always wanted a copy myself, but it is a bit costly....and my car is not in there !


#11 David Birchall

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 17:42

I just bought a set on English Amazon for 53 quid! Since they show some of the history of the car I can justify that.
Which car do you have?

#12 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 18:20

Well done !
If the photos are not correct you can get back to Mr. King ! :)
My car is B176JD, has been a PW Saloon initially, but rebuilt as special some 40 years ago.
It does have (cycle) wings and big headlamps, too. But those are not needed on the ´Ring !!!

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#13 David Birchall

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 23:30

Looks great Ralf!--Like a real Bentley Boy!

For all those who are on tenterhooks to learn more of my search, last night I contacted a website listing servicemen, particularly officers.

I received this reply:

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Regards,

Hans Houterman"

The age fits and he was certainly wealthy and a traveller. There is a paragraph of text describing his career and he was quite the warrior! I cannot get it to transfer over.

Edited by David Birchall, 28 January 2012 - 00:54.


#14 David Birchall

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:38

I am sure everyone has been on tenterhooks waiting for an update on my search for info.
I found out more about Wing Commander WR Read. He was a fighter ace in the RFC during the Great War but transferred to bombers near the end of the war apparently. He was tasked with planning and leading the first ever air raid on Berlin and given the only three British four engined bombers then available. According to legend, he was sitting in the lead aircraft, on the runway ready to take off for Berlin when the Armistice was signed! I wonder what he said?
He was Commander of RAF Upavon from 1928-30.


Recently I did the obvious thing and contacted the RREC and requested the build information for my car. I recieved a package of information from them on Friday which includes both the build sheets from RR/Bentley and from Park Ward, the coachbuilders. Plus some history.
To my surprise I learned that Read only owned the car for a year before it was sold to another military man Lt. Col. Garfield Ormrod - Harrumph!
It seems I am the fourth, not third owner as I have always believed.

Ormrod was a doctor and lived not far from the real Fawlty Towers in Torquay.
Can any of you geniuses find any information on Garfield Ormrod? Vitesse?

#15 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:09

Wouldn´t it be boring if it would be toooo easy ? :D

By the way, have the "on The Road" reprints been of any help ?
I still have not bought them...

Ralf

#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:26

Garfield Ormrod is recorded as having been born in Workington in Cumberland in the fourth quarter of 1881. His father, Fray Ormrod, was a GP in Workington and they lived at a house called Hindley on Park End Road. By 1901 Garfield is recorded on the census as a medical student. The 1919 Medical Register gives his qualifications as MB, ChB - he graduated from Edinburgh in 1904. I can't find him on the 1911 census, which may mean he was abroad - perhaps in the army.

The Great War army records show an address in London and he seems to have joined the RAMC near the beginning of the Great War (maybe even before), rising to Lt-Colonel by 1921. There is a note that he served on the Western Front and also that he was with the British forces in Archangel in 1919.

After the war he (apparently) continued in the RAMC, although that may be open to doubt, as his entry in the Medical Register remains unchanged between the 1931 and 1959 editions: by 1959 he would of course have been nearly 70. Not impossible - but very unlikely!

What is certain is that he died in a nursing home in Torquay on July 13th 1965. Home address was Daphne Court, Lower Warberry Rd.

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:55

Okay, here's some more:

The Irish Journal of Medical Science records that he passed his entrance exams for the army in 1905:

The Director-General of the Army Medical Service has forwarded
the following list of gentlemen who were successful at the exam-
ination held in London in January, 1905, for Commissions in
the Royal Army Medical Corps, and for which 68 candidates
entered : —

MARKS. NAMES AND QUALIFICATIONS.
.....
V M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (Lond.).
.....
479 Garfield Ormrod, M.B., Ch.B. (Edin.).

http://www02.us.arch...19roya_djvu.txt

He had attended Shrewsbury School and by 1909 he was apparently serving in India:

Garfield Ormrod, b. 1881, [F.E.B.]; b. 1881 ; left 1898;
Edinburgh Univ., M.B., CM., 1903; Lieut.
R.A.M.C., 1904. c/o King, King and Co.,
Bombay.


Source: Shrewsbury School Register, 1734-1908

http://booksnow2.sch...reuoft_djvu.txt

In the London Gazette, his appointment as Lieutenant was confirmed Dec 12th 1905: promoted to Captain Jul 31st 1908 and to Major Oct 15th 1915.

In 1911 he was apparently serving in Northern Ireland, as one of three RAMC officers sharing a rented house:
http://www.census.na...im_Road/139258/

London Gazette also records that he retired from the army on May 25th 1931 and remained on the Reserve List until being removed on grounds of age on November 8th 1936 (presumably that means his actual birth date was November 8th 1881).

What he did afterwards I don't know, but there are indications on t'internet that Daphne Court was a residential hotel - so perhaps your "Fawlty Towers" reference is near the mark! He's certainly not in the phone books of the period and apparently died a bachelor, leaving a fair old lump of money too.

http://www.geograph....uk/photo/285893

Edited by Vitesse2, 28 January 2013 - 11:57.


#18 David Birchall

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 16:19

Ralf, the "On The road" books have provided inspiritation as much as anything but especially since there is a photo of who I now know to be Ormrod with the car in a Devon village that I was quite familiar with in the early seventies.

Richard-Vitesse2-I dunno how you do it! I spent hours on t'interweb and all I could find was that he was a doctor and lived in Torquay--many thanks for all that info! I wonder if his estate would pass down through the ownership of the Bentley...?

Here is the photo of Lt. Col (Ret) Garfield Ormrod with his/my Bentley in Buckland Village on the edge of Dartmoor in about 1937:
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#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 17:44

Found a bit more!

He appears to have finished his army career in India. On April 17th 1931 he is recorded under the name Harfield [sic] Ormrod as arriving at Plymouth on the P&O liner Narkunda, having sailed (first class!) from Bombay. Intended address in UK was "c/o KS Luke, Little Home, Newton Abbott" [all sic again!] A (Mr?) K (sometimes KJ) Luke is listed in phone books of the period 1933-41 as living at "Little ho, Forches Cross, Newton Abbot."

That address should probably be Little Holme. On Google Streetview, there's what looks to me like a former pub at Forches Cross, but that has since been demolished. It's visible on the 2006 picture on Google Earth - but not 2010.

However - perhaps Little Holme might be the big 20s-style house with a swimming pool about 100 yards closer to Newton Abbot?

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#20 David Birchall

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 19:43

Many thanks again Richard, I don't know how you do it but I am very glad you did!

Ps I took the driving test in Newton Abbot on market day-after the Lt Col's time however.

Edited by David Birchall, 28 January 2013 - 19:44.


#21 Geoff E

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 21:03

However - perhaps Little Holme might be the big 20s-style house with a swimming pool about 100 yards closer to Newton Abbot?


The Little House is here http://tinyurl.com/a7co6ks

Old maps (select map on right) here http://www.old-maps....ds=284400,73150

#22 David Birchall

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 21:26

Thanks Geoff. Am I right in thinking the blue plaques indicate Historic Status?

I found the Daphne Court Hotel as well. It is on the corner of Lower Warberry Road and Daphne Close and was originally known as "Dunreeth". That area of Torquay had some beautiful villas that are in danger of being replaced by blocks of flats.
The last time I was in Torquay I felt sad at how run down it now seems compared to even the early seventies.

#23 Geoff E

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 19:59

Am I right in thinking the blue plaques indicate Historic Status?


I doubt it David. :well:


#24 RCH

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 20:16

Ps I took the driving test in Newton Abbot


So did I, all 4 of 'em... oops... :drunk: