Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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George Gleave

Chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council: 1909-10, 1917-19 (Conservative)

Born: Astley Bridge, Bolton 1875

Died: Lancaster, Lancashire 11 March 1919

Auctioneer and valuer.

His father was William Thomas Gleave, landlord of the Commercial Hotel, Church Street, Westhoughton.

Elected in 1905 and a member of the Westhoughton UDC for 14 years.

He was a forceful speaker and ready debater.

His qualities were keenly appreciated during the difficult years of the First World War. As Chairman of the Food Control Committee and Local Tribunal he became leader of the township's War organization.

He worked under the Food Ministry for the Westhoughton and Horwich area and fought successfully for the retention of that area when it was about to be merged with Bolton. It was due to him that Westhoughton and Horwich, with their collieries and munitions works, were kept well supplied with food generally. In Tribunal work he was careful that Westhoughton's local needs were insured. He always said that his job was not to send men to the Army - and certainly not to keep them out - but carefully to weigh in the balance every interest, both local and national. When the Government announced their intention of closing the gun factory he took a strong attitude, using all his influence for the welfare of the district.

He was described as a strong fighter if the issue meant anything to Westhoughton. He was proud of his township and would never allow it to become secondary in affairs like food control, education and politics.

In March 1919 he was reported as missing. His body was found in the Galgate Canal, near Lancaster on Tuesday 11 March 1919 at 8pm. The inquest was held next day at the Plough Inn, Galgate and the Horwich and Westhoughton Journal reported that "remarkable disclosures were made. The Coroner went into the case more fully than usual because, as he explained, of the fact that criminal proceedings were hanging over the head of the deceased, and that was the only place where the circumstances could be inquired into, and at the close he recorded a verdict that 'the deceased drowned himself', but after his partner's evidence said, 'I shall say there is not sufficient evidence to show what the state of his mind was'."

His death was described as "a real tragedy for Westhoughton and the painful circumstances attending it magnified its sad aspect".

George GleaveGleave Family Tree • pdf


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