Regiment or Ship: Mayor of Bexhill at the outbreak of war 1914
Occupation: Concert Director, Justice of the Peace and Mayor of Bexhill
Date of Birth: 1857
Place of Birth: Brandenberg, Germany – he was a naturalised German.
Date of Death: 23.08.1928
Place of Death: Cleveland Gardens, London W2Address: Collington Manor, Bexhill
Photos and newspaper articles
Wife: Alice Allez b.1862 in Guernsey Channel Island. She died on 17.11.1912 in Battle. In her will she left £15,761 8s 3d to her husband Daniel and a solicitor. This would be approximately £677,723.46 in 2014.
Millicent Margaret Allez Mayer b.1878 St. Saviours Guernsey. She died 17.09.1945 in St. Pancras Hospital London.
Rudolph Max Mayer b.1885 Barton Lancashire. W0157 MAYER Rudolph Max (Captain)
Emile Daniel Nicholas Mayer b.1883 Barton, Lancashire. Died October 1918 from influenza. W0094 MAYER Emile Daniel Nicholas (Acting Bombardier)
First World War Experience
Daniel Mayer was a naturalised German and was the Mayor of Bexhill when war broke out in August 1914. He was involved in local politics and was the 8th Earl De La Warr’s biggest supporter. In 1918 his son, Corporal Emile Mayer of the Royal Field Artillery died of influenza and pneumonia at the Milton Military Hospital aged 35 years old. His son Captain Rudolph Max Mayer also served.
Following the outbreak of war, Daniel who had been the Mayor of Bexhill for four years, three years consecutively, had voluntarily produced proof at a council meeting of his naturalised status of over 20 years. At this meeting all the councillors appeared happy for him to continue as Mayor. However within months, fuelled by increased anti-German feelings, this dramatically changed leading to his forced resignation at the end of a council meeting in October 1914.
He was very emotional when he spoke, and stated that he had “faithfully discharged all the obligations devolving upon him as a naturalised British Subject” and that there was “no more loyal and patriotic British Subject in the town than himself”. He went on to explain that his resignation was due to “certain unfortunate incidents”. He then added that since these events he had also received proof from the residents of the town that their feelings were not personal. He concluded by saying “I know, however, there is a feeling with some in the town that at this particular crisis they would have wished that a British born subject should be at their head”.
Although he did not give details of the unfortunate incidents at the meeting, in 1915 the Bexhill Chronicle reported on legal proceedings between Daniel and fellow councillor Mr J. M Glover. In the early weeks of the war, Glover had written several letters and given speeches which were reported in the local newspapers where he made serious allegations about Daniel. In particular he claimed Daniel was working for the benefit of the Germans and prevented any form of patriotic displays in the town, including refusing to allow the National Anthems of any of the Allies to be played. These allegations were completely unfounded and in the legal action taken in 1915 by Daniel, Glover withdrew everything he had said.
Extracts from articles by local historian Bartley about Daniel Mayer’s career and relationship with Earl De La Warr:
Bartley Article 174
“1905-06 and 1911-14: Daniel Mayer,- Although he had been first substitute mayor he was not a member of the Town Council, but accepted an invitation to become first citizen after the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer had drawn attention to the need to consider the next mayoralty. He was elected an alderman after the death of Alderman Major H. Le M. Dunn in May 1906. He brought to the office the influence of a high social position, great business ability (he was principal of a noted firm of concert agents) and sterling character. During his first term the Lord Mayor of London came to open the Egerton Park extension, the choice of the borough coat of arms was settled, and it was through his instrumentality that Lord Brassey presented the town with the mayoral chain. In 1913 he was re-elected in his absence in America, a special meeting of the Council in committee renewing the offer to him after another alderman had been proposed in his place. A native of Germany but a naturalised Englishman for twenty years, he found himself in a difficult position on the outbreak of the first world war in 1914, and in October, after making a personal statement under stress of great emotion, withdrew from mayoral duties, recognising that while there was no personal feeling against him many at such a time would naturally wish that the town should have a British-born subject as its head. A week after his re-election as mayor in 1912 Alderman Mayer was bereaved by the death of his wife.”
Bartley Article 171
“In 1900, when Lord De La Warr was in South Africa, as a war correspondent for ‘The Globe,’ he did not seek re-election to the Urban Council, but in the summer of that year he was invalided home, and in 1901 was returned at the head of the poll. He resigned, however, when the Council re-elected as chairman Mr Walter Smith, who had presided in the Earl’s absence, and another resignation was that of Mr Daniel Mayer, one of his principal supporters and who had organised the town’s impressive welcome home to him on his return from the Boer War.”
Bartley article 138
“Christian Science – Although no doubt Christian Science was previously practiced by individuals, the first records available show that in 1905, as a result of a healing, Mr Daniel Mayer, an early civic leader and benefactor of Bexhill, began to hold services in his house, Collington Manor.”
Daniel died in 1928 but his will did not go to probate until 1946. He left £1340 6s 1d to his son Rudolph Max Mayer. This would amount to approximately £57,620.35p in 2014. At the time of his death Daniel was splitting his time between New York (where he lived at 1516 Stein Hall, 113 West 57th Street) and Bexhill at Collington Mansion. Presumably he was working on a theatre production in New York.