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Family at War The Rowntree Family Friends Ambulance Unit

An Introduction to the Rowntree Family 
 One Branch in the First World War Era

Contents - Index page

The Turn of the Century

Not much can be added to the biography above about Fredís early life. However a few points regarding his time in Scotland may be worth exploring. At the age of 16, Fred was articled in Scarborough and then, after 5 years in London and Leicestershire he joined a partnership Edeson & Rowntree in Scarborough at the age of 25. Within a year of this he was married in Glasgow to Mary Anna Gray from Glasgow and at the age of 30 formed a new partnership in Glasgow, Stark and Rowntree. Douglas, his first son was born in Scarborough, when Fred was 28, but Colin his second was born 3 or so years later in Glasgow. Fred then settled in Glasgow until 1900 when he was 40 years old.

Despite Fred leaving Scotland, the Gray family played a significant part in his family life, particularly the siblings of Mary Anna and their offspring. Although many stayed in Scotland and were involved with the Gray Dunn Biscuit Company , there is documentation and reports in letters of many coming to London and some during some time in their lives settling in Chiswick and in particular in Hammersmith Terrace.. It would seem that the "Scottish Holiday" must have derived from this period because although there is only direct evidence of the clans meeting up after 1918 there is reference in a couple of letters to the time spent at Daltote in Achnamara before the war. These holidays are discussed elsewhere in "the Meeting of the Clans".

Records show that when first in London in 1900, he and the family settled at 23 Palace Mansions in Fulham (1901 Census) before moving to 11 Hammersmith Terrace.

This terrace is in Chiswick Mall which runs on the North bank of the River Thames. Whether it is Chiswick or Hammersmith is arguable; it rather depends on which way one goes along the Thames from there. It is felt that Hammersmith Terrace plays a significant role in the story as does other areas of Chiswick as can be seen in a separate article but let it be said that the Rowntrees and relations occupied a number of houses in the terrace.

Both Colin and Douglas were educated at Bootham and did their training with their father although Douglas attended Architectural Association schools for two years.

By 1911 they both were working and living with their father at 11 Hammersmith Terrace. Detail of the work they did is, at this stage, beyond this article however the following table gives some indication of the family activity.



Building name


City or county



West China University

Chengtu China


Won design competition

After 1912

Newspaper House





Friends Meeting House, North Square

Golders Green




St John's Presbyterian Church



Won in competition


Rowntree Park



Layout - with W J Swain


Friends School

Saffron Walden


Addition of art rooms and classroom block


Friends Meeting House





Manor House, Langdale End





Friends Meeting House

Muswell Hill




Friends Meeting House



Details of the Chengtu project are available on the website.

Not listed above is the project that Fred was involved in regarding the Belgian Prefabs during WW1.

Mary Anne Rowntree nee Gray  (Annie)

 Frederick Rowntree

Colin Rowntree

Mary Rowntree nee Begg

Douglas Rowntree

Winifred Rowntree nee Hickman

Molly Thorp nee Rowntree

Ralph Thorp