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Georgia von Donop

Limited Information 

Georgia Brenton Von Donop planted a Ilex Aquifolium (Silver Holly) on 8th June 1910, when she was 60 years old. However little more is known about Georgia and why a tree was planted in her honour.

A cutting from the Bath and Wilts Chronicle and Herald reporting her funeral  was found in the diaries of Mary Blathwayt (at Gloucestershire archives). This shows she died in 1933. The Portsmouth Evening News reported that she left an estate of over £7,000. 

Lansdown cemetery in Bath (near Beckford’s Tower) includes a plot for the von Dunop family, prominent in the British military. Georgia was the daughter of Edward Pelham Brenton von Donop, a Vice Admiral in the British navy, chiefly remembered for gallantry in the Friendly Islands. He was the son of a German baron and married Louisa Brenton from Surrey.

Georgia was born in 1850 in Tunbridge Wells. She is likely to have been the eldest child. She did not marry and lived with her parents in Park Street, Bath. Her brother Pelham George was a year younger. He joined the Royal Engineers and represented them in cricket and football. He also played for the England football team on two occasions. He served in Egypt and India and left the Army in 1899 and was Chief Inspecting Officer of the Railway Inspectorate 1913-1916. P.G Wodehouse was his godson and named after him.

Another brother, Stanley (born in 1868) became a major-general in the British Army and received a knighthood. He was an administrator, working primarily as an instructor and subsequently became responsible for all the army’s military supplies in 1911. He came under criticism during World War II for a shortage of munitions, calculating a use of 10 rounds a day, whereas in Ypres the reality was 50 rounds. In 1915, Lloyd George was appointed Minister of Munitions and stripped von Donop of many of his responsibilities. It is intriguing that at the time of her brother Stanley’s troubles with Lloyd-George, the then Minister of Munitions was forging a relationship with Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst on using women to make munitions. Another suffragette honoured in the plantation, Charlotte Marsh, was Lloyd-George’s chauffeur.

Another brother, Edward became a clergyman and Lionel was a planter in Borneo. She had two sisters Louisa and Alice.

Her sister Louisa was unmarried and the two lived together, with two servants, in Park Street, Bath, after their mother's death in 1902. Their appearance on the 1911 census suggests that Georgia was not militant. She did not join other suffragettes evading the census in Bath.  

We do not know when Georgia became involved in the suffrage movement. She attended a Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Association (CUWFA) meeting at Bath Guildhall on 3 February 1911. Betty Balfour and Mrs Paley, who also had trees in Annie's Arboretum, were also present.  This implies Georgia may have been a non-militant member of the CUWFA, at the end of the meeting, she invited all ticket holders to a reception to meet Betty Balfour, the principal speaker. Annie Kenney was also present at the meeting. 

Was Georgia, like Lilias Ashworth Hallet a long term supporter of the suffrage campaign or did she join the WSPU as an elderly woman, after the death of her parents?

Nor do we know if Georgia is buried in the family tomb (there is no inscription for her although there is for her sister Louisa who died in 1924) or elsewhere in Landsdown.  

If you have any information on the life of Georgia von Donop, please let us know.