John Dowley Deer

Census Address: 48 High Street
Place of Birth: Stamford
Date of Birth: 1898
Enlistment Address: --
Regiment: --
Service Numbers: --
Place of Death: --
Date Died: --

John Dowley Deer – 48 High Street

John Dowley Deer was the second youngest in a family of 14 children. One child died young but in 1901 the rest of the family were all living at 6 Vine Street. William, his father and the 2 eldest boys were bootmakers.

By 1911 William was the proprietor of ‘Deer & Son The People’s Boot Store’ at 48 High Street. Three of the older boys had left home but Dowley, 3 brothers and 6 sisters were all together at the store where they had 8 rooms. Thirteen year old Dowley and his younger sister, Gertie, were at school and the rest of the family were all working. Arthur the eldest boy at home was a boot repairer, the other boys had apprenticeships while the girls were working in shops.

When Dowley attested in May 1916 he was 17 years 8mths old and he too was a boot repairer. He was small and slight at 5ft 2¼ins tall and weighing 106lbs however his fitness was classed as A1.

He was attached to the Reserve Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment and was only mobilised in the last months of the War. He was sent to Tipperary with the 3rd Battalion then was demobbed in October 1919.

It is not clear whether he returned to Stamford but the family business continued and expanded into 47 as well as 48 High Street where it remained into the 1960s when the area was redeveloped.


Arthur (bn 1892), Walter (bn 1886) and Charles (bn 1893) all joined up in 1915. Arthur was a Sergeant in the Lincolnshire Regiment; Charles was a Private in the machine Gun Corps and Walter was later in the RAF

Henry (bn 1880) signed up in 1916 and became a Sergeant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

Ernest (bn 1894) signed up in 1916 and was a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps

Ethel, Gladys and Gertie all married in Stamford in the 1920s