|The Harcourt Burrage Family of Redhill|
|Edwin Harcourt Burrage and his son, Athol, lived in Redhill and were prolific writers. Both wrote boys' adventure novels and Edwin also wrote books about the local area. There were other writers in the family too.|
|Edwin Burrage 1838-1916|
|Edwin Harcourt Burrage was a well-known writer of stories for boys. Born in Norwich he went to London and became an illustrator but his talent caused him to use his pen for writing as well as drawing and he became the author of many books and magazine stories, writing 58 or more from possibly as early as 1876 to 1911.|
He seems to have moved around a great deal. In 1881 aged 38 he was living in the Canbury area of Kingston on Thames with his wife, his first child, Fernie, who was born there. and a 13 year old housemaid. Information from elsewhere says that he came to the Redhill area in about 1882 but census records show that his next two children, Margarite and John were born at Chipstead in 1883 and 1885. By 1891 he was living in Woodlands Road, Redhill, and by 1899 was at Margarets Villa, St Johns Road, Earlswood, said to be previously the home of one of the Linnell family. At the time of his death he was resident in Station Road.
For the 'Boy's World' Vol. 5, he contributed The Boys of Marford. For 'Our Boys' paper, first published in 1886, he wrote Timothy Twister's Schooldays, and for the 'Boys Standard' he penned the successful humorous tales of Ching Ching, Bill Grunt, Eddard Cutten and many others. Other stories included Tom Tartar, The Island School and The Lambs of Littlecote.
His stories achieved great popularity in their time. His greatest creation is said to have been the character of Ching Ching, while his acknowledged masterpiece was Handsome Harry of the Fighting Belvedere. Spangles and Gold was another celebrated work.
A book that is said to have achieved some notoriety in the world of journalism was The Ruin of Fleet Street, published in 1881/2. Here Mr Burrage described the old Bohemian journalists who made Fleet Street their only rendezvous. For many years Mr Burrage was one of the few remaining links with this school of journalists of the 1870s and 80s.
For some years he was associated with Mr T.H.Roberts, and during this time produced The Strange Story of Ironicus Bucephalus, the Motor Horse. This was said to have been recorded by 'Petrol', possibly a pen name, and was a vehicle for his considerable scope for humour.
Many local historians will be familiar with Reigate Past and Present, which he wrote in about 1901 while he was a member of Reigate Council, and which has passages quoted in volume 1 of this history. In 1904 he published Reigate Up-to-date, a revised edition with local people 'Shakespearianised'. He also contributed to the Surrey Mirror. It is said that he offered his autobiography to a London publisher; whether or not it was published is unknown.
Edwin Burrage was keenly interested in the Redhill Literary Society and was for many years its librarian. He was a member of the Redhill Improvement Association and, being keen on Sport, was President of the Holmethorpe Cricket Club. Very active in local affairs of all kinds he was also a Freemason.
He married Alice, date unknown, who was around fifteen years younger than her husband. She remained a widow for 30 years after his death, dying in August 1943 aged 89. They had five sons and two daughters.
The Examples of the front covers of a few of E. Harcourt Burrage's book appear further down the page
|Athol Burrage 1899-1951|
A brother, a nephew and two or more sons and at least one of Edwin Burrage's daughters were also writers although the one who really carried on the family trait was Athol Harcourt Burrage, his youngest son and the only one of his offspring to settle permanently in Redhill. Athol was the author of a considerable number of books between 1928 and 1953; mostly, if not all, also stories for boys.
Another family trait seems to have been travel. His brother John went to Canada and Athol, having travelled himself in Europe worked his way by liner to see him. On the way he scraped, chipped and painted the ship, the SS Cape Havre, stood watches in the engine room, and even worked on the bridge.
Athol published his first book, The Idol of St Moncreeth, in 1924 and about 50 more air, sea and other adventure stories for boys. There were also short stories, some of which were broadcast, and one was turned into a play.
He found the time to establish a group of boy scouts, cubs and rovers and also to be an air raid warden before WW2 started. He was an officer in the home guard and, before the war was over, volunteered for the RAF and commanded a mobile signals unit in Belgium.
After the war he was connected with the Redhill and Reigate Young Writers Circle, which he had helped to form, and with the Liberal Party. He made a home for his widowed mother in Woodlands Road. He died three years after her in 1951.
