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George Edward Wentworth Bowyer - Western Underwood
1st Baron Denham - George E. Wentworth Bowyer
Weston Manor, Weston Underwood

It’s an image that would have my editor choking on her canapés.

So for this week’s picture - although it would doubtless enhance the prospects of Parliamentary selection - it’s perhaps best to withhold the photo of my unclothed form draped in a bed sheet.

And so to more worthy role models, and a person who commanded the real respect of authority; George Edward Wentworth Bowyer. Born on January 16th 1886 he was the eldest son of Lt. Col. W.G. Bowyer of Weston Manor, Weston Underwood, and after an education at Eton and New College, Oxford, was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1909.

In 1910 he joined the Buckingham Battalion of the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry (Territorials) and as a Captain fought on the Western Front, being awarded the Military Cross for gallantry on the field.

On the evening of Thursday May 6th 1915, whilst in the trenches he was hit in the shoulder by a piece of rifle grenade, but fortunately the fragment missed the bone, and, after hospital treatment in England, he returned to France in 1916 as Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion of the county regiment.

He then remained in that capacity until recalled for special service at the Admiralty in 1918, the year before his marriage to the Hon. Daphne Mitford.

Entering politics, he was returned with a clear majority as the Coalition Conservative Member for North Bucks, and, being conscientious in his duties, gained much respect, not least from taking a great interest in the welfare of ex servicemen.

Knighted in 1929, in 1935 he was appointed as Comptroller of His Majesty’s Household, and by 1937 had contested and won seven elections, all with substantial majorities.

Following the outbreak of World War Two he joined the Home Guard Directorate at the War Office, and there he would be engaged until the end of the conflict. Keen on hunting, he was also a keen cricketer, and during the summer would play for the Weston Underwood and other local clubs.

Of his three children, whilst serving in the R.A.F. his eldest son was killed in action during World War Two, and so his younger son, the Hon. Bertram Stanley Mitford Bowyer, born in 1927, would succeed to the barony in 1948 at the death of his father, which, at the age of 62, occurred on the morning of Tuesday, November 30th 1948, after an operation in a London nursing home.

Drawn by two horses, the coffin was borne from The Manor in a farm cart, and with many notables present the funeral took place at Weston Underwood Church on Friday, December 3rd 1948, the two standards of the Olney branch of the British Legion, of which he had been president, being held aloft at the entrance.

Writing in the Times on Monday, December 6th 1948, ‘J’ would pen this fitting tribute to Lord Denman - the Rt. Hon. Sir George Edward Wentworth Bowyer M.C., first Baron Denham of Weston Underwood and first baronet; “The motto of George Bowyer - the name I think, by which his old friends will still remember him best - should have been “I serve.”

Whether it was an intimate friend, a constituent, or just an acquaintance that needed his help he was always available, and there must indeed be many who, on looking back, will gratefully remember the leg up which they owe to his kindness.

In politics, in his business, and in sport, he will be greatly missed by his friends in all walks of life, and not least by some of the humblest.”

Pleasing credentials, and credentials which expose scantily clad antics as mere attention seeking silliness, through which the naked truth can be quite easily discerned by a far from silly electorate.