George Job Wooster MBE

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George Job Wooster MBE - A Farming Dynasty   Tree
By Nick Wooster

George Job Wooster was born at Pennbury Farm, Penn, Buckinghamshire on the 7th January 1903 to parents George Albert Wooster and Nellie Augusta Wooster (nee Butcher)1. His grandparents were Job Wooster and Mary (nee Hitchcock) who managed Sealey's Farm in Beaconsfield which is featured on our website.2

George Job grew up on the farm along with his siblings Cissie, Mary and John3. He worked with his father from the age of twelve and took charge of their herd of shorthorn cattle at the age of sixteen.4

George Job's parents had strong religious views and regularly toured the country with Mary Jefkins and her sister Louis whose family were also farmers from the neighbouring Lude Farm5. They were non-conformists and even managed to split from other non-conformists to form their own group called the Independent Holiness Movement. They appeared as far afield as Perth6, a typical subject being "SIN - What is it? Where is it? How to get rid of it."

As well as Pennbury Farm, the Woosters had a base at Mere Road in Leicester7 and it was from here that, in 1924, the family acquired a 45 acre farm at The Mount, Great Glen, just to the south east of Leicester8. Over the course of time they had expanded the farm to 186 acres by 1965.4

There is little evidence that George Job involved himself in any of these religious activities and appeared to only be interested in dairy farming. In 1936 George moved to Great Glen himself and took charge of the farm there and in July of that year oddly, at the age of thirty-three, he married the aforementioned Mary Jefkins who was fourteen years his senior9!

George's herd of shorthorn cattle were founded by his father in 1898 and were the first in Leicestershire to be fully attested and free from brucellosis10. The herd won countless prizes at agricultural shows in the midlands as well as Yorkshire, Lancashire and his native south of England11,12,13. They were named "Pennbury" after the family's farm in Buckinghamshire, examples being from a double win for George at the Ashbourne Show in 1949, where "Pennbury Grand Duchess 2nd", "Pennbury Iris 2nd" and "Pennbury Fairy 14th" won a second and two firsts in different classes11.

George with the Adams Cup (back right as we look) at a presentation night in 1939. Leicester Daily Mercury - Monday 06 February 1939 P7

In February 1939 he was elected to the management committee of the Leicestershire and Rutland Milk Recording Society14. George himself had a fastidious and scientific approach to dairy farming and with the outbreak of WW2 he addressed many meetings and was quoted in several newspaper articles entitled "more milk"15, "better milk"14 etc. George stressed the point that recording of milk yields as well as the progeny of the cows was vital to improving milk supply. He stated that a "pedigree bull" was often labelled as such due to other factors such as appearance, but to produce a good herd for dairy farming it was necessary to breed from bulls who produced daughters with a high milk yield.

In 1944, George who was on the Leicestershire War Agricultural Committee, was instrumental in introducing the Leicestershire County Breeding Register and addressed a meeting at which the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock Officer was present16. In 1946 George was appointed to the reconstituted County Agricultural Committee for Leicestershire17 along with twelve others and was in exalted company as the group contained a Lord, a Lady, a Colonel and a Lieutenant Colonel!

Unfazed by any of this, George carried out his duties on the committee, often inspecting farms, including beef farms which would not have been his area of expertise18,19. He also continued to run his own farm with his high yield shorthorn herd, often opening his farm for farming demos, visits from schools and soldiers returning from war with no trade to their name as an example of the work they could potentially do20,21,22.

George was awarded an MBE for his services to cattle breeding and his work on the Leicestershire Agricultural Executive Committee in the New Year's Honours List in 1965, by which time he had gained an international reputation4.

George retired due to ill health in 196810 and he sold his prizewinning Pennbury herd. He and Mary remained at The Mount in Great Glen for several years23 and then moved the short distance to Woodside Road in Oadby10,24.

George died on 28th May 1974 at his home in Oadby10,25 and was buried near his parents in St Cuthbert's graveyard in Great Glen on 31st May10. His wife Mary died two years later25,26. Mary retained a strong link to the Independent Holiness Movement and left a bequest of £12000 out of a total estate of ca. £43000 in her will for use in the movement's work27.

After George's retirement, the recent history of the farm and the Pennbury herd is somewhat less certain. However, dairy production at the farm seems to have continued until 200728 when the site was used for the building of the new Leicester Grammar School which was opened in 200829. However, the Pennbury name does live on as, in modern times, a new farm named Pennbury Farm, after George's prizewinning herd of shorthorns, was built close by on Stretton Road. Although during George's time Mount Farm was extended to 186 acres, this would not have been enough to encompass the current Pennbury Farm30 and it is believed that this was part of Stackley Barn Farm to the east31.

The new Pennbury Farm first appeared on a 1992 OS Plan32 and it is therefore likely that Mount Farm and Pennbury Farm co-existed for some time. Subsequent attempts to convert the Pennbury Farm to housing failed33, as did an attempt to use it as the centre for a new eco-village31 (Coalville, to the north-west of Leicester being the preferred site). The recently reopened Pennbury Farm is now run as a farm shop with a cafe and accommodation - an ideal location for any Wooster Family Group members intending to explore the Leicestershire countryside!

The modern Pennbury Farm at Great Glen

1. Birth certificate
3. 1911 England Census, Registration district: Amersham, Registration District Number: 143, Sub-registration district: Amersham, ED, institution, or vessel: 13, Piece: 7815
4. Leicester Mercury, 1 January 1965, Page 5
5. 1911 England Census, Registration district: Wycombe, Registration District Number: 145, Sub-registration district: Marlow, ED, institution, or vessel: 07, Piece: 7893
6. Perthshire Advertiser, 21 October 1922, Page 2
7. England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920-1932
8. Sale document for The Mount, Great Glen (Leicestershire Record Office, Wigston)
9. Marriage Certificate
10. Leicester Mercury, 29 May 1974
11. Derby Daily Telegraph, 10 September 1949, Page 12
12. Leicester Daily Mercury, 7 July 1939, Page 3
13. Manchester Evening News, 31 July 1947, Page 4
14. Leicester Daily Mercury, 4 February 1939, Page 12
15. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 2 June 1944, Page 8
16. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 15 December 1944, Page 8
17. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 23 August 1946, Page 1
18. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 29 October 1948, Page 18
19. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 18 June 1948, Page 8
20. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 22 March 1946, Page 4
21. Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, 26 May 1944, Page 8
22. Lichfield Mercury, 2 October 1964, Page 12
23. Leicester Yellow Pages, 1968-1973
24. Leicester Yellow Pages 1975
25. Death Certificate
26. Leicester Mercury, 25 March 1976
27. The Will of Mary Wooster, dated 11 March 1976
28. Leicester Yellow Pages 2007
29. Leicester Grammar School website (
30. 1929 OS Map (Leicestershire Record Office, Wigston)
31. Information supplied by Pennbury Farm
32. Old Maps website (
33. Harborough District Council, Planning Application no. 14/01450/PDN, 22 Oct 2014

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  Page last updated

  06 August 2020