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West Mill farm house in 1925. The mill buildings are on the right. Photo courtesy of Paul Williams
West Mill farm house in 1910. The mill buildings were to the right. Photo courtesy of Paul Williams

George Looker of Watchfield 1829 - 1911

Article from the Faringdon Advertiser dated Saturday the 4th of March 1911
Funeral of the late Mr George Looker
On Wednesday in last week the remains of the late Mr George Looker of West Mill, Watchfield were laid to rest in the churchyard of this parish. (St Andrews, Shrivenham). Deceased, who was 82 years of age, had carried on business as a Miller for 62 years at the same place - West Mill - until the time of his death, which occurred suddenly on February 18th. For 20 years he was manager for Miss Vines, and afterwards carried on the mill for 42 years on his own account. He had seen changes at every other watermill for miles around, and most of them have ceased to be worked. He was a man of high character and greatly respected by all who knew him. He had great faith in the efficacy of prayer, and it is related of him that during the Crimean War there was a great scarcity of water and he quietly prayed for rain when in his mill. Shortly afterwards rain came, the water Rose, and his Mill was kept going night and day as long as was necessary. Of a retiring disposition, Mr Looker took no active part in public life, but to those who were privileged to know him in private life, he presented the character of sterling integrity. The Rev E.J.N.Aston officiated, and among the mourners were Mrs G. Looker (widow),  Miss J Smith and Mrs Smith (nieces) Mr G. Looker, Mr F. Embling, Mr M. Embling, and Mr C. Goodchild (nephews), Mr J. Kemble (brother-in-law),  Mrs R Stone and Mrs L. Knapp. The Coffin was of polished elm with brass furniture, and bore the following inscription: George Looker, died February 18th 1911 aged 82 years. The funeral arrangements were satisfactorily carried out by Mr J Knapp
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