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George Edward Bootherstone

Ordinary Seaman, Gunner.

HMS Prince of Wales

 

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(This picture is a close up version of George, taken from the picture below)

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In uniform with his wife, Maude

With some of his mates

This picture is also in our unknown sailors section

George and Maude's wedding day

George died during the sinking of Prince of Wales.

 

George Edward Bootherstone was born on May 6, 1911, to his parents Albert Edward Bootherstone and Mary Harrison. He had five brothers and sisters, Arthur Alan, Marjorie, Doreen, and Joan. He initially worked in a Bank but really wanted to become an actor. Against his fathers wishes he joined Oldham Repertory Theatre Club, which has become famous over the years. His brother Alan worked there as Assistant Stage Manager. He met his wife Maude there. Maude went by the stage name of Wynne and actually played Paul Schofield's wife in the stage version of "A Man for All Season," A part Wendy Hiller portrayed in the film version. After the Oldham Repertory Theatre, they moved on to be part of the production company at both the York and Halifax Repertory Theater. In fact, while at the York Repertory Theatre, George actually took over from Michael Rennie, in their production of "The Third Man."

At the beginning of the World War II, George acted in some propaganda films for the Ministry of Defence, until he was called up. Following basic training, he was assigned to His Majesty's Ship (HMS) Prince of Wales. It is believed that he was assigned to either A or B turret in one of the ships 10x14 in./45 cal. main guns. He died when the HMS Prince of Wales was attacked and sunk by the Japanese on December 10, 1941. He was supposed to have disembarked from the ship when it reached Singapore. George's youngest sister Winifred Joan Turner (nee Bootherstone), is the only remaining member of his immediate family that is still alive. She is 80 years old and lives in Macclesfield, Cheshire. 

George wrote some letters home whilst on HMS Prince of Wales, which we have copies of here:

 

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Text of the above letter from September 1941:
Able Seaman George E. Bootherstone to his sister Marjorie and her husband George Findley. The letter was mailed from on-board the HMS Prince of Wales and was passed by the censor on September 8, 1941.

G. E. Bootherstone
Mess 75
HMS Prince of Wales
S.P.8. London
Sunday

Dear Marj and Geo.
Just to let you know that Iíve arrived at last, we got aboard about 4 oíclock on Saturday. All our letters are naturally censored and Iím not allowed to tell you where we are or anything about the ship, but she certainly is marvelous Ė we have been having a look around this morning and itís very interesting indeed.
The food is good, better than either Glendower or Drake and cigs and chocolate are plentiful, so I shanít go far wrong on that score. I was first aboard out of our lot and believe me I got quite a kick out of it, saluting the quarter-deck and what not.
I havenít time to write any more and in any case I canít tell you much, but Iíll let you know how Iím getting on.
Thanks for having me and thanks for breakfast.
Good Luck and love to you both.
George.
ďChocolate. Greedy Devil!Ē 

(The latter comment at the end of the letter refers to a chocolate stain in the location identified by the arrow.)

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Text of the above letter from October 1941:

Able Seaman George E. Bootherstone to his sister Marjorie and her husband George Findley. The letter was mailed from on-board the HMS Prince of Wales and was passed by the censor on October 8, 1941.

G. E. Bootherstone
Note new Mess - Mess 52
HMS Prince of Wales
S.P.O London
Oct 7th 1941
Dear Marj & Geo.
Just a line to let you know that Iím well and happy. I received your letter today, we havenít been in a position to either send or receive mail for over 3 weeks so you will have to excuse the delay. We are not allowed to say a word about our activities, but itís all been very interesting. Wynne has been to Sale and Chorlton since leaving Norwich and is now at the Theatre Royal Leeds with Hausen again, so probably thatís the reason you havenít heard from her.
Sheíll be there 5 weeks at least.
Iím glad to hear about the rise and I hope the show goes down well.
More later.
Good Luck to you both
Lots of love
George


Please contact myself or Andy (Webmaster) with any information.

Allan Turner

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by

Allan Turner

Commonwealth War Graves Commission record:

GEORGE EDWARD BOOTHERSTONE
Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 267916, Royal Navy
Additional Information: Age 30. Husband of Maude Bootherstone, of Chelsea, London.

Son of Albert and Mary Bootherstone. 
Memorial: Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 49, Column 1.