George Frederick Ievers of Avonmore (1882-1944)
George Frederick Ievers was the elder son of George Maurice Ievers of Inchera, Co. Cork and later, Ballinagarde, Co. Limerick, by his wife Phoebe Elizabeth, daughter of the Very Rev. James Hastings Allen, Dean of Killaloe. He was born on 19th August 1882. His paternal grandfather Eyre Ievers of Mount Ievers passed away many years before his birth, but Eyre’s widow Mildred – George Frederick’s grandmother – lived until 12th December 1903, by which time he was 21 years old.
Like his father, George Frederick married a clergyman’s daughter. His bride, whom he married on 11th December 1907, was Ada Augusta Matthews, fourth daughter of the Rev. Thomas Robert Matthews, MA, who had become Rector of Moviddy, Co. Cork, in 1886. Ada’s mother was Martha Louisa Davies Devonsher, youngest daughter of Abraham Devonsher, JP, of Rathcormac, Co. Cork.[i]
George Frederick was reputedly the owner of a 250-300 acre dairy farm in Patrickswell, Co. Limerick, called Richmond Park, where he kept approximately 50 cows. During the Great War, the farm prospered as agricultural prices rose, however things went downhill when George suspected one of his workmen employed on the farm, of theft, and sought to dismiss him. The man in question denied the charge, and was supported by all the other workers. To avoid further escalation George took the extreme option and sold the farm. The family moved to Avonmore in Co. Wicklow, shortly after the birth of his daughter Phoebe in 1920.
Meanwhile, Mount Ievers passed from his uncle James Butler Ievers to his first cousin, James’s son, Major Eyre Herbert Ievers. In time it passed to the Major’s son Colonel Eyre Herbert Ievers.
George and Ada had four sons and a daughter, about whom more below. George died at Avonmore on 15th September 1944.[ii] He is buried in Derralossary Church Graveyard, Co. Wicklow.[iii] Erskine Childers, 4th President of Ireland, is buried in the same graveyard.
His widow Ada Ievers died on 13th May 1963 and is also buried in Derralossary.
FLYING OFFICER GEORGE MAURICE IEVERS R.A.F. (1908-1932)
George's and Ada's eldest son Flying Officer George Maurice Ievers was born on 8th September 1908 and educated at Campbell College, Belfast, and the Royal Military College in Sandhurst. He was stationed at the RAF camp at Worthy Down near Winchester, when tragedy struck. On 25th February 1932, the 23-year-old was killed in a motor accident – reputedly on Bagshot bypass – while returning from meeting his fiancée.[iv] He is buried in Magdalen Hill Cemetery, Winchester.
MAJOR FREDERICK ROBERT IEVERS R.A. (1910-1943)
George's and Ada’s second son Major Frederick Robert Ievers, known as Freddie, was born on 1st May 1910 and was ten years old when the family relocated to Avonmore. In September 1921, he entered Campbell College where he excelled at cricket (captaining the school team in 1928), as well as at rugby and boxing.[v] In 1928, he went to the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich, becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery two years later. On 12th December 1935, he married Louisa Maureen Devonsher Latham Burt, only daughter of Alan Burt by his wife, Lilian Mabel Matthews.[vi] (Lilian Mabel was a sister of Ada Augusta Matthews, so Freddie and Maureen were first cousins.) Freddie was subsequently promoted to Major and attached to the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery which, come the Second World War, had the thankless task of defending Britain’s Far East outposts from the Japanese onslaught.
Freddie fought in Malaya and was taken prisoner by the Japanese when Singapore fell in February 1942. In October 1942 he was sent north from Singapore’s Changi camp as part of the POW labour force building the notorious Burma-Siam railway. After being held at one or more of the railway’s Kanyu camps, Freddie was evacuated to the Tha Sao hospital camp (most probably in late August or early September 1943).
Freddie died at Tha Sao on 17 September. The causes of death were malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition and avitaminosis. He was assisted/nursed in the Tha Sao hospital by Captain George Bartley-Denniss, who subsequently brought Freddie’s Malaya Campaign diary back to England. (This detailed diary is now in the Imperial War Museum.) Freddie was originally buried with military honours in St Luke’s Cemetery at Tha Sao camp; Major W E C Elliot R.A., who had visited Freddie daily, was present. (Source: a condolence letter written to Maureen from Esmond Sconce 1st HKS.) After the end of the war, Freddie’s remains were transferred to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand (plot 4, row B, grave 52).
