Who Is ‘Gladder’? Albert Gladstone!

Earlier today an e-mail arrived from Malcolm Cook of Quintin Boat Club, U.K. Malcolm has a very good guess whom “Gladder” might have been, the fellow who Stanley Garton wrote to on 4 November 1930 (see entries on 23, 24, and 25 February). Malcolm writes:

“Who is ‘Gladder’, to whom the letter is addressed? At Oxford University in the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was not uncommon for students to create nicknames by changing the last syllable of the surname to ‘er’. Various slang terms were created in the same way. This is the origin of words such as soccer (for Association football) and rugger (for Rugby football). So someone with the nickname ‘Gladder’ is likely to have had a surname starting ‘Glad’. The Christ Church eight that won the Grand at Henley in 1908 contained two brothers named Gladstone – Charles at stroke and Albert at 4. Both of them had been at Eton – like Stanley Garton – and so are plausible candidates for ‘Gladder’. Of the two Gladstones, Albert had the more distinguished rowing record, getting a blue for four years from 1906-1909 and winning a gold medal in eights at the 1908 Olympics. In later life he became Sir Albert Gladstone, fifth baronet. He died in 1967. His brother Charles (died 1968) became a housemaster at Eton and coached the Eton eight for some years.”
In this photograph of the famous ‘old crocks’, the 1908 Leander eight that took a gold medal for Great Britain at the Olympics in Henley, Albert Gladstone is in the bow seat.

Malcolm has also found another connection. He continues: “I have also discovered that Donald Crum was Albert Gladstone’s brother-in-law. In 1925 Albert had married Isla Crum, daughter of Sir Walter Crum (Oxford blue 1894-1897). Isla was Donald’s sister.”

“In fact”, Malcolm goes on writing, “there may be another family relationship. Another of Sir Walter Crum’s daughters was Elizabeth, who in 1939 married John Garton (Oxford blue 1938 and 1939 and ultimately Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta). I presume John Garton was related to Stanley Garton, although I’m not sure about the nature of the relationship.”
I found this information thrilling, Malcolm. Many, many thanks!


  1. Richard Burnell's book on the Boat Race shows the relationships over four generations between over twenty rowing blues, including Gladstones, Crums,Gartons,Bournes,Burnells and Tinnes.

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