Frederick William Clarke

This directory contains the limited information and documents we have about Kate and Anthony Clarke's 4th child Frederick William.

For details of Kate's life, see her own directory.

For details of Kate’s very interesting first husband Anthony, including his families with other wives, see the AJCheeper/Clarke directory.

Frederick William was born on 18 Nov 1888, while the family was living at 24 Edwards Tce, St John Cardiff. His father's profession was shown as commercial traveller.

He appears on the Census entry in 1891 (left-side, right-side), where he is shown as Fredk. W., born in Cardiff, and 2 years old.

Anne found his Baptism record on 17 Oct 1897 at Waverley Park Mission, Nunhead, jointly with siblings 3-8.

He appears again in the 1901 Census entry (page 1, page 2), where he is listed as Frederick W., born in Cardiff, and aged 12.

[My notes tell me that his aunt, Freda (Haskins-Miller) said in 1994 that Fred took his sister-in-law Queenie's job in the office at Whitcombe's grocers in 1917– which she relinquished when she married Willie Tony – as, in those days, a woman did. (Whitcombe's Grocers are described as being founded by Frank Whitcombe in 1898, at 12 Palmerston Road, and closed in March 1979 by Richard Whitcombe, son of the founder). Queenie would have been 23 and Fred 29. [But it looks like I misunderstood Freda, because my father Tony later told me that his father Willie Tony worked for Whitcombe's c. 1918-30.]

Conscription was in place from 1916 (presumably until after July 1918 – I haven't found an authoritative reference for its finish-date). Fred would have been 28-30 at that stage, so it may be that he was rejected for military service (which probably required considerable infirmness or deformity!), or somehow dodged it.

Judging from what we learnt from his nephews Tony and Fred Clarke, Fred was a fairly black sheep – although we've never been able to establish quite what his sins were. Tony had the impression that, when Fred visited, the Police were prone to visit soon afterwards; and that of course wouldn't be talked about, would it?!

Fred's nephew Fred said Uncle Fred was a 'toff' who came to the house a few times (4 Cleveland Road at that stage, in the 1920s), and was always dressed in full clobber of a dandy, gloves and the like, and was very superior in attitude. (Fred's brother Willie Tony was out of work for 3 years during the depression, and times were tough in the household). His nephew Fred also said that Fred had spent a couple of weeks in jail for some reason at one time. He didn't know the reason. Uncle Fred would have been in his 30s at the time.

Tony said that his Uncle Fred seemed alright to his nephews Fred and Tony, because when he came he gave the kids "a couple of bob". That was probably some time in the mid-to-late-1920s, when Uncle Fred was in his late 30s. It suggests that by then, if he had ever been in 'a good, solid job' at Whitcombe's or anywhere else, he wasn't any more. An 'entrepreneur'? A light-fingered cashier?

We have no idea where he was or what he was up to from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s.

Dorothy Docwra told Roger in Nov 2009 that (her uncle) Fred was a right rogue, never worked, lived off his winnings and dole-money, never had a permanent home, married his landlady's simpleton daughter (she was c. 18 and he was c. 38), and explained that he needed a roof over his head. If he married at 38, it was 1926. But Anne hasn't found a marriage register entry yet.

Dorothy Docwra told Anne that Fred used to play cards a lot at the pubs and kept his money rolled up in his sleeves. So perhaps he was a good enough sharp to live that way. Dot said Fred used to do the rounds of the family and stay with them for a few days at a time and didn't seem to have a permanent abode. Also he was living with a lady who had a daughter who was a little simple and Dorothy thought he may have married the girl at some stage, maybe after the mother died.

There's thought to be at least one photo of Bertie in this albumShot 1 (1928-30?).

David Clarke said that he's person 19, seated, presumably with a child on his lap. (Who?, we wonder).

But in 2009, Dot was sure that 19 was Bertie, and Fred was the man at 2, partly obscured. She also said that Shot 4 (1916?), Shot 5 (1919?), Shot 6 (1926?, with Bett) and Shot 11 (1930?) were also of Bertie and Bett; but Anne argues that they're all Bertie's elder brother Fred, in Shot 11 with his somewhat simple wife, and in Shot 6 with (who knows??).

On the other hand, David Clarke told me in May 2008 that Fred worked for David's father's company "for quite some years". (Dot was in Norwich post-War, so she may never have known this). Rue was Fred's youngest brother, born 16 years later. Rue ran a successful painting and decorating business in North London post-WWII c. 1945-70. So Fred would have been 57 when Rue's company started. We know of no track-record in physical occupations (or any other kind of hard work, for that matter). If he had book-keeping skills, he might have needed close supervision by his younger brother and employer. Given that Fred worked for Rue "for quite some years", it was presumably his last job, so perhaps 1945-53, aged 57-65?

Fred's death registry entry (showing the correct birth-date, but the wrong age) is for Frederick W. Clarke, aged 69 (should be 68), Dec Qtr 1956, Middlesex S. 5f 17.

We know very little about Frederick, and any branch he might have created, and would love to know more

This a page within Roger Clarke's Family Web-Site

Contact: Roger Clarke and/or Anne Kratzmann

Created: 4 October 2005; Last Amended: 1 September 2006 rev. 22, 30 August 2008, 17 August 2009, 24 Feb 2016 (baptism), 18 Apr 2016 (photo links)