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Major William

Soldier & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Updated: 14 October 2009
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DEATH NOTICE: see the Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/166, No 6053.
OBITUARY: see the Daily Dispatch, 28.8.1878.

Major William Lee was born in the County of Kent on 21 January 1809. He arrived in the Cape as a member of the 6th Royal Regiment and settled at East London after his retirement. He later became a Justice of the Peace for the town.

In January 1873 he was elected to the committee to draft regulations for the formation of a municipality for East London and in May was elected to the first Municipal Board as a representative for Panmure. He was thereupon voted as Chairman of the Board.

His election was probably invalid, however, because he lived in the German acre lots to the north of Panmure, in the area which was later to become known as North End. This village had not been included as part of the original municipality but Lee seemed to have been unaware of that fact.

He tendered his resignation within three weeks of the election and never again attempted to re-enter local politics.

He died of dropsy on 26 August 1878, at the age of 69, and was buried at East London.

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