BALE, Major John Edward

1834 - 1913

John Edward Bale, was born at Low Farm House, Pattesley-cum-Oxwick, South Creake, Norfolk on 27 July and baptised at South Creake on 1 August 1834, eldest child of John Edward Bale (1803-27 April 1862), a farmer of 620 acres, and his wife Mary née Branford, who married at Horningtoft, Norfolk on 27 November 1833. In 1841, a 6 year old, living at Low Farm with his parents, 35 year old John and 28 year old Mary, and his two sisters, Mary 3 and Esther 1. In 1861, a 26 year old 'artist architecture' boarding at 11 Bulstrode Street, Marylebone, London but in October 1863, he joined the 1st West Indian Regiment. As a lieutenant, whilst on a tour of duty in West Africa, Surgeon Major Augustus Frederick Elliott (born 1834), kept a diary (now at Duke University Library) which is embellished with calligraphy and watercolour titles by Bale. During this tour, Bale was promoted to Captain and retired from the army in 1881 with the rank of major. Bale married at Christ Church, Ealing on 10 November 1868, Charlotte Gordon Lee née Johnson (c1847-1910). A painter in oil and watercolour and a member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1886-1890 and as Major Bale exhibited from 9 Crossfield Terrace, Colchester, Essex in 1888, 'View from Museum Street, Colchester' and 'In St John's Street, Colchester' and was not only a prolific artist but was also an architect and provided illustrations for the 'Illustrated London News' when on his military tours of duty abroad. In 1891, a 54 year old 'retired major in West India Regiment', living at 11 Gray Road, Colchester with his 38 year old wife Charlotte, born Bahamas, BWI, and their four children, Charlotte Gordon Lee 15, born in Lowestoft, Constantia Grace Gordon 11, born in Barbados, West Indies, with Margaret 10 and Veronica Mary Lee 8, both born at Colchester. He was still living at 11 Gray Road, Colchester in 1911 and where he died on 12 March 1913.


My Grandmothers Name was Charlotte Gordon Lee Bale French, Her Mother's Name was Charlotte Gordon Lee and so on... in fact my Granny was often called GORDON....




Works by This Painter