Charles Allen Du Val

His life and works

Bartram Du Val

Bartram Du Val
Born: 1877 Manchester
Died: 1961 Battle, Sussex
Gerald Du Val
Catherine Shimwell 1844-1932
Allen Du Val born 1866
Lucy Du Val 1869-1934
Gerald Shimwell Du Val 1870-1898
Bessie Du Val born 1872
Blanche Du Val born 1875
Denis Du Val 1879-1915
Margaret Shimwell 1878-1947
Patrick Du Val 1903-1987
Hope Du Val 1905-1925

Bartram Du Val was born in 1877, the son of Gerald Du Val and his wife nee Catherine Shimwell.

He was probably named Bartram after his maternal uncle, Thomas Bartram Shimwell 1850-1922. He was however usually called Patrick in the family. In 1902 he married Margaret Shimwell.

They had two children: Patrick Du Val born in 1903, and Hope Du Val born in 1905.

In 1911 the family were living in Pym Gate House, Styal Road near Wilmslow in Cheshire. In the census return of that year he was described as being an insurance clerk, but in obituaries of his son Patrick he was said to be a cabinet maker, an occupation that perhaps he took up later in life.

Hope Du Val died in 1925 aged only twenty years. Bartram and Margaret Du Val separated, and their son Patrick was brought up and educated mostly by his mother.

Patrick Du Val became a noted mathematician, whose name was given to a mathematical concept (“Du Val singularity of an algebraic surface”). According to family legend, Patrick pointed out a mistake in one of Einstein’s calculations, and was graciously thanked by the great man. Patrick went to Istanbul in 1941 to take up the chair of Pure Mathematics there. He returned briefly to Cambridge, where, in September 1945 he married Isobel Shimwell. They went back to Istanbul, where their three children were born. Later Patrick Du Val taught at universities in Georgia in the United States USA, Bristol University and University College, London. After his first retirement in 1970 he returned to Istanbul for three years and then finally settled in Cambridge.