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Gotts Family History


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Attacks and harassment of Gottses during wars

Because the name Gotts sounds German, there have been some incidents when we have been at war with Germany.

Dave & Maureen Hall believe Edith May Gotts was attacked in London, possibly during WW1.

My father got stopped by the new village policeman after WW2 and was disturbed by him wearing a belt from a German soldier with "Mein Gott" on the buckle. (IanG-STA)

Carole Ford also had her grandfather's shop stoned during WW1 (PW Gotts in Hampstead) See article on BT telephone directories in Snapshots 15

Barbara Adams has provided this article from a newspaper in Bristol around 1914/5.

Nationality of Bristol’s firechief

In wartime many baseless and often mischievous rumours are current. One which has been scattered broadcast in Bristol is the alleged foreign nationality of Supt. Gotts, the respected chief of the Fire Brigade. He has been here for 28 years, and previously seven years in the London Fire Brigade. Supt. Gotts is British born and bred, and is proud to claim Cromer, the beautiful town in Poppyland, as his native place.

His wife is also a native of the Norfolk seaside resort. Supt Gotts comes from good yeoman family, and the name is quite common on the East Coast. His father was for many years the verger of Cromer Parish Church, and one of Supt. Gotts’s treasured possessions is a eulogy of him by the encumbant

You can see the original here Nationality of Bristol’s firechief

Ernest Gotts in USA sent these notes on this:

Here's what my father related to me concerning what happened to him during World War I in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. At school one day, his female teacher, being annoyed with him for some reason, walked up beside his desk, grabbed his ear and twisted it.  She said,  "We'll teach you little Germans how to behave."   When asked it anything like that ever happened again, he said he could not recall any other instances.

In our family it worked the other way also.  When my parents were living in central California--city of Fresno--their next door neighbors were a dear, older couple, retired farmers, who originally emigrated to the USA from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, prior to WWI.  Their party landed in Port Lavaca, Texas, but found the climate stifling.  So they moved on inland to join the large German-speaking community in San Antonio and eventually the Texas Panhandle (when it was being tamed for farming -- the town they founded had to change its German name to something innocuous like Plainsville) during WW I and finally settled as a married couple in central California.  They both continued to have very prominent southern German/or Austrian German dialect accents when they spoke English (all their schooling in Texas had been in German, their newspapers were in German, their church was in German, etc.)  They were sometimes difficult to understand.  But they were excellent neighbors and very kind, lovely people. 

My father's uncle Sidney came to visit during the 1970's.   One day as they were getting into the car to go out to eat, the Ostermans (their name) were outside working in their yard.   My father proceeded to try to introduce Sidney to the couple.  He said, " I don't have any time to meet any bloody Germans.  No, I do not want to meet them."   My father also had a very disdainful attitude towards Germans on occasion and spouted a number of cliches about Germans as proof that they were "lesser people".   Part of the animus may have come from WW II days, when German bombers dropped left-over bombs on Norwich* and on some coastal towns in Norfolk--apparently to get rid of them before returning home.   The view was that there were no worthy military targets in the locations bombed.   These were just cruel and evil people.  On one instance (if I recall correctly) I was told that a bomb or bombs landed in a churchyard cemetery when some of our Gotts family relatives were interred.   A number of graves were blown up.   This story was always told with angry affect and rage.

Thanks to Ernest Gotts

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