The sons of Goodsir and Jane Gale

Brothers in arms

Neil Fortey & Susan Middleton

The sons of Goodsir and Jane Gale
The names of WW1 servicemen inscribed on the War Memorial at Ab Kettleby. | Leicestershire War Memorials Project website
The names of WW1 servicemen inscribed on the War Memorial at Ab Kettleby.
Leicestershire War Memorials Project website

This article outlines the family of Goodsir Gale, who was the older of two sons of Christopher and Jane Gale of Muston. Though born in Muston, Goodsir with his wife Rebecca and children settled in the village of Ab Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray, where he worked in the nearby ironstone mine. Three of their sons were to serve with the army in WW1: two, George and Arthur, lost their lives ‘Killed in Action’ in 1917. His brother Charles and his wife Isabella also lost one of three sons, Cyril, also ‘Killed in Action’ in 1918. This is an unhappy record of family loss. Whatever the necessity for the war was, it became a monster devouring whole families.

Christopher and Jane Gale

Christopher Gale married Jane Uxbridge Bugg in 1851. He was born in 1823 and baptised on the 13th February, 1824, at Muston. The Gales were a family of farm and railway workers who lived in Muston and nearby villages from the 18th Century onwards. Christopher Gale lived in Muston all his life. He was the fifth of six children of Christopher Geale (1776-1841) and Ruth Wheatley (b.1784), who married in 1805. He died in 1894 and was buried at Muston on the 26th November, aged 71.

Jane Uxbridge Gale (nee Bugg) was born in 1829 and baptised on the 4th September, 1929, at Woolwich, Kent, daughter of William and Mary Ann Bugg. She married Christopher Gale on the 16th November, 1851, when she was 22 and he was 29. It is not clear how they met, except that there is a record in the 1851 census of a Jane Bugg, who stated that she came from Acton, Middlesex, a housemaid at Kelmarsh Hall near Market Harborough, the home of William Angersteen and his family. In the 1871 census, she stated that she was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex, perhaps indicating that she was brought up in the Acton-Uxbridge area, even though actually born south of the Thames at Woolwich (her father may have been a soldier based there when she was born).

The name Bugg is rather unusual, but is well known in Bottesford. It tempting to speculate that Jane was a relation of Harry Bugg (1891-1956), though this is not confirmed. Harry came from Caistor, Lincs. He lived with his mother Charlotte on Market St before WW1. He had trained as a butcher, and served in the RASC, then after his discharge in 1919 he became the proprietor of Goodson’s butcher’s shop on Market St for many years.

Christopher and Jane had three children: a daughter named Jemima A Gale, born in 1864, and two sons Goodsir Gale (b.1866) and Charles Cecil Gale (b.1871). In his records, Goodsir is sometimes recorded as George, though this was not the name in his baptismal record.

In the 1861 census, Christopher Snr and Jane lived in Muston where he was employed as an agricultural labourer. In 1871, their address was recorded as Bottesford Rd, Muston, and there were now two children, Jemima aged 7 and Goodsir aged 5. Jemima Gale sadly died in 1881, aged 17, and was buried at Muston on the 1st January 1882. In 1881, Christopher and Jane still lived in Muston, now with only one child, Charles Cecil jnr, aged 9.

In 1891, Christopher and Jane, now in their sixties, lived on Village St, Muston, looking after one year old Alice Becket who came from Middlesex. Alice was probably related to Jane Gale, though this has not been substantiated. Christopher Gale snr died in 1894 and was buried at Muston on the 26th November, aged 71. Jane Gale died lived on until she died in 1901, aged 73 (and is not recorded in the 1901 census).

Goodsir and Rebecca Gale

Goodsir Gale was born in 1865 and baptised on the 24th December at Muston. He was living with his parents and sister Jemima in Muston in 1871, but had left before the date of the 1881 census. He married Rebecca Flowers, from Marston, Lincs, in 1892.