Athol Harcourt Burrage 1899 1951
|Scouting fiction books written by|
A Harcourt Burrage
|Title: Kop of the Secret Service Published by: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co / Rylee (Rewards) Ltd 1951|
|Kop was a Sea Scout. Now there are thousands of Sea Scouts in England but Kop was one of the Senior Scouts, and even to his closest friends he was something of a mystery. Gradually they came to realise that Kop had duties far beyond theirs, duties connected with the Secret Service of Great Britain. His adventures in the performance of his duties form one of the most exciting stories ever written by the author who is a well known writer of boys yarns.|
Illustrated are two different sleeves for the book
|Title: Bravo, Sea Scouts Publishd by: Wells Gardner, Darton & Co 1952|
|Evacuated during the height of the Second World War from London to Frapbay (a Devon fishing village), four Sea Scouts, under Patrol Leader Wendy Bray, carry on their own Troop. The Patrol includes Peter Gayford Carrots Dulake, Jimmy Marsh, and Terry Dixon.|
While sailing in the bay, a brief but dense sea-fog descends. Wendy Bray boards an unmanned launch they sight during a partial and momentary lifting of the fog. Later the fog clears, but the Patrol Leader and the unmanned launch have vanished. By their ingenuity and Scoutcraft, the rest of the Patrol reveal a German inspired and conducted sabotage organisation, contact with occupied France (and passage, between the two countries, of highly trained personnel) being maintained by craft that are navigated and controlled entirely by remote means.
|Many thanks to Mr Gregory Philpott of Auckland NZ for the above|
Edwin Harcourt Burrage's son John went to Canada but was not the only one of his boys to do so. Douglas Burrage, for a while a proof reader on the Surrey Mirror, had seen Lord George Sanger's Circus passing along Redhill High Street when he was only six years of age. Its colour and music, Red Indians, princesses, clowns and cowboys thrilled him and created a lasting impression.
He emigrated to western Canada where he was a ranch hand, painter, lumberjack, author, farmhand and engineer among other things. All of this was interrupted by WW1 when he saw service with Canadian forces at Vimy Ridge, Ypres and the Somme.
After the war he returned to Canada where he found he could draw and paint. He became involved in this activity but apparently made little money from it, getting his living by making toys and games in a factory in the United States.
He returned to England where he took a studio in Chelsea. While on a sketching tour of Kent he not only witnessed another travelling circus but amazingly got an invitation to join it and become a clown, which he did. Combining the two activities - clown and artist - worked well for him. A water colour entitled 'A Waterfront' was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1948 and a book called 'Broken hearted Clown' was published in 1964. He was interviewed by Cliff Michelmore in a TV programme on that occasion.
|A Few of the Books of Edwin Harcourt Burrage|
|The Missing Millions||The Slave Raiders of|
|Carbinier and Scout||The Yurra Yurra Boys|
|The Twin Castaways||John Blessington's Enemy||Never Beaten||The Ruin of Fleet Street 1897|
|A fairly rare book. This copy is falling to pieces and has been held together with cellotape, hence the lines across the front cover.|
|Reigate: Home and Foreign - Past and Present 1901|
|More Books by Athol Burrage|
|The House of Golden Windows (printed at Redhill)||Scoundrel of the Air||Scoundrel of the Air||Hurtlers Through Space|
|Other titles include:|
Air Fiend - Smuggler's Yunker - Island Secrets - Mystery Term at Hemming - Rebel of the House - Three Chums - bending the Sails - Rival Fifteens - The Secret Voyage - Winning Through - Well Played, Sir! - Hoorah for gawthorne - The Mysteries of Saddleworth - For House and School - Cock of the Walk - Marooned Campers - Dunning's House at Dorsing - Scowbanker - Seekers.
|The Idol of Saint|
|Other Authors in the family|
|Edwin Harcourt Burrage had a brother who was also an author. Alfred Sherrington Burrage wrote under the names of 'Cyril Hathway' and 'Philander Jackson.' His work appeared in boys' adventure magazines but it is notknown if he wrote any novels. Alfred Sherrington Burrage died in 1906.|
Alfred Sherrington's son, Alfred McLelland. Burrage, who was born in 1890 at Hillingdon, Middlesex, also took up writing and may have been more successful than his father. He wrote for many boys' papers but also branched out into other markets. He served in the army during WW1 and wrote 'War is War', his memoirs of his army service..
|No pictures of either Edwin Harcourt Burrage or Athol Harcourt Burrage are known. If anyone has pictures of them that they would be willing to supply for inclusion on this page, or has any further information to be added to the above, please contact author|
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|13th June 2011|