Gayhurst Rowing Club 1885

W W Carlile seated right front.

William Walter Carlile was born on the 15th January 1862, the only son of J W Carlile at Ponsborne Manor, Herts.

He was educated at Harrow and Clare College, Cambridge.

Walter Carlile was commissioned into the 2nd West York Yeomanry Cavalry as a Second Lieutenant on the 12th of February 1887. Shortly before October 1888 he transferred to the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars Imperial Yeomanry. On the 26th of January 1889 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He resigned his commission on the 10th of May 1897. His entries in the Army List state that he held the School Certificate for Yeomanry subalterns.

In 1897 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.

A lifelong Conservative on the electoral front, he contested Buckingham in 1892. He was defeated by the Liberal candidate, Sir Herbert Leon by 449 votes.

In 1895 the situation was reversed and he was returned with a majority of 436.

He retained the seat in the 1900 election when he polled 417 votes more than his Liberal opponent Mr Beaumont.

In 1905, having represented the division in The House of Commons for nearly eleven years without a break, he did not seek re-election.

It is interesting to note that most of Walters electioneering in his constituency, he was transported by a horse drawn coach, pulled by four horses.

His entry into the political field was at a time when motorcars were coming into use and he was one of the first members of parliament to drive a car to the House of Commons. However the car broke down when nearing its destination and he had to be towed home by a four-wheeler.

He was married twice, First in1885 Blanche Anne daughter of The Reverend Edward Cadogan, she died in 1939.

During the First World War Walter served in non-combatant roles. He went to Flanders with the British Expeditionary Force disembarking on the 3rd of November 1914. He went with No.2 Motor Ambulance Unit of the British Red Cross Society as a chauffeur. He was later attached to the Civilian Graves Commission. For his service he was awarded the British War Medal 1914-20, the Victory Medal and the 1914 Star.

Towards the end of the war he served in General Ware’s “Unit of the Missing Bureau”.

Later he was engaged in war work in England and served on The War Tribunal for The Newport Pagnall Rural District.

He was awarded The 1914 Star and two other decorations for his war service and in 1923 made an OBE.

In 1928 he was created a baronet for “Political and Public Services Rendered” in the King’s Birthday Honours List. It is interesting to note that Sir Walter received the award was accompanied by a demand for a fee of £282 00 for administration and stamp duty.

He was a founder member of the local branch of The Royal British Legion and was a staunch supporter of that organisation.

In recognition of his valuable services to The Red Cross and ambulance work he was appointed Knight of The order of St John of Jerusalem.

Sir Walter played an active and important part in public service in Buckinghamshire. For forty years (from 1895 until 1937) he was an Alderman on the County Council.

He was made a magistrate in 1888 and was a Justice of the Peace for more than twenty five years, ultimately he was appointed Chairman of The Newport Pagnell Magisterial Bench.

He was a County Commissioner in the Boy Scouts Association. In 1943 he was awarded the Silver Wolf one of the highest awards in scouting. His second wife was a County Commissioner for Cub Scouts.

In 1941, at the age of 79, he was asked to reform the local Gayhurst Scout Group. The object of the exercise was to use the talents of local lads to help the War Effort. Acting runners and message carriers for the Home Guard, collecting scrap metal and waste paper and other similar activities.

There were two troops of ten, twenty in all. The Wolf Pack and the Lion Pack. The group finished in 1946.

Sir Walter was a great lover of all sporting activities. In his younger days he was a more than proficient oarsman and loved hunting, shooting and fishing. He travelled widely. His historic home at Gayhurst was filled with big game trophies and interesting relics form his big game hunting expeditions to India and Africa. Some of his happiest hours were spent walking the Gayhurst Estate, with his dog.

For 35 years he was chairman of the Stoke Goldington Parish Council.

Another of Sir Walters’s interests was conjuring at which he acquired such a level of expertise that he was elected to membership of The Magic Circle.

His second marriage was in 1940. His bride was Catherine Elizabeth Mary, the only daughter of The Reverend Hawkesfield. Rector of the village of Milton Keynes.

He was a man with a kindly disposition who never left a letter unanswered. Usually he replied by return of post.

He died in 1949 aged 87 years and was cremated at Northampton

He had no children.

Walter Carlile was both an aristocrat and a warm human being with a strong sense of public duty. We have given a catalogue of his public offices but to illustrate his humanity we have listed below some extracts taken from the school log books from Stoke Goldington Infants School.

1891 July 17 Gayhurst Regatta
1893 July 6 In honour of The Royal Wedding children invited to Gayhurst for tea.
1895 March 13 Mrs Carlile sent a hamper of apples, for the children
1898 Jan 26 Xmas party for Sunday School scholars, all had a present off the Christmas tree.
1899 November WW Carlile came to the school concert and asked for the performance to be repeated at a Primrose League meeting at Christmas
1900 February 2 The severe weather is the cause of much sickness, children cough incessantly. I am doling out cough mixture to see if I can check it. Mr Carlile kindly sent me a pint bottle.
1900 February 21 Mr Carlile called and promised a treat and prizes for the best scholars, at Easter.
1900 April Mrs W W Carlile has sent four pounds of wool, with which the children are going to knit socks for our soldiers in South Africa.(We have six from Stoke Goldington.)
We are cheering Mafeking Day today. Mr Carlile sent me a wire from the House of Commons containing the glorious news of the relief of the garrison.
Mr Carlile also sent the following telegram.
“Provide the children each with a bun froM
Blanche Carlile. With the kindness of a few friends I have got for them milk and sweets for every child.”
Holiday will be given this afternoon.
1902 June

Glorious News ! Peace Signed. Such is the report in a telegram I have just received from Mr Carlile.

Half holiday will be good.

1903 January Mr Carlile gave all the children attending today, a treat. Prizes for attendance followed by entertainment. This took the form of a Punch and Judy Show by an artiste from London, who had been specially engaged.
1903 June 8 Mr Carlile has presented the village with a recreation ground.
1904 January

On New Years Day Mr & Mrs Carlile gave a party for all the scholars and about 60 of them were given prizes for proficiency.

All the teachers also received presents.

1907 May Fifteen pounds was needed for a new piano, Mr Carlile donated ten pounds.
1908 May Tea for all the children, on the lawns at Gayhurst for Empire Day.