John Wilson Westacott

Date published: 22/01/2014
© Newbury Weekly News






The news of the death of Mr. John Wilson Westacott, which took place at Priory-road early on Saturday morning, came as a shock to his many friends, and those who had been associated with him in public life. The majority had not even heard of his illness, which was short and the end sudden. He had an attack of influenza, and was recommended a few days' rest at home. The rest was longer than anticipated, for death resulted from a weak heart. Mr. Westacott, who was 59 years of age, was born at South Moulton, Devonshire, and had spent 37 of his years in Newbury. His parents came to the town in 1870, and he followed in 1876, entering service of Mr. Talbot, solicitor, of Northbrook-street. A little later he removed to the office of Mr. George Nelson Tanner, solicitor, of Oxford-street, then clerk to the Newbury Guardians, and associated with other public concerns, including the Newbury District Water Company. Mr. Westacott there commenced his official career, and being entrusted with the details in connection with these various institutions, became quite an expert authority on matters of the Poor Law administration.


On the death of Mr. Tanner, the clerkship of the Guardians was transferred to Mr. Stanley V. Pinniger, in whose office Mr. Westacott became managing clerk. There he remained up to the time of his illness a few days before his death, trusted and respected by his employer. He was most painstaking and conscientious in the discharge of his duties, yet unassuming and seldom coming into public notice. His ready assistance was greatly valued by members of the Board of Guardians and Rural District Council, and a moving tribute was paid to his memory by the Chairman at the meeting on Tuesday. The directors and shareholders of the Water Company were also impressed by the capable manner in which he carried out his work. His brother Poor Law officers always found him willing and able to help in any difficulties that might arise. The deceased was a Registrar of Marriages, and all who came into contact with him were treated with quiet courtesy and consideration. The official life of Newbury is all the poorer for his death, and the bereaved widow and son have received many messages of sympathy.


The funeral took place yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon at the Cemetery, the service being conducted by the Rev. J.N. Blagden, Vicar of Greenham, whose church he had been in the habit of attending. The body was borne on a hand bier from the residence in Priory-road, the mourners followed on foot, the service being simple and unostentatious, as would have been the wish of the deceased.


The mourners were Mrs. Westacott (widow), Mr. Henry Westacott (son), Mr. W.H. Westacott (brother). Miss Alice Westacott (daughter), Mr. Charles Meader and Miss Meader.


Among those present to pay a last tribute of respect were Miss Talbot, Miss Dalton, Messrs H. Hill and E.J. Forster (Guardians), Mr. Stanley Pinniger (clerk to the Guardians), Mr. F.Q. Louch (Town Clerk), Mr. W. E. Pettifer (Assistant \Town Clerk) Dr. Hickman, Mr. F.J. Coldicott, J.P.,Messrs. W. Draper, A.J. Rawlins, and A.B. Bland (Relieving Officers), Mr. W. Woollacott (Workhouse Master), Mr. R.H. Jeeves (Education Secretary), Messrs J. Freeman, H. Pratt, F.H. Stillman, (representing the National Deposit Friendly Society of whom (deceased) was a member, Horace G. Cox, J.W.H. Kemp, C. Langton, F. Goddard, G.F. Cosburn, Miss Meredew, Miss Taylor and others.


The following floral tributes were sent- Mrs Westacott (widow), Miss a. Westacott (sister), Mrs. C. Scammell (niece) Stalbridge, Miss M. Westacott (cousin), South Moulton, Mr. and Mrs. Trapnell (cousins), Cricklewood; Mr. S.V. Pinniger, Mr. Taylor and daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Horace G. Cox, Mr. Grimes, the officers of the Newbury Union, Messrs S.V. Pinniger, W. Draper, A.J. Rawlins, A.B. Bland, W. Woollacott, W. Church, and O. Frewin.


Funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Walter Church.


WESTACOTT – March 22, at St Mary's Cottage, Priory-road, Newbury, after a short illness, John Wilson Westacott, aged 59.


Newbury Weekly News 27 March 1913


Mrs Patt ison page 88 (wrongly noted as 1915)


Sources:Newbury Weekly News 27 March 1913

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