Person    | Male  Born 26/12/1886  Died 14/1/1963

Brigadier-General Sir George Henry Gater, GCMG, KCB, DSO & Bar, JP

Army officer and civil servant. Trained as a teacher. Moved to London in 1924, and became Director of Education at the LCC. 1933 became Clerk to the LCC. He advocated the development of Bloomsbury for the University of London. Knighted in 1936. Served as Secretary of a number of departments during WW2. Warden of Winchester College 1951-9.

George Henry Gater was born on 26 December 1886, the son of William Henry Gater (1855-1942) and Ada Mary Gater née Welch (1860-1939). His Wikipedia page gives much information about this man and claims (in 2023) that he was born in Southampton, Hampshire. His birth however was registered in the 1st quarter of 1887 in the Alderbury registration district, Wiltshire. He was baptised on 2 February 1887 in Bemerton Parish Church, Wiltshire, where the baptismal register shows the family living in Fisherton, Wiltshire and that his father was a solicitor. His sister was Ada Dorothy Stares Gater (1887-1977) and her birth was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1888 in the Alderbury registration district.

In the 1891 census he was shown as having been born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, living with his parents and sister,  at 14 Lewes Crescent, Brighton, Sussex, the home of his maternal grandparents, Thomas Welch (1829-1900) a retired leather & hide factor and Sarah Welch née Haines (1833-1908), together with his uncle Walter Burrows Welch (1863-1908) a medical student, his aunt Mabel Sarah Welch (1869-1945), together with a cook, a parlour maid, a housemaid, a kitchen maid and a nurse.

On 11 February 1908, as an undergraduate at New College, Oxford University, he was initiated as a freemason in the Apollo University Lodge No.357, that met at University Masonic Hall, Frewin Court, Oxford, Oxfordshire.

On the outbreak of World War One he enlisted as a Second Lieutenant in the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) and his military service can be seen on the 21st Division 1914-1918 website. He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal. His medal record card show two home addresses: Lorretto Cottage, Barton, Preston, Lancashire and Winslowe House, Westend, Southampton, Hampshire.

Telephone directories show a succession of addresses in which he is listed. From 1925 to 1928 these show his entry as Gater George Henry, C.M.G., D.S.O., 2 Norfolk Road, London, NW8 and from 1929 to 1934 as just Gater, G.H. at 33 Bloomfield Terrace, London, SW1. In 1936 he was listed as Gater, G.H. at 76 Elm Park Road, London SW3. The London Gazette dated 23 June 1936 shows that as Clerk of the London County Council, the King signified his intention of conferring the Honour of Knighthood, in his Birthday Honours List, and from 1937 to 1940 his telephone directory entry was Gater, Sir George at 76 Elm Park Road, SW3. The 1939 to 1946 directories listed him as Gater Sir George, Pollingfold, Ockley, Oakwood Hill, (now called Okewood Hill), Surrey, but a 1943 directory also listed him as Gater, Sir George, KCB, CMG, DSO, 28 York House, Turks Row, London, SW3. Directories from 1946 to 1948 show that he was at 7 Selwood Place, SW7, from 1949 to 1957 at Flat 5, 23 Hereford Square, SW7 and from 1958 to his death at 31 Stanhope Gardens, SW7. He was also listed from 1954 to 1961 at The Barn House, Church Harborough, Freeland, Oxfordshire and from 1961 to 1963 at 7 Chadlington Road, Oxford. 

On 27 October 1926 he married Irene Nichols (1896-1977) at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, Chelsea, where the marriage register describes him as aged 39, a bachelor and education officer at the London County Council living at 70a Cadogan Place, Chelsea, whilst his wife was shown as aged 30 years, a spinster of 7 Bryanston Street, Chelsea, the daughter of John Bowyer Buchanan Nichols (1859-1939). The birth of their son, Anthony G. R. Gater, was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1933 in the Chelsea registration district.

In the 1939 England and Wales Register he is listed as a Secretary at the Ministry of Home Security living with his wife at 76 Elm Park Road, Chelsea.

In the 1941 King's Birthday Honours List he is shown as being made a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Civil Division (KCB) and as the Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Colonial Office he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in the 1944 New Year Honours List.

Probate records confirm that he had lived at 7 Chadlington Road, Oxford, and that he died, aged 76 years, on 14 January 1963 at St. Josephs Nursing Home, Boars Hill, Sunningwell, Abingdon, Berkshire. Probate was granted on 9 April 1963 jointly to Lloyds Bank Limited and to his widow, Lady Irene Gater. His effects totalled £3,201-19s-0d.

Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.

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