Maureen was married secondly on 11th June 1949 to Ross Woodley, only son of the late Allen Woodley of Bristol, and they were living at St. Paul’s Bay, Malta, at the time of Burke’s 1976. They had a son, Christopher Woodley.
Freddie's and Maureen’s daughter Penelope Jane Maureen, known as Penny, was born on 14th April 1939, the day Roosevelt asked Hitler and Mussolini to stop the violence and join him for a conference. She was married in London in October 1966 to Jeffrey Charles Kerr, eldest son of Findlay Duncan Kerr of Glasgow. They were living in Athens at the time of Burke’s 1976. Penny died in 1995.
Freddie's and Maureen’s son Colonel Patrick Robert Ievers R.E., was born on 12th July 1940 and educated at Wellington, Sandhurst and Trinity College Cambridge, attaining a BA in 1963. In April 1970, he married Sandra Bond Gunning, known as Sandy, only daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice Alan Bond, OBE (1904 – 1952) who, in 1946, was awarded the OBE for gallant and distinguished services rendered in Burma during the war. After Sandy's father died, her mother married Lieutenant-Colonel John Trehane Hamilton Gunning who adopted Sandy.
Patrick and Sandy had two sons and a daughter. Their elder son Eyre Frederick Maurice Ievers married Catherine Murphy in 2009 and their children are Sydney Grace Beatrice Cecilia Ievers, Murray Eyre John Patrick Ievers, and Elsbeth Rebecca Mary Sandra Ievers. Their younger son Caspian Patrick Bond Ievers married Ronja Boness in 2010, and their children are Otto May Bond Ievers and Bo Alfred Eyre Ievers. Their daughter Ferelith Veronica Marie was married in 2009 to Count Nicholas David Moltke, son of Count and Countess Casper Moltke, of Copenhagen, Denmark. Their children are Kinvara Lisetta Mimi Moltke and Phenix Alexander Max Moltke.
In 1990, Patrick and Sandy were divorced. Patrick married Susan Maria Harris (née Gibson) on 11th October 1991. Patrick died in 2015 in Harrogate.
S/LDR NORMAN LANCELOT IEVERS R.A.F. (1912-1993)
George's and Ada’s third son Norman Lancelot Ievers ultimately succeeded to Mount Ievers and to him we shall return.
SYDNEY EYRE IEVERS (1915-1985)
George's and Ada’s fourth and youngest son Sydney Eyre Ievers was born on 12th February 1915 and, after Campbell, he pursued an academic career at Trinity College Dublin (BA), Bonn University and NW University, USA.[vii] He was a lecturer at Cornell University in the USA from 1942 to 1943, during which time he married Dorothy Adele Mae, only daughter of Henry Schirm of 128 71st Street, Guttenburg, New Jersey. From 1948, he was a lecturer at Reading University and lived in Caversham, Reading, Berkshire. Sydney died in Limerick in 1985.
Sydney's and Dorothy's son John Ievers was educated at Shiplake College, Henley Grammar School and Sussex University. In 1970, John married Pamela Mary, 2nd daughter of Hugh Oliver Neil of Junto Colegio, Cabo las Huertas, Playa San Juan, Alicante, Spain. John's and Mary's daughter, Megan, was educated at Hereford Sixth Form College and Huddersfield University. She lives in Scarborough, Yorkshire, with her children Sophie Louise, and Ryan Michael. Mary died in 1992. In 1996, John married Susan, only daughter of Dr. Frank and Muriel Sheffield of The Limes, Wilcot, Pewsey, Wiltshire.
Sydney's and Dorothy's daughter Mary Ievers was married in 1973 to John Nicholson, only son of Professor Roger Nicholson of Camden House, Sissinghurst. Their daughters are Renata Jane, and Ruth Mary.
PHOEBE DIANA IEVERS (1920-2006)
George's and Ada’s only daughter Phoebe Diana Ievers was born on 26th May 1920 and educated at Hillcourt School, Co. Dublin. During World War Two she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver-mechanic, and during the 1950s, farmed at Avonmore. On 25th November 1958, Phoebe was married to George Albert Sothern, second son of William Sothern, JP, of Kylelawn, Errill (Ballybrophy), Co. Laois. The marriage took place at Monkstown Parish Church, Co. Dublin. Phoebe’s father had died over a decade earlier but her mother was still living at Avonmore at this time.[viii] Phoebe died on 8th August 2006 and is buried in Derralossary Church Graveyard.
