Harold Thorpe 1875 – 1953

The third son of Col. James and Anne Thorpe, Harold was born 17-4-1875 and baptised 8-6-1875 at Coddington.


We have a picture of Harold as a teenager/young man with his brothers and sisters and dog Ben, sitting on a wall at Ardbrecknish in the early 1890s [1b].

{insert picture}

Cicely; Helen; Margie; Harold; Torvaise; Richie; Archie; Willy and dog Ben.


(Other pictures of the Thorpes in Ardbrecknish  are on the site of the Macdougals of Lunga, cousins through Annie Thorpe nee Macdougal, Harold’s mother. NB we cannot link directly – see below)

Before the Boer War, he was a Lieutenant in the Sherwood Rangers. In May 1900 he travelled to Southampton to meet his brother Gervase, who had been invalided home after being wounded at the battle of Paardeburg.

In 1900/01 Harold and his sister Miss Thorpe (probably the eldest, Richmond) were amongst the principal mourners at their grandmother Richmond MacDougall’s funeral, representing the Thorpe family. (There are pictures of Richmond MacDougall and descriptions of her funeral on the MacDougall website. Annie and her daughters may have been abroad with Archibald in hope of improving his health. He died at Frankfort-on-Main after several years of illness and in June 1901 his father James Thorpe (Col.) was not well enough to travel from Scotland to Coddington for Archibald?s funeral.) Colonel James Thorpe died in July1902, Harold and Gervaise were away at the front but although they travelled back neither arrived in time for his funeral at Coddington. From his father Harold inherited one third of the profit and goodwill of the maltings business.

Military links between local regiments and the Thorpes were strong. Newark Advertiser reports on April 6, 1904

A parade of the Newark Squadron of the Sherwood Rangers Imperial Yeomanry took place on Monday. The troop assembled at Beacon Hill at 9.30am and shortly afterwards were proceeding on their way to Coddington, where in the spacious park adjoining the Hall drill was commenced immediately on arrival. After having about three hours of field work, the squadron were entertained to a capital luncheon in the Hall conservatory, through the kind hospitality of Captain H. Thorpe.

Harold was living at Coddington Hall when he became a County Magistrate.  In March 1905, he awarded a ?2,296 contract to W Smith of Millgate for alterations and additions to the Hall, the Architect being F B Wade, F R I B A of Sloane St., London S.W.  (In London the Thorpes lived first at 59 Eaton Place and later at 30 Eaton Square.) He was promoted within the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry in 1905 and 1910.


On 12-7-1909, at Coddington, Capt. Harold Thorpe, Sherwood Rangers, married Dorothy Marion, only daughter of Godfrey Tallents of Coddington House.

There is a picture of them in 1914, sitting on the wall at Ardbrecknish [1b].

On 15-6-1916 [3] his wife opened a Sale of Work. {insert picture}


Dorothy and Harold had four children:

  • Margaret Anne  baptised Newark P.C. on 20-4-1911
  • Bridget Mary, who married Captain Michael Nicholson
  • two other daughters (one of whom may have been called Caroline).

In World War 1 he saw service in Gallipoli, Palestine and Salonika. In 1914 he was in command of A-Squadron of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. His second-in-command, brother-in-law Hugh Tallents, took over the squadron at Gallipoli when Harold was promoted [1c]. By November 1915 [2] Harold had become temporary Lieut. Colonel and was Commanding Officer of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry.

In 1916 Harold’s eldest brother John Somerled was killed on the Somme and Harold was one his executors. Harold had seen continuous service, attended the Scots Guards Officers Memorial Service at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane St., London in October 1916. This commemorated all the Guards dead and mourners included the Prime Minister Asquith and Viscount Gladstone.

In January 1917 Harold won the D.S.O. and in November [4] was mentioned in despatches. He was then ‘of Coddington Hall, and a member of the firm of J Thorpe & Sons, Maltsters’.


In the 1918 sale of his brother’s estate:

  • Harold was listed as the tenant of lot 34 – Laundry and cottage and outbuildings opposite Hall Lodge (near the current Post Office).
  • Harold bought lots 26 and 27 (for £420, 12a of arable land where S Parkes was the tenant) which he transferred to his brother Gervase. [4a]

Harold’s seal and signature is on many of the conveyances of village properties sold in the 1918 Estate Sale, along with that of his brothers and sisters.


Few further mentions of Harold were been found by G Hemingway in his 1982 book on the Thorpe Family.


In 1923 Colonel Harold, J.P and Dorothy lived at Coddington Moor Estate, where they farmed.  The 1938 Kelly Directory records his telephone number as 281X1.

For many Years, he was a Churchwarden at All Saints, Coddington P.C.


On 12-4-1937 [5] he was elected Chairman of the Newark [County] Quarter Sessions, and in 1940 he was Chairman of the Board of Magistrates. At An unknown time, he disposed of the malting business and subsequently became a Director of Tully & Sons.

On 28-12-1940 [6] at Southwell Minster, Capt. Michael Nicholson, Sherwood Foresters, son of Mr A O Nicholson, 2 The Park, Newark, married Bridget Mary Thorpe.

In the 1950 Kelly Directory Lt. Colonel Harold D.S.O. T.D. J.P. had moved from Coddington Moor to The Old Vicarage, and his telephone number was 28. (Later his brother-in-law Godfrey Edward Tallents also moved to The Old Vicarage.)

On 1-12-1953, at Newark Hospital [7] Harold Thorpe ‘ of Coddington Hall’ died, aged 78. The funeral was at Coddington on the 3rd. He left a widow and four daughters.


Credits (Incomplete)

1b      MacDougall family website



(At lunga.com : Click left menu  ‘Macdougal’s of Lunga’ – link ‘Estate photos’ – click photo Mary Beag – link Thorpe)


1a      Newark Advertiser    May 1900 (reported in 100 years ago)

1c       “The Tallents of Newark” – G Hemingway 1982, Pg 36, Hugh Tallents

1        N A 7-3-1902 p 5, col 6;

    2        N A     3-11-1915 p 5, col 3

     3        N A      21-6-1916 p 5, col 4

                 4        Newark Herald  1-12-1917 p 5, col 3

4a      1918 Estate Sale Catalogue; NA Sale report; ManorDairy Farmhouse papers.

5        Unknown

6        Unknown

7        Unknown