Vol 12.5 William Home-Gall Author, Club Vice President

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Vol 12.5 William Home-Gall Author, Club Vice President

Post by Les1949 »


Things you may not know, or didn’t know you knew!

Author and Club Vice-President

During this centenary season I will try to find out as much as possible about those people who were connected with the club in the early days of its existence.

William B Home-Gall (1861-1933) was born in Hong Kong and before settling in Hampton led a varied life. William lost his father early on when his ship ‘The Champion’ went down with all hands near Mexico in November 1861. Educated back in England, living with his aunt Elizabeth Gallows in East Anglia. After leaving school and a short stint in the army William went to America sampling life as a farmer and took part in a Sherriff’s Posse. Returning to England William had a variety of jobs, none of which lasted very long.

At some time, William moved to Hampton marrying in 1889 and had two sons, Willie and Edward, both sons were baptised in St Marys. William lived in a house called Panmura in Nightingale Road – the family were certainly living there in the 1911 census.

William turned his hand to writing and his first novel was published in 1892 ‘Where Honour Sits’. Several years of struggle followed but by the late 1890s he was making a living writing fiction, mainly for Boy’s Magazines. His forte was stories of derring-do and clean-cut British heroes. Many of his stories appeared under the nom-de-plume of Reginald Wray.

In 1899 he wrote a story of a future war ‘Invasion of the British Isles’ under the byline of Col Maude VC – but it was ghosted by William. In the latter part of the Victorian era and during the early Edwardian days there were many books written which seem to forecast the coming of the 1914/18 World War.

William became interested in the Boy Scout movement, which had only come into being in 1908, was the District Commissioner for Hampton Court.

In 1921 William was amongst the list of local worthies that joined Hampton FC as a Vice-President for their debut season.

William was still writing novels in the mid-1920s, dying suddenly of a heart attack in 1933.

Having looked at Amazon there doesn’t appear to be any of his books in print but I dare say that they are gathering dust in some antiquarian bookshops!

Next article will look at his son, Edward, also writer.

The Old Historian
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