TitleSidney David Gowing - Kenya Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
AbstractWW2 Memorial Profiles for West Mersea

Lieutenant (appointed 1 December 1942)
Kenya Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
HMS Tana (shore station for Royal Naval Air Service at Mombasa, Kenya)
Died 3 July 1943 age 66
Buried 3 July 1943 Mombasa European Cemetery (Mbaraki) Prot. Service Plot. Row K. Grave 13.

[Some records give a year of birth of 1887 and age of 56 when he died.]

Author Sidney David Gowing (1877 - 1943) was born in Highgate to father Richard (1832 -1899) and mother Fanny. He married Muriel Yerbury Kenrick who was born 6 January 1878 in Cardiff. They were married in 1902 in Kensington. Sidney and Muriel had a daughter Marjorie, baptised in Chigwell in 1903.

Sidney was a Lieutenant in RNVR in WW1. He served for four years with the Dover patrol. At Zeebrugge and Ostend he was in command of a motor launch and for his services was mentioned in despatches. [Leicester Evening Mail 29th August 1924]
In 1919 he received the Croix de Guerre.

Sidney died in Mombasa of malaria.

Sydney and Muriel Gowing appear in West Mersea's electoral rolls for 1931 when they are living in Montagna, Beach Road, in 1936 in Linney, Beach Road, and in 1939 in Oaklands, Grove Avenue. In 1951, his wife Muriel is listed as living at The Beacon (later to become No. 11) Victory Road which was her address at the time of her death, aged 91 on 24 December 1969. Daughter Marjorie appears in the 1973 electoral roll in West Mersea at 11, Victory Road and is thought to have died in Norfolk in 1975.

Sidney was a well known author and wrote under the pseudonyms, John Goodwin, David Goodwin and John Tregilis. Among his writings in the early twentieth century he wrote many tales for the Boys Friend Library, and novels The Spider Woman (1920) and The House of Marney, the latter being the basis for the 1926 British silent crime film of the same name. The House of Marney is an adventure and love story, set on Mersea and in the surrounding area. It must have been written in the 1920s and so Sidney was familiar with Mersea at that time.
It is thought that no copies of the film survive.

Sidney's father was also an author and an editor. In the 1861 census he is Head Reporter and writer in Ipswich and used to work for The Ipswich Journal. In later censuses the family is in London and the two older sons are both listed as reporters. Richard was editor of The Gentleman's Magazine from 1874 - 1877 and wrote, among other publications, a book entitled Richard Cobden; Cobden was a manufacturer, political activist and radical.

With thanks to
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
National Archives
Europeans in East Africa

Read More
The House of Marney by Elaine Barker

SourceMersea Museum