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Knott, T.G., Tpr., 1914-18 (1949)

Thomas Garbutt Knott

Lady Margaret Knott

Sir James Knott

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Thomas Garbutt Knott, was born on the 14th of July 1879, one of three sons, was the eldest child of James Knott, of Howden-on-Tyne, Northumberland, baptised at St. Peter, Wallsend, March 4th 1855 and Margaret Annie Garbutt of Holmfirth, Yorkshire, also born 1855, daughter of Reverend Thomas Garbutt.

James Knott was a man of humble beginnings, the son of a grocer. He left school at the age of 14, working as a shipping clerk at an office on Newcastle-upon-Tyne quayside and by the age of 20 began his own business as a shipbroker. Having borrowed money from a friend at the age of 23 he bought an old collier, "Pearl of Scarborough" and September 17th 1878, he and Margaret Annie were married at Tynemouth, Northumberland. Thomas Garbutt Knott was born July 7th 1879 at North Shields, in 1881 they were living next door to Margaret Annie's widowed mother, her sister, brother and his wife, at 1 Frank Place, North Shields. By the time James Leadbitter was born at North Shields during the 4th quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) 1882, his father had bought a steam ship from Swan Hunter named "Saxon Prince" and founded the Prince Line Ltd. which became one of the biggest shipping lines in the world with a fleet of over 40 ships, with distinct slate grey hulls, black and red funnels with white Prince of Wales feathers. The family enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle and became well known. They left North Shield and moved to Manor House, Jesmond, a suburb of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland and it was here that youngest son Henry Basil Knott was born, February 5th 1891 and baptised April 18th at St. George, Newcastle. The house was run by 47-year-old Annie Hindmarsh with the assistance of a butler, cook, a kitchen maid and 2 housemaids. James Leadbitter (8) and Henry Basil (3 months) were looked after by a certificated nurse, a nursemaid and were schooled by a live-in tutor. Thomas at the age of 11 was living as a boarder at The Manse, Thirston, Northumberland, the home of Presbyterian minister James Lemon, his wife and son. By 1901 the family had moved to 4, Sydenham Terrace, Jesmond, which was fully staffed, James Leadbitter Knott (18) was the only son still living at home, Thomas Garbutt, not wanting to join the family business, had departed to South Africa, Henry Basil (10) was a boarder attending Langley Place School, Horsemore Green, Langley, Buckinghamshire, however, he had returned to the family home, now at Close House, Wylam-on-Tyne, by 1911.

Thomas Garbutt Knott was a wanderer, he departed to South Africa in 1899 aboard a ship of the Prince Line as a deck hand, having been refused free passage by his father. He joined the African Light Horse and served for the duration of the Boer War 1899-1902. In 1907 he was living at Ashtabula, Ohio, U.S.A. where he married, October 17th 1907, Sarah Elizabeth Fowler. When war was declared between Britain and Germany he was in New Zealand and in answer to the call, joined the forces. He departed October 15th 1914 from Port Dunedin disembarking at Suez, Egypt. He served in Egypt and the Balkans as Trooper 9/154 with the Otago Mounted Rifles, transferring to the Anzac Camel Corps and then the Auckland Rifles. His younger brother Henry Basil Knott was killed in Belgium in 1915, James Leadbitter Knott on the first day of the Battles of the Somme in 1916 and for a time it was believed he too was dead. Trooper Knott returned to New Zealand, having spent time as a Prisoner of War and recuperating at Aoteo Convalescent Home, Egypt, suffering from memory loss. He was demobilised in England having been given compassionate leave 1917/18 to return home, as his mother's health had been affected by the loss of her 2 sons, this also gave him the opportunity to reconcile with his father after many years of estrangement.

Although he would have liked to return to New Zealand he remained in England. His first marriage ended in divorce in 1925, he having named his wife Sarah Elizabeth as respondent and a Lincoln R. Robson as co-respondent. Thomas Garbutt remarried later that year widow Margaret Annie Anderson who had 2 sons from her first marriage to George Anderson who had perished during WW1. They separated soon after, however, he continued to look after them.

After the loss of his sons James Knott retired in 1916, in 1917 he received a Baronetcy which bestowed upon him and his wife the title of Sir James Knott and Lady Margaret. In 1924 Sir James and Lady Margaret settled on the island of Jersey, Channel Islands at Samares Manor. Lady Margaret Annie Knott nee Garbutt died March 8th 1929, aboard their yacht, in Cannes, France, aged 74 years. Sir James Knott 1st Baronet remarried in 1932 at Monte Carlo to Elizabeth Chystie Gauntlet, the 25-year-old daughter of Colonel V. C. Gauntlett, he died at St. Clements, Jersey, Channel Islands, June 8th 1934 and interred June 12th. Elisabeth Chystie Knott nee Gauntlett, who had married for a second time, also in Jersey, died on November 23rd 1998.

Thomas Garbutt Knott at the time of his father's death was living at Court Lands, Exmouth, Devon where he raised Jersey cows, employing 7 workers and a dairy maid and was a keen pigeon fancier, he inherited the title of 2nd Baronet. Sir Thomas Garbutt Knott died April 10th 1949 aged 69 years, probate September 19th 1949, effects 55,565 pounds 1 shilling 4 pence to Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Company Limited. The title of Baronet ceased as neither of his marriages had produced an heir.

In God's safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Thomas Garbutt Knott is not remembered on a North East War Memorial.

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk