Reginald Gower Ware (1891-1973)
Reginald Gower Ware, known as ‘Reggie’, was born at Englishcombe near Bath in Somerset on 11 December 1891 to parents Walter Thomas Ware (1855-1917) and Alice Mary Ware neé Wheeler (1856-1937). He was the youngest of seven children.
The year before Reggie was born, his father Walter bought impressive Barrow Castle (see photograph below) at Englishcombe, built in 1851.
Reggie’s father, Walter, was a horticulturalist and ran a wholesale nursery business, founding Walter T Ware Ltd. on 18 October 1897, a company still in existence today.
At the time of the 1901 census, Reggie, aged 9, was at Barrow Castle with his parents and three of his siblings, Nora, Sydney and Iris. Sydney was an ‘iron foundry engineer’s pupil’ and later went on to be Work’s Manager for racing car maker Sidney-Straker in Bristol, having the Ware Carburettor named after him.
The family used to visit Dorset for holidays, staying at the Clavell Tower. Walter is credited with designing the round furniture for the circular tower.
By 1911, Reggie, then aged 19, was an apprentice wholesale florist living with his sister Nora Rayner Oliver neé Ware and her husband Ernest Keane Oliver.
Reggie studied Engineering at Reading University. With the outbreak of WW1, he signed up and was commissioned to the Army Service Corps (later known as the Royal Army Service Corps) reaching the position of Second Lieutenant, Unfortunately, Reggie was severely wounded by shrapnel while serving in France in 1917. He virtually lost the use of his left arm and suffered damage to his abdomen.
Also in 1917, Reggie’s father died leaving an estate valued at £137,092 (equivalent to £10 million in 2013). The wholesale nursery business was eventually taken over by manager, Cyril Cherrington Titchmarsh (1891-1976), who married Walter’s daughter Lena Maud Ware (1888-1962) in 1924, so keeping the business in the family.
Reggie eventually moved to Dorset and lived at Gate Cottage close to Worbarrow Bay, just over a stone’s throw away from his maternal grandfather, John Wheeler who lived at The Bungalow. His grandfather’s second wife, Mary Jane Wheeler neé Matthews apparently took him food parcels and hot bowls of soup.
Apparently Reggie owned a string of prestige motor cars with gearboxes adapted so he could change gear with his good right arm. He also loved fishing and had a boat named the ‘Witch of Worbarrow’ which is now at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall. The boat originally belonged to the Miller family.
Reggie died in 1973.
David Doyle, grandson of Charles Clarence Brachi, knew Reggie Ware:
Reg Ware was a close friend of my grandfather Charles Clarence Brachi as well as being John Wheeler’s grandson. We knew him as uncle Reg. I well remember when he visited us at Kimmeridge in 1958 in his Jaguar XK150 sports car and took us for runs on the straight Wareham road. The abiding memory was of terrifying speed (90mph in the days before speed limits) and gear changing with his right arm, letting go of the wheel! I’m sure my parents had no inkling of what went on!