Links in a Chain - the Mayors of Bolton
Links in a Chain - The Mayors of Bolton
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Walter Ernest Tonge

Chairman of Westhoughton Urban District Council: 1902-03, 1925-26 (Liberal)

Born: Over Hulton, Bolton 1866

Died: Horwich 6 October 1936

Educated: Westhoughton Congregational Day School; Bolton High School

Colliery cashier.

He was Chief Cashier with the Hulton Collieries and Secretary of the Pretoria Disaster Relief fund. 

Son of James Tonge, a mining engineer.

Chairman of the Finance Committee and an overseer.

As Chairman of the Council he laid a cornerstone for Westhoughton Town Hall on 18 April 1903, as did Roger Walker - senior member of the Council.

He was instrumental in forming the Westhoughton Liberal Association and the Nonconformist Union. 

He was strong advocate for the temperance movement and was a leading member of temperance friendly society, The Independent Order of Rechabites. He held the position of Chief Ruler (Branch Chairman) and was a Past Chief Ruler of the local Tent (or branch) of the society.

For many years he was Captain of the First Eleven of Westhoughton Cricket Club and during his captaincy in 1894 the club were champions of the Bolton and District League.

Congregationalist - he was the Secretary of Westhoughton Congregational Church.

Two of his brothers were also connected with the coal industry. Alfred Tonge was General Manager of the Company at the time of the Pretoria disaster and James Tonge Jnr was a consultant mining engineer who was often called as an expert witness.

His other brother, George Edward Tonge, became an architect who designed most of Southport's many cinemas and also Royal Birkdale Golf Club.

Walter Ernest TongeTonge Family Tree • pdf


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