Harold Llewellyn Botcherby spent his early years in Berkshire and London. After marrying in 1935 he moved to Essex and lived in Little Baddow, having three children in addition to one born in London. He was a talented artist who exhibited at the Royal Academy. During the war he served with the National Fire Service in Chelmsford. He was fatally injured whiiist cycling n October 1943 when in the dark he hit a tree branch in the road at Hatfield Peverel. He died the following day in hospital in Chelmsford. His home was in Faulkbourne.
Harold was born in 1907 in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, the eldest child of Stock Exchange member Frank Harold Botcherby and Maude Mary Josephine Botcherby (nee Bird).
Four years later the census found Harold living with his parents and sister at Cookham Dean. In 1914 his father died in London when living at 123 WIllifield Way in Hendon.
In 1930 Harold was resident at 12 Nassington Road in Hammersmith, London. Three years later he was living at 16a WIlloughby Road in Hampstead, London.
In 1935 Harold married Marie Louise Medinkoff in London and the couple went on to have four children.
Harold was a gifted artist who had works exhibited at the Royal Academy. He became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. In 1938 when he was living at White Cottage in Little Baddow a Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"Essex Artist in London Mr. Harold Botcherby, R.B.A., of Little Baddow, has an exhibition of his works at the Brook Street Art Gallery, London. Mr. Botcherby was taught for some time at the Mid-Essex Technical College, Chelmsford. He is an old Heatherley student, and also studied at the Royal Academy School, and whilst there was awarded the John Crompton Scholarship for painting. After leaving that school he was elected Member of the Royal Society of British Artists, where he has been a regular exhibitor. In addition. Mr. Botcherby's works are to be seen at the Royal Academy, London Group, and similar shows, and also various provincial galleries have invited him to represented at their annual exhibitions. Mr. Botcherby has a studio in the middle of a wood at Little Baddow, where he sometimes takes students. His present exhibition shows a considerable advance of his work, ana there are several Essex subjects included. His style is quiet in its manner, with very keen sense of design and fiat decorative tones."
His 1938 painting 'Fambridge Ferry' is pictured right.
By 1943 Harold was living at Faulkbourne Rectory near Witham. He served as a Section Leader and accommodation officer in the National Fire Service in Chelmsford.
Harold Llewellyn BOTCHERBY, National Fire Service
Died in hospital in Chelmsford after a cycling accident. Aged 36
Harold was fatally injured whilst cycling in the dark on 19th October 1943 when he struck an elm tree bough which had fallen in the road near Crabb's Hill, Hatfield Peverel. He was thrown off the bicycle and sustained a fractured skull. He died from his injuries the following day in Chelmsford & Essex Hospital. He was 36 years old.
A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"N.F.S. OFFICIAL KILLED CYCLING: HIT A BRANCH. Harold L. Botcherbv, 36, Chelmsford N.F.S. official, who lived at the Rectory, Faulkbourne, died in Chelmsford Hospital yesterday after an accident the road at Hatfield Peverel. He was cycling, when his machine hit an object—it is said to be part of a tree—and he was thrown. Mr. Botcherby was married man, with four children. He was R.B.A. fellow, and son of the late Mr. Frank H. Botcherby, of the Stock Exchange."
His inquest was also reported upon in the same newspaper:
"CYCLIST KILLED BY BOUGH ON ROAD. Danger of Roadside Trees. A verdict of Accidental death was returned at an inquest at Chelmstord on Monday on Mr. Harold L.Botcherby, The Rectory, Faulkbourne, the N.F.S. Accommodation Officer at Chelmsford who was fatally injured when the bicycle he was riding in the dork at Hatfield Peverel on October 19 struck a bough which had fallen from a tree into the road. His skull was fractured
Mr. Samuel J. Ratcliff, of Black Hall, said he was motoring along a narrow lane in the direction of Crabb's Bridge, Hatfield Peverel when he suddenly came across a dead bough of an elm tree in the road. Mr. Botcherby and a cycle were nearby.
War Reserve P.c. Brown said he examined elms bordering the lane. Another bough appeared to be merely hanging on by the bark. The Deputy-Coroner, Mr. H. M. Pinney, said he thought it should have been apparent to the owner of the tree that was in a dangerous condition."
Harold is commemorated by Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Register of Civilian War Dead.
Harold was buried at Little Baddow.