His father (Gaston Victor as he was popularly known – Alexander Gaston as he appears on his birth certificate) died 7 months before his second son was born. In 1914, GB’s mother decided to move the family home for the sake of Philip’s health. She chose Weymouth, according to family legend by sticking a pin into a map. Her father later died in Melcombe Regis, a suburb of Weymouth; we believe he followed Amy south.
Thus, GB was raised in Weymouth, living at 4 Cassiobury Road from where his mother ran a guest house for a number of years. He was a pupil at St John’s School and later moved on to Central School. There he learned to play the piano and saxophone and was a member of dance bands playing in the south of Dorset. Bands included those of Maurice Master, Pat Rogers and GB’s own brother.
About 1927, he worked for the Borough Treasurer’s Office in Weymouth before moving to Dorchester Council and then on to Kent County Council.
On 19 November 1938, he married Gwendoline Joyce Hanson (born 28 August 1920 at Hayes Middlesex) at Weymouth. Gwen was then living with her parents in Parkestone, near Poole. They had three children: Maxine (born 1941), Alan (born 1947) and Philip Bernard (born 1957). Maxine died in 1997.
In 1940, Gus (or Bernard as he preferred to be known) and Gwen moved to Maidstone and he worked for Kent County Council’s public health department. At the inception of the National Health Service in 1948, he transferred to Dartford where he worked for the Dartford Hospital Management Committee until he retired in 1976 as Deputy Group Manager.
During WW2, Gus served with the Royal Corps of Signals (8th Army Desert Rats) including the arenas of Egypt and Italy. In the photograph above, Gus is in the middle.
In about 1973, Gus and Gwen divorced and Gus married Bridget Derham (born in Galway, Ireland about 1920) and they lived in Tower Road, Dartford until Gus died on the 2nd November 1983 in Dartford. He spent the last years of his life suffering with Parkinson’s disease. Gwen died in January 2004 and Bridget died in March 2011.