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Lansdowne Crescent: Chapter 40

Jean Day, continuing her account of the lives of neighbours in Worcester in the early decades of last century, records the death of the doyen of the town’s solicitors.

We also had to suffer deaths which were not directly due to the war.

Our wonderful father also is dead. Warren W.A. Tree, died on June 7th, aged 68. I will attach some of what the newspapers reported about his death, as their glowing praise showed how much he was valued by the whole community.

The Worcester Herald, June 14th, 1919

Death of Mr. WWA Tree

The Doyen of Worcester Solicitors

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Mr. Warren Williams Arrowsmith Tree which occurred at his residence, 4 Lansdowne Crescent, Worcester, on Saturday shortly before nine o’clock. Until three months ago, Mr. Tree was able to attend to his practice, but has since been almost confined to his house. The immediate cause of death was heart failure. The deepest sympathy of a wide circle of friends will be extended to the widow and five daughters for their bereavement. The decease gentleman was 69 years of age.

Mr. Tree was articled to his father, the late Mr. James Tree, and admitted as a solicitor in 1876. For a short time he was engaged in journalism at Bristol, but subsequently returned to Worcester and joined his father in partnership. An expert shorthand writer, Mr. Tree frequently utilised the dexterity in phonography acquired for journalist duties in his legal work – both in the Court and in his office. The Law Student Society gave an annual prize of £5 5s and amongst those who won it was Mr. Tree. In his final law examinations his name was third in the first class honours list, and was a prize winner. Previously he had taken the degree of L L B at the University of London. Amongst those articled either with him or his father were Counsellor A. Arrowsmith Maund, the late Mr. G. H. Foster of Malvern and Dr. W. G. Bennett, the last named afterwards forsaking law for medicine.

Of a kindly and genial disposition, wound and reliable in his legal knowledge, thorough and painstaking in his effort on behalf of clients, and eminently fair as an advocate, he won the respect of the public and the appreciation of any Court before whom he appeared, and as his practice extended many responsible offices were entrusted to him.

Mr. Tree was appointed Treasury Solicitor and represented the King’s Proctor, the Mint Authorities and the Post Office and also was Steward of the Ombersley Estate.

For two years he was elected President of the West Worcestershire Law Society. He served on the Society’s committee and as one of the provincial members of the board of directors of the Solicitors’ Benevolent Society for England and Wales.

When the Clerkship to the Justices of the Worcester County Petty Sessional Divisions fell vacant about 13 years ago, Mr. Tree, who was not an applicant, was asked by the Magistrates to undertake the duty and he fulfilled the office with the greatest satisfaction of the court and credit to himself.

In later years his eldest son, Mr. Frank Tree became his partner. He was hon. secretary of the Worcester organisation of the N.S.P.C.C. and when he went to the war his father assumed the office and on his death permanently undertook the secretary ship.

Recently Mr. Tree took a former pupil Mr. H.J. Johnson into partnership with him. This gentleman joined the Public School Battalion at the outbreak of war and went with it to France subsequently receiving a commission in the King’s Own (Lancers) Regt. He went out again and was severely wounded in both arms. For valiant conduct he received the D.S.O. and was promoted captain. After having been on home service since recovering from his wounds, Captain Johnson was demobilised and has returned to Worcester.
A convinced Liberal in politics, and a supporter of the party in Worcester, Mr. Tree on more than one occasion sought Municipal office. His first contest was in Claines Ward, where he was heavily defeated. In 1903 he was returned unopposed in St. Peter’s Ward and was on the council for three years being defeated in 1906 by the late Mr. A.H. Whinfield.

At one time he lived at Malvern Link, and held the chairmanship of Malvern Link Local Board for four years, from 1883 – prior to the amalgamation of the Malverns. For a few years he was a member of the County Council.

By his death the Men’s Own Brotherhood will have lost a staunch supporter.
He was Vice-President and ever welcome speaker at their meetings. Mr. Tree was also a member of the Committee of the Y.M.C.A. and President of the Worcester Branch of the National Deposit Friendly Society.

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