After schooling at the King’s School, Warwick, George Nugent entered the service of the Leeward Islands government in 1893, holding at times the posts of Clerk to the Executive and Legislative Councils and Private Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to the Leeward Islands Governor (likely to have been Sir Francis Fleming, Sir Henry Moore Jackson or Sir Gerald Strickland). In 1906 he was transferred to another Colonial Service position in Nigeria, based at first in Zungeru, Northern Nigeria and later at Lagos, the capital. He served in Nigeria until 1925, retiring on the rank of First Assistant Secretary having spent 32 years in government service, 13 in Antigua and 19 in Nigeria.
On his return to Antigua, he acted as Assistant Colonial Secretary, Leeward
On Sept 27th 1910, he married Gladys Julia Foster, daughter of Major Kingsley Osbern Foster and Constance Jemima Foster (née Birch) of Shenley, Redhill, Surrey, at St Johns. Church, Redhill, the second member of his family to marry into the Foster family following the marriage of his sister, Catherine Mary Monica, to Osbern Foster at St Johns’ Cathedral, Antigua, in January 1906.
George returned home on leave almost every year. On at least two occasions Gladys accompanied him to Nigeria – to Zungeru in January 1914 and in September 1920 toLagos. The war had prevented Gladys from visiting Nigeria for some years.
George’s retirement was marked by ill health. He enjoyed doing things with his hands, such as carpentry, and engaged in the affairs of the island as best he could. In 1938 he wrote to the Antigua Star encouraging people to grow groundnuts and to rear poultry. On another occasion he courted controversyby advocating flogging for anyone caught stealing crops (see panel).
George Nugent died in Antigua in 1939, aged 62. He was buried alongside his grandparents, Sir Oliver and Lady Nugent, at St George’s churchyard overlooking Fitches Creek.
(Source: Leeward Islands Gazette, Nov 16th, 1939; newspaper cuttings, family papers and photographs)