Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Key figures: G. Trevor Wellington

Over the months that the 'Fetter Hill Mystery' occupied headlines in the Gloucester area and throughout Britain, Beatrice Pace's fate was in the hands of a variety of people, the vast majority of them men: detectives, journalists, lawyers, magistrates, the coroner, politicians, etc.

Perhaps the most important figure in her life during this time -- at least with regard to the matter of her husband's death -- was G. Trevor Wellington, who acted as Beatrice's solicitor throughout the case.

We'll be hearing a bit more about Wellington as time goes on (and he plays an important role in the book), so I thought it would be a good moment to introduce him.

Although Wellington provided remarkably dedicated and effective legal assistance to his impoverished client, he was ultimately overshadowed by some of the legal heavyweights brought into the case at the trial stage, which is unfortunate.

The best introduction, perhaps oddly enough, comes via his obituary, which appeared upon his death in 1963. He had a long -- and very full -- life.

Interestingly enough, the Pace matter is not mentioned, although it was undoubtedly the most high-profile criminal case of his career.

Death of Mr. G. Trevor Wellington
Long Record of Public Service for Glo’ster

City Coroner for a great many years, Mayor of Gloucester and City Controller during the critical war period, a former City High Sheriff and a leading figure in local legal circles, Mr. Gilbert Trevor Wellington died yesterday at the age of 80.

Mr. Wellington, founder of the Gloucester firm of solicitors Wellington and Clifford, was active in business until late last year. He had been in hospital for several weeks.

Born in the Gloucester area, Mr. Wellington became Mayor during what must have been the most strenuous period in which any holder of that office has ever served, and he was only prevented by ill-health from serving as long as, or even longer, than any other mayor.

As it was, only the late Sir James Bruton, who served during the period of the first world war, from 1912 to 1919, held the mayoralty longer than Mr. Wellington, who was in office for six years.

He was made a member of the City Council as far back as 1907, and he represented the Tuffley ward until 1910. He was first elected Mayor in 1937, after serving as City High Sheriff the previous year, and was still in office when war broke out.

He assiduously took on the many extras duties which the war brought, the most onerous being that of City A R P Controller.

Giving unstintingly of his time to both the mayoralty and the chief controllership, Mr. Wellington drew heavily on his reserves of energy, and earned the gratitude of the city for the efficiency with which he carried out his many tasks.

His services to the city in this and over a much longer period were recognised in 1942, when he was awarded the C B E.

Throughout the most trying period of the war and including the time when the city suffered under enemy attack, Mr. Wellington was at the heart of Gloucester’s affairs. It was the unanimous wish that he should “see the job through,” but ill health forced him to resign in 1943.

His mayoralty was distinguished by his clarity of vision, his unquestioned powers of persuasion and his firm, but courteous hand in time of trouble.


Mr. Wellington was admitted a solicitor in 1904 and with the exception of the years of the first world war, had practised in the city ever since.

A senior partner in his firm, he became extremely well known and respected in legal circles throughout Gloucestershire.

In his legal activities he rendered great service not only to his clients but also to the public, for over a considerable period he conducted criminal and civil proceedings on behalf of the Chief Constable and local authorities.

He was for many years clerk of the magistrates at Stroud and Newent, offices which are now held by his son and partner in the firm, Lt.-Col. Brian Wellington.

Mr. Wellington first became the City Coroner in 1921, but relinquished the post when elected Mayor. He took up the Coroner’s duties again in 1944.


He was for some considerable time honorary solicitor to the former Gloucestershire Royal Infirmary. He was vice-chairman of the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society and in 1938 was elected president of the Three Counties Show. He was a former president of the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Law Society and a vice-president of the Gloucestershire British Legion.

He saw considerable active service during the first world war and was in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Yeomanry.

Afterwards he was attached to the 6th (subsequently the 2nd) Reserve Regiment of the Cavalry, the Curragh, Co. Kildare, the 1/3 County of London Yeomanry in Egypt and Palestine and the 103rd (City and 3rd County of London Yeomanry) Battalion Machine Gun Corps in France and Belgium.

Mr. Wellington had lived for many years at the Bear Hotel, Rodborough Common, Stroud. He was predeceased by his wife and is survived by his son and two grandchildren, one of whom went to Canada.

The other was a practising solicitor in this country for some years before her marriage.

At Mr. Wellington’s request the funeral is to be private.

(The Gloucester Citizen, Monday, 4 February 1963, p. 1)


  1. If I remember right I think his son Brian T Wellington who was the Coroner for Gloucester certified the death of Elton Pace brother of Harry Pace as well as Beatrice Pace, and the informant in the case of Beatrice was her son
    Selwyn Martin who I spent many a hour with.

  2. Hi Keith! Yes, indeed, he signed Beatrice's death certificate, which is an interesting connection across the years. I forgot to mention that, so thanks for reminding me.