Goodsir and Rebecca were recorded in the 1901 census with their young family; George Henry (b.1893 at Normanton, Leicestershire), Wlliam Frederick (b.1894 at Wartnaby, Leicestershire), Arthur (b.1895 at Long Clawson, Leicestershire) and Hilda Jane (b.1888 also at Long Clawson). They have moved to Ab Kettleby, near Melton Mowbray. At this time he was 35, employed in the local ironstone quarries as an “ironstone furnaceman”. In 1911, still living at Ab Kettleby, Goodsir described his work as an “ironstone filler”. There were now three more children, Charles Wilfred (b.1900), Ernest (b.1905) and Mabel (b.1910). Wilfred may also have been conscripted late in the war, but Ernest was too young to have been drawn in.

Rebecca Gale died in 1922, aged 47, in the Melton district (most probably at Ab Kettleby). Goodsir Gale died in 1940, aged 75.

Charles and Isabella Gale

Goodsir’s younger brother, Charles Cecil Gale, married Isabella Pritchett in 1893, and they had three sons: Charles Cecil Gale (b.1895), Christopher Gale (b.1896) and Cyril Gale (b.1898), all born and raised in Muston.

Brothers in arms

Thus, there were two sets of brothers named Gale born in the 1890s. They were cousins, one brought up in Muston, the other in Ab Kettleby. All six fought in WW1: tragically three lost their lives in the fighting in 1917.

George Henry Gale – declared Killed in Action on the 11th April, 1917. He is commemorated on the war memorial at Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire.

William Frederick Gale, also from Ab Kettleby, returned from the war and died in 1936 in an underground rockfall accident at Holwell Ironstone Mine, aged 41.

Arthur Gale – declared Killed in Action on the 30th September, 1917. He is commemorated on the war memorial at Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire.

Charles Cecil Gale from Muston became a coal miner after the war and died in 1979 in Mansfield.

Christopher Gale from Muston also became a coal miner, and died in 1948 in Mansfield.

Cyril Gale, the third from Muston, was declared Killed in Action on the 28th April, 1918. He is commemorated on the war memorial at Muston.

Please follow the links to see the war biographies of George, Arthur and Cyril Gale.

Appendix – William Frederick Gale and Charles Wilfred Gale

William Frederick Gale was the second son  of Goodsir and Rebecca Gale, born at Wartnaby, Leicestershire, in 1895. In 1911 he was working as a farm labourer at Six Hills, Burton-on-the-Wolds, Leics, the farm of Harry Freckingham.

William’s military service record has not been seen and appears to have been destroyed, but there is a Medal Index Card for a Gunner 54751 William Gale of the Machine Gun Corps, which is provisionally identified as his. Some confirmation is also provided by a comment in Arthur Gale’s In Memorian notice in the Grantham Journal referring to “Brother Will (in France)”, which appears to indicate that William Gale had been serving with the army in France at that date.

In 1918 he married Ida W Cooke, in Leicester, and in 1929 they were recorded on the electoral roll living at “The Bungalow”, Wartnaby Road, Ab Kettleby, with William’s father Goodsir Gale and his siblings Ernest and Hilda Jane. Next door, at “The Alley” lived his brother Wilfred Charles and his wife Caroline. Like his father, he worked in the ironstone mines in the vicinity of Ab Kettleby. He was tragically killed by a block of limestone which fell from the roof of the adit in which he was working at Holwell Ironstone Mine. The coroner’s examination was reported by the Grantham Journal on the 16th May 1936.

The fourth son of Goodsir Gale, Charles Wilfred (often reversed as Wilfred Charles), was born in 1900, and may well have been called up towards the end of the war. No definite record has been located, but there was a Charles Gale, born in 1900, who served as 22086 Royal Marines Light Infantry, Chatham Division, from the 6th June 1918. There are also several Medal Index Cards for men named Charles W Gale, one of which may refer to the man from Ab Kettleby. In any event, he survived and married Caroline Pick at Melton in 1925. In 1939 they lived at “The Alley”, Ab Kettleby, and he was working as a builder’s labourer. He died in the Melton district in 1974, aged 73.

This page was added on 01/12/2017.

Comments about this page

  • Very interesting to find this article. Rebecca (Flowers) Gale would be my first cousin three times removed, the daughter of John Flowers my second great Grandfather Thomas Flower’s brother.

    By Yvonne Parker (02/07/2019)

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