Page 83.

1891 to 1974.
The Skelton Castle Squire, who served with honour in two World Wars and shot dead his own Gamekeeper.

His service wih the Royal Navy spanned the two World Wars.
1903 - 7 He joined as a boy, aged 12 or 13 and was a Cadet at the RN Colleges Osborne and Dartmouth.
1908 15th May appointed Midshipman.
1911 30th Nov - promoted to Sub Lieutenant.
1913 30th September promoted to Lieutenant.
During the First World War he was mentioned in dispatches and was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.
1918 Served on HMS MELPOMENE.
1919 to 1921 on HMS TRIAD

Captain C. H. Ringrose-Wharton.

1921 30 September promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
1926 31 December Commander.
1927 - 29 he was attached to the Royal Australian Navy.
1929 - 31 Training Commander, RN Barracks, Portsmouth.
1935 he was made Captain [retired]

1938 he married Margaret Winsome Wharton of Skelton Castle.
1939 1st August. London Gazette.
Whitehall, The King has been graciously pleased to give and grant unto Christopher Hildyard Ringrose, of Skelton Castle, Skelton-in-Cleveland, in the County of York, Esquire, Captain -(retired) in the Royal Navy} and Margaret Winsome, his wife, daughter and heir of William Henry. Anthony Wharton, late of Skelton Castle aforesaid, Esquire, Qfficer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, deceased, His Royal Licence and Authority that they may take; and use the surname of Wharton in addition to and after that of Ringrose, that he the said Christopher Hildyard Ringrose may bear the Arms of Wharton only and that-such surname .and Arms may in like manner be taken, borne and used by the issue of their marriage, the said Arms being first duly exemplified according to the Laws of Arms and recorded in the College of Arms, otherwise the said Royal Licence and Permission to be void and of none effect. And to command that the said Royal Concession and Declaration, be recorded in the said College of Arms.

1939. Recalled to the Royal Navy, when he would have been 48, he commanded the armed merchant Cruiser, ASCANIA, on the North Atlantic escort force for 2 years and was again mentioned in dispatches.

HMS Ascania.

He was also naval officer in charge of Jamaica.

He played an active part in public life for a number of years.
In 1944 he was Sheriff of Yorkshire. He was also a former Deputy Lieutenant of the North Riding and was awarded the OBE.
He was for 20 years the Chairman of the Cleveland Hunt and was also joint Master. He was President of the Cleveland Divisional Conservative Association and took an active part in its work.
He was President of the Boosbeck and District Royal British Legion for many years and his work as Assistant Commissioner for Sea Scouts in the North Riding brought him the award of the Silver Acorn from the Scout movement.
He was also a Magistrate.
In 1958 he was accidentally responsible for killing his own Gamekeeper, Fred Whitwell.

Fred Whitwell, Gamekeeper.

The Squire of Skelton Castle had tears in his eyes, as he told how he lifted his gun when a pheasant rose swiftly, lost his footing and shot his gamekeeper through the head.
Retired Royal Navy Officer, Captain Christopher Hildyard Ringrose-Wharton, twice mentioned in dispatches said -
"May I say now how filled with sadness I am over this tragic accident. I have lost in Fred Whitwell, a very old and trusted friend."
He paused, as if to say more, then overcome by emotion, he sat down and wiped a tear from his eye.
Behind him, at the inquest at Guisborough, his wife, wealthy Mrs Winsome Wharton, listened and nodded as he spoke.
Captain Ringrose Wharton, aged 68, took his wife's name after he married her. She was left a big estate at Skelton and in South America.
The Captain, with greying hair and wearing a black tie, described what happened during the tenant's shoot on his land a week ago.
Whitwell was at his side, only 2 yards away, when he saw the pheasant rise swiftly over some trees.

Captain C. H. Ringrose-Wharton.

"My intention was to bring the gun up to the right of Frederick. I slipped backwards, as I put my gun up and it went off before I got it to my shoulder.
I saw Fred fall and I went to him",
he said.
Whitwell, aged 54, married of Keeper's Cottage, Lockwood Beck, was dead on arrival at Hospital. The shot fractured his skull and injured his brain.
Mr Bernard Wilkinson, the Cleveland Coroner, said - "This was a most unfortunate, but unforeseen accident." and recorded this verdict.

Captain Christopher Hildyard Ringrose-Wharton died at Skelton Castle on the 2nd of March 1974 after a long illness.
He was aged 83.
The funeral took place at Skelton Parish Church on Wednesday, the 6th March 1974.
Margaret died in 1991, but by 1986 her heir Anthony Wharton had taken charge of the estate.

Margaret Ringrose-Wharton at Barns Farm, Skelton, being presented with an award by Lord Barnard.
This was for a cattle yard and the building in the background that had been designed by the Skelton Castle Agent, Mr John Bulmer, who is standing between them.
The tenant of the farm at the time was John Ferguson.

Fred Bannister, a stone mason for Skelton Castle Estate did a lot of the work on this building.
Here he is examining a beech tree that had stood at the South entrance to the Castle and was blown down in a storm
Its age was calculated by the tree rings to be 177 years.
[Both photos contributed by Chris Holmes of 3 East Tce, Skelton.]

Next page - The Skelton brothers who met at Ypres 1916 and did not see each other again until they were old.
Previous Page - Charles Holmes, Bomber Command War Hero.
Index of E Mails Page.
Main Contents Page.