|Maclean Family Tree|
Catherine Wharrie Maclean
William Maclean's first child was born in West Hartlepool in March 1867. A girl, she was named Catherine (or Katie) Wharrie Maclean. Her middle name was given in honour of her father's mentor and apparent adoptive father George Wharrie. At the age of 22, in 1889, she married Canon Alfred Boot from Birmingham. The young family moved to Darlington, where Alfred was the vicar of St John's. A daughter, Catherine (or sometimes Katherine) Gladys Boot, was born in 1890. A son, Alfred Douglas Boot, followed in 1894. That same year Alfred assisted at the wedding of Frederick William Maclean and Lucy Pyman. In 1913, Alfred became vicar of St George's in Jesmond, Newcastle, and an honorary Canon of Newcastle Cathedral. He became a residentiary Canon in 1924, living at 35 Grosvenor Place, Jesmond. The following year, he presided over the funeral of his mother-in-law Clara at Christ Church, West Hartlepool. Catherine Wharrie Boot died in 1928. Alfred retired in 1934, and died in 1937.
Their daughter, Gladys Boot, was educated at Church High School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the Levana School in Wimbledon, Surrey. Later, she became a modestly successful character actress with appearances on both stage and screen. She studied for the stage privately with Elsie Fogerty, and made her debut at Jesmond Playhouse, Newcastle, Oct 1940 in The Quiet Wedding. Her first London appearance was at Wyndham's Theatre, July 1941 in Quiet Weekend which she played over 1,000 times, including tours overseas and for the forces 1943-44. After the war, she was an actress at the Liverpool Repertory Company at Liverpool Playhouse Theatre, and becoming the the leading lady in the company. Her first film appearance appears to have been in Launder & Gilliatt's original The Blue Lagoon (1949) (as "woman on yacht"). Also in 1949 she was in a touring production of Yes M'Lord, a comedy which enjoyed a run on Broadway (the cast included a young Elaine Stritch), and she played Mrs Higgins in a touring production of Shaw's Pygmalion in 1951. My grandmother and aunt went to see her in the West End of London during the 1950s in a production of TS Eliot's The Cocktail Party. In the late 1950s and early 1960s she made several appearances in television dramas. (See iMDB for filmography). She does not appear to have married, and died in October 1964 in London.
Alfred and Catherine's son Douglas Boot was educated at Haileybury, and began a career as a stockbroker with the firm Wise Speke in Newcastle on Tyne. However, he was also a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and as a result was called up right at the beginning of the Great War in 1914. He appears to have had an adventurous time as well as the unusual distinction as a naval officer of serving both on land with the Royal Naval Division and at sea with the Grand Fleet. The Naval Division was involved in the defence of Antwerp in 1914. After that battle, most of Douglas Boot’s brigade were forced back into what was then neutral Holland and were interned at Groeningen, near the German border. Douglas escaped and, dressed as a woman, managed to reach Rotterdam where he was smuggled onto a British ship and home. Later he served with the Naval Division in the Dardanelles, and fell seriously ill with dysentery at Gallipoli. He very nearly died, but recovered sufficiently to serve at sea with the Grand Fleet at Jutland and elsewhere. (He was refused permission by a medical board to serve again on land with the Naval Division).
After the war Douglas returned to Wise Speke where he later became a partner. In 1920, he married Jessie Reed Dickson (b 1890, Dungannon, County Tyrone) at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. He had known Jessie (who was four years older than him) when he was a schoolboy because she had been at boarding school with his sister Gladys Boot and had come to stay with the Boots one holiday. She served as a volunteer nurse in France for part of the war, and sustained Douglas with letters and parcels while he was at Gallipoli and with the Grand Fleet. He and Jessie had three daughters.
Douglas was very interested in politics, and was adopted as a Conservative candidate during the later 1920s. However the damage to his insides sustained from dysentery at Gallipoli resurfaced, and he was obliged to step down from a possible political career. For the last ten years of his life he was in considerable pain, but soldiered on both as a stockbroker and a political activist until his death from cancer in 1936 at the untimely age of just 42. During his life, he wrote two published novels: Frogs Die In Earnest and Unseasoned Timber. His widow Jessie died in 1958. (Sincere thanks to Jessie Boot's great-nephew Chris Dickson supplying for this information).
Douglas and Jessie Boot's three daughters were Hilda Douglas Boot (b 1921), Audrey Elizabeth Boot (b 1924) and Cynthia Mary Boot (b 1925). I know comparatively little about them. Hilda married Edward Scott in 1940. However that marriage did not last, possibly as a result of her husband's death, and she married again in 1949. Her second husband was Francis Raoul Osborne Foa. She died in 1997 in Hampshire. Cynthia married Alexander Blyth Wood in 1949, and had at least two sons. Audrey married David John Orde in 1950, and they had one son and three daughters.
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