Phoebe's and George's daughter, Ada Elizabeth Phoebe Sothern, was educated at Penrhos College, North Wales, and Newtown School, Waterford. She was married to Louis Hemmings in 1985 and they have two sons: Lawrence and Luke.
[i] Amongst Ada’s four sisters and four brothers was Emmeline Harriet Matthews who was married, as his second wife, to Captain Thomas Arthur Clarke, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (b. 1871) of Farran, County Cork, and later of Isle of Brecqhou, Channel Islands. Clarke was the son of Thomas Clarke and Elizabeth Ruddell. Another of Ada’s sisters was Cornelia Martha Matthews who was married on Christmas Day 1916 to Arthur Trevor Forbes, of the eminent Forbes family of Scotland. His father was Colonel Henry Twisden Forbes, Bengal Staff Corps, and his mother was Emily Jane Inglis. He was in the Indian Civil Service and died on 28 March 1933. Cornelia died in 1956.
[ii] IN THE SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND. In the WILL of GEORGE FREDERICK IEVERS. late of Avonmore, Annamoe, County of Wickow, in Eire. Gentleman Farmer, deceased. Notice is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen days from the date of the publication hereof application will be made to this Honourable Court for the SEALING of the PROBATE of the WILL of George Frederick Ievers, late of Avonmore, Annamoe, County of Wicklow in Eire, Gentleman, Farmer, deceased, granted by His Majesty's High Court of Justice England at the Principal Probate Registry at Llandudno England on the 31st day of August 1945 to ADA IEVERS of Avonmore, aforesaid the lawful Widow of the Testator and AUGUSTUS CULLEN of Wicklow, Eire, Solicitor, the Executors named In the said Will. Dated this Eleventh day of November. 1946. FLOWER & HART. Solicitors, for the said Executors, 308-400 Queen Street, Brisbane. (The Courier-Mail, Saturday 16 November 1946, p.8)
[iii] DERRALOSSARY HEADSTONE - In | Loving Memory | of | GEORGE F. IEVERS | Avonmore, Annamoe, Co.Wicklow | Died 15th Sept. 1944 | and his sons | Flying Officer GEORGE M. IEVERS | died in Winchester 1932 | Major FREDERICK R. IEVERS | died in Siam 1943
[iv] Re GEORGE MAURICE IEVERS, Deceased. NOTICE is hereby given pursuant to the Trustee Act, 1925, that all persons having any claims or demands against the estate of George Maurice levers, late of The Royal Air Force Camp, Worthy Down, Winchester, in the county of Southampton, a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force, deceased (who died on the 25th day of February, 1932, administration of whose estate was granted to Frederick Robert levers, the lawful Attorney of George Frederick levers, on the 9th day of August, 1932, by the Principal Probate Registry), are hereby required to send in the particulars or their debts, claims or demands to the said administrator at the offices of the undersigned, his Solicitors, on or before the 14th day of November, 1932, after which date the said administrator will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased among the persons entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims and demands of which he shall then have had notice; and he will not be responsible for the assets of the said deceased, or any part thereof, so distributed, to any person of whose debt, claim or demand he shall not then have had notice.—Dated the 6th day of September, 1932. TATTERSALL and SON, 108, Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth (THE LONDON GAZETTE, 9 SEPTEMBER, 1932)
[v] Entered Campbell in Sept 1921 and excelled at cricket. U.VI, July, 1928. Scholar. School Prefect. 1st XV, 1926-27-28. 1st XI, 1926-27-28 (Capt., 1928). Boxing Colours, 1927-28 (Capt.) R.M.A., Woolwich, 1928. 2nd Lieut., R.A., 1930. R.M.A. XV, 1928-29-30. Army Cap, 1931. Major. Royal Artillery attd. 3 Lt. A.A. Regt. Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery.
[vi] Lilian Mabel Matthews married (1) 1912 2nd. Lt. Alan Latham Burt; (2) 1924 Maj. Thomas Christopher Chilton MC who died 1929; (3) 1933 Col. Henry Eric Hebbert DSO MC.
[vii] Campbell U.VI, July, 1932. McMordie Medal. T.C.D.: 2nd Class Hons. Mod. Lang., 1937. B.A. Married on 24th April 1943.
[viii] The Irish Times, Wednesday, December 10, 1958, p. 10.