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Bristol Law Society Past Presidents 1931 – 1950

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Jack Lyes, himself formerly a Past President of Bristol Law Society, has been looking at the records and archives held in the Bristol Records Office to find out more about Past Presidents of the Bristol Law Society.

Here he summarises information held on those who held office between 1931 and 1950.

1931 Henry Reginald Wansbrough. See 1905. Twice president of both Bristol Law Society and the Grateful Society. For obituary see WDP 7 and 8 March 1940 and funeral WDP 12 March 1940.


1932 Frank Richardson. Partner E.M. Harwood & Co. Deputy coroner. Volunteer during Great War. Churchwarden Westbury Parish Church. Secretary Western Counties Hockey Association from its formation. President Bristol Photographic Society. Hon Secretary Orthopaedic Hospital. Caricature BTM 17 September 1924. See BCB (11) page 275.


1933 George Strachan John Fuller Eberle. Partner Bevan, Hancock, Boucher & Eberle. Lieutenant-Colonel (RE) in Great War; awarded DSO and three times mentioned in despatches. Major in the Home Guard in WW2. Whilst at Oxford played rugby against Cambridge in 1901 and 1902 and also for Bristol and Gloucestershire. Represented university at swimming. Honorary secretary Bristol branch of NSPCC. Member of Savages, President Grateful Society and Guild of St Stephens Ringers. For obituary see The Times 1 June 1968.


1934 John Ewart Salter. Member Stanley Wasbrough. Director Grand Hotel Co., HH & S Budgett & Co., United Counties Stores Ltd. President Upton Cheyney Institute. For obituary see WDP 7 & 8 December 1938 and funeral 10 December 1938.


1935 Herbert Longman Leonard Partner (with Francis Gilmore Barnett) Barnett & Leonard. Obituary WDP 4 March 1942.


1936 John William Sibly Clough. Became a partner with his uncle Thomas Dix Sibly (see 1898) as ‘Sibly & Clough’ a few days before the latter’s death.


1937 Sydney James Bayliss. Hon Secretary & Treasurer of BLS. A second lieutenant in 3rd Gloucesters in Great War. A Congregational Church lay minister – pastor of Hanham Tabernacle.


1938 Edward Mortimer Harley. Partner Harley & Son. Involved in many local charities including Lord Mayor’s Hospital Fund, Lady Haberfield’s Almshouse, Bristol Eye Hospital. Member of the Board of Patronage for Bristol Diocese. Director Cadena Cafes Ltd., chairman of Clifton Suspension Bridge Company.


1939 Ernest Arthur Painter. Partner Cooke Sons & Painter, later Cooke Painter Spofforth & Co. Member of Dolphin Lodge of freemasons. Played hockey for Gloucestershire. Obituary WDP 8 November 1950. Funeral 16 November 1950.


1940 Edward William Wodehouse Veale. In partnership with his father and uncle as Veale Ford & Co and later as Veale & Co. Treasurer of Bristol Record Society and edited a number of volumes on The Great Red Book of Bristol. Played an important part in establishing the Law Faculty of Bristol University; a member of the academic staff from 1933 to 1950. LL.D. (London) and LL.D (Bristol). See The Bristol Law Faculty: The First Fifty Years by J.A. Borkowsky and H.G. Thomas (Bristol 1984). Obituary in WDP 31 March 1970.


1941 Richard Mervyn Edmund Reeves. Admitted August 1912; mustered 4 August 1914 – captain 6th Leicesters. Served France & Belgium, wounded at Gallipoli. Military representative in on local tribunals in 1918 and 1939. Area commandant Somerset Special Constabulary. Hon. Treasurer Childrens Hospital. Trustee Backwell Parochial Charities. Played cricket for Flax Bourton.


1942 Eliot Trapnell. In partnership with his father (see 1908). Served as lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade in Great War (wounded in France) and in Royal Observer Corps in World War 2.Followed his grandfather and father as Hon. Sec. Bristol Benevolent Institution. Committee member Bristol Dispensary. Deacon Highbury Chapel. Chairman Bristol District Congregational Union. Deputy coroner.

1943 John Reginald (‘Jack’) Ware. Member Burges, Sloan & Ware. Hon. Sec. Bristol Law Society. Served in Great War as Captain in the Somerset Light Infantry, post war as Colonel (TA) commanding 5th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry and, in WW2, in a search-light battery and the Royal Observer Corps. Chairman Bristol Junior Conservative Association, member Constitutional Club, member Dolphin Society, Master St. Stephens Ringers and President Colston Parent Society. Director Grand Hotel (Bristol) Ltd. Photograph in Resist the Usual. Burges Salmon: A History by Neil Porter(Bristol 2010).

1944 Alfred George Hamilton.  Member Hobbs, Hamilton & Hobbs. Served as QMS in RASC during Great War. Committee member at Bristol Club. Keen golfer at Shirehampton. Supporter of Hallen & Henbury Show Society.

1945 Gilbert Dyke (‘Jack’) Wansbrough. Son of H R Wansbrough (see 1905 and 1931). Partner Wansbrough, Robinson, Tayler & Taylor. Captain 4th Gloucesters in Great War – he was gassed and did not return to practice until 1922.

1946 Graham Shurmur Bush. Member of Bush & Bush (with his father Philip). Served in RFC and RAF in WW1. Two of his sons (both pilots) killed in action in WW2.

1947 Stuart Evans. Sole principal Salmon, Cumberland & Evans (until 1947 when he joined Burges, Ware & Scammell). Hon. Sec BLS. Served in Indian Army Reserve of Officers in WW1; mentioned in despatches, awarded MC, wounded at Vimy Ridge. In WW2 commanded an anti-aircraft brigade. Director of Free Legal Dispensary at Broad Plain Mission, President Bristol Commercial Rooms.

1948 William Pepperell Pitt. Member Fox, Whittuck, Pepperell & Elwell of Bristol and Bath (later Pepperell Pitt & Aylett) Served as L/Cpl in Pay Corps in WW1. Deputy Bath City Coroner. Author of The Coroners of Bristol in Transactions of BGAS Vol 55 (1933) pp135-141 and also a book on fly fishing.

1949 Wilfred Stanley Scammell. Member Glyde Kerslake & Scammell – joined Burges Salmon in 1925. Served as a captain in the Worcestershire Regiment in WW1 (mentioned in despatches and MC). Leading authority on agricultural law; author of Law of Agricultural Holdings. Member of the Council of the Council of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Awarded the CBE in 1955 for political and public service in Somerset.

1950 Arthur Roy Boucher. Partner (with his father) Bevan, Hancock & Co. Served as Lt/Col in WW2. Director Bristol United Breweries Ltd, Bristol Brewery Georges & Co Ltd and Courage Barclay & Simonds Ltd; also (as chairman) P & A Campbell Ltd. Solicitor to Bristol Waterworks Ltd. Warden Antient Society of St Stephens Ringers.