GOWER, John Nathaniel

1838 - 1905

John Nathaniel Gower was born at Ipswich on 9 April 1838 and baptised at St Mary Stoke Church, Ipswich on 18 May 1838, son of Charles Foote Gower (26 September 1807-28 January 1867), a soap factor, and his wife Sarah née Badham (1805-10 November 1888), who married at Bulmer, Essex on 12 November 1835. On 1 May 1857, John purchased an ensign commission in 78th Regiment being promoted lieutenant 20 November 1857 and captain 26 October 1865 and was posted to Scotland where he remained with depot companies until 5 May 1871. He married at St Mary’s Episcopal House, Inverary, Aberdeen, Scotland on 20 September 1870, Elizabeth Erskine Forbes-Mitchell (c1840-17 May 1928), youngest daughter of the late Duncan Forbes-Mitchell (31 October 1812-13 August 1870) of Thainston and Easter Beltie, Aberdeenshire. On 6 May 1871, he was posted to Halifax, Nova Scotia but remained only until 25 November the same year. Promoted Brevet Major on 13 February 1878 and honorary Lieutenant Colonel on retired pay on 25 May 1878. In 1881, a Lt Col (retired), living with his 41-year-old wife and their children, 3-year-old John Forbes and 2-year-old Alice Lilian, at West Tower, Norwich Road, Ipswich where they kept three indoor servants. A member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1883-1886 but had exhibited from West Tower in 1881, three watercolours 'Start Point, South Devon’, 'Pin Mill on the Orwell' and 'Harwich', in 1883 he exhibited two watercolours 'Sketch of Hastings' and 'On the Orwell' and continued to exhibit irregularly. In 1891 still living at West Tower with the addition of a further son, 8-year-old Hugh Duncan and ten years later John, his wife and young Hugh were boarders at the boarding house, Villa Letitia at Felixstowe. John Nathaniel Gower died at 54 Creffield Road, Colchester 28 August 1905, aged 67.