Frank Bengough Jones 1880

Frank Bengough Jones was born in 1880 to Frances Hindmarsh and Frank Bengough Jones in Australia. Frank was the reason I started to look into the family tree as I was told so many fantastic stories about him and although some of those stories were indeed just fantasy, what I did find out about him turned him into an amazingly interesting and intriguing character.

Frank's Birth

Number 15834 Birth Registration
June 5th 1880 Kensington, Borough of Essendon and Flemington, County Bourke
Name: Frank Bengough
Married: July 24th 1879 Kensington Victoria
Father: Francis Bengough Jones, 36 years old, born Hereford England
Mother: Frances Jones formerly Hindmarsh, 28 years old, born Northumberland England
Registered by: Alice Harley domestic in family declaration made as by law required
Registered: August 24th 1880 Flemington

Frank's father, Frank Bengough Jones, had died when he was just 3, his mother then married his uncle and had 3 more children who were more than just half siblings, they were almost full blood siblings. His second father figure, John Jones, who was also his uncle, then died when Frank was only 15. Frank was a teenager and had already lost 2 father figures within 12 years plus the second was also his uncle. At some point Frank trained as a tailor, both his father and his uncle John had both been tailors. His grandson told me that his mother told him that when Frank was a tiny boy in Australia he learnt his sewing trade and was taught to sit on a large cushion with his legs folded and stitch to perfection. He said; "I will always remember his brown leather suitcase filled with patterns. He had an extraordinary eye for suit cuts and stitching."

At some point between 1896 and 1901 Frances Hindmarsh brought all her children from the 2 Australian marriages back to England, and all of the children apart from Frank settled at 379 Scotland Road, Liverpool. Sometime in his late teens Frank had therefore travelled with his mother Frances and his siblings to England, a long journey and yet another change in what had already been quite a difficult life of continual change.

Frank, did not follow his siblings and settle down to a trade in Liverpool but instead signed up for the Boer war at the age of 20, and went and served in South Africa for a year. In his sign up papers he states that he has previously been previously rejected for service but the reason is not readable but I believe it is a medical reason.

Frank and The Boer War

When he signed up these were his statistics:
Age 20 yrs 7 months
Height 5ft 5.75inches
Weight 129lbs
Chest:32inches (min)-34inches (max)

He was, despite the earlier mentioned condition, classified as fit for service on 4th February 1901 and was accepted into the Imperial Yeomanry with number 23490, he was a Private.

He was "Discharged his having been found medically unfit for further service under authority", 4/4/02 after 1 year 60 days service. He had spent 16/3/01 to 2/3/02 in South Africa, he was not wounded and had nil against "mentions of gallant conduct and mention in public despatches".

Interestingly in his discharge notice he had grown a little, as his height was now 5 ft 7 inches and his chest measurement 35 inches with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

Frank was discharged as being medically unfit for any FURTHER service. I have looked into this and the word "further" means that he was not even welcome in the Reserve Forces and indeed when he tried later to sign up for the 1st World War they rejected him despite needing every man going. Frank was discharged from the Boer War in April 1902.

WW1 Records

Frank B Jones no. 23490 made an application for a badge on 16/8/17, his address was given as 39, Oakwood Avenue, Roundhay Leeds. Where it says Action Taken, the word illegible is written

Frank and Frances Mary Jones

Frances Mary Jones
At some time after being discharged from service in the Boer War Frank met and married Frances Mary Jones. Frances Mary was born 23 September 1883 to William and Elizabeth Ann (Stark) Jones. Her father is a gas fitter in Kirkdale. In the 1901 Census Frances Mary is shown living with her widowed mother living at 56a and 58 Kirkdale Road.

1901 Census
Address: 56a and 58 Kirkdale Road, Kirkdale
Elizabeth Ann Jones 57 Gas fitter and Plumber Employer
Ernest Jones 25
Frances M Jones 17

Frank and Frances' First Marriage

They were married on 2 Jul 1903 in West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire.

At the Registry Office in West Derby 2 July 1903
Frank Bengough Jones age 23 years Bachelor Tailor Cutter
Address: 168 Great Mersey Street Kirkdale
Father: Frank Jones (deceased) Commercial Traveller
Frances Mary Jones age 21 years Spinster
Address: 58 Kirkdale Road, Kirkdale
Father: William Jones (deceased) Plumber and Gas Fitter
Marriage by Certificate

Clearly the Frances Mary Jones at 58 Kirkdale Road in the 1901 Census is the same person who marries Frank Bengough Jones on 2 July 1903, however she has given the wrong age to the Registrar as on this date she would have only been 19 years old. Frances was born in September 1883 and the marriage was in July 1903.

It appears that their marriage in 1903 may not have been blessed by the family as there were no family witnesses to the marriage plus the marriage was in a Registry Office. Frank then left for Canada 3 months later, and Frances Mary followed in 1904.

Frank left Liverpool on 30 September 1903 on the Kensington, his occupation is Tailor and his intended destination is Toronto. He arrived at Montreal, Quebec on 1903 8 October, aged 23. Frances left Liverpool the next year and arrived in Montreal on 5 Jun 1904 on the ship Dominion. I believe she may have travelled with her older sister Elizabeth Anne Jones, however the ship listing puts her as married and so this is not certain.

Frances then marries Frank again in Montreal. Marrying again when you travelled to a new country appears to be common in those times. They marry on 6th June 1904 ie only 1 day after she arrived in Canada.

Frank and Frances' Second Wedding - Canada

Canadian Marriage
Folio Fourteen - Montreal Congregational Emmanual 1904
"Frank Bengough Jones Tailor's Cutter of the City of Toronto Province of Ontario son of Francis Jones and Frances Hindmarsh his wife, a bachelor and of age, and Frances Mary Jones of Liverpool England daughter of William Jones and Elizabeth Ann Stark his wife, a spinster and of age were married by me by authority of license on the sixth day of June in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and four in the presence of the witnesses who have subscribed with me
Signed: Frank Bengough Jones, Frances Mary Jones
Witnesses: Fanny Davies, Cissie Delf
Hugh Pedley"

Once again Frances has given the wrong age as she was in fact only 20 years old on this date.

Frank and Frances had their children in Canada;

Francis Sydney Jones 1905 - 1970
Dorothy Muriel Jones 1908 - 1997
Ronald Methuen Jones 1910 - 1985
Evelyn Doreen Jones 1912 - 1980

Directory listing for FBJ2
Frank worked as a Tailors Cutter in Canada and seems to have moved premises and/or home quite frequently. In 1904 to 1906 he was listed as residing at Montreal South, however I can find no more listings for him until 1908 when he is listed as;

"Frank B Jones, cutter, 634 Boulevard St Joseph Ville St Louis"

Directory listing 1910
However by the following year he is listed as;

"F Bengough Jones, civil and military tailor. 410-411 Birks Building, 14 Phillips Square"

This business does not seem to have prospered as I have found reference to a F Bengough Jones being made bankrupt. He is described as a civil and military tailor and I have not found any other person of that name being a tailor in Montreal. The original document is here

"Province of Quebec District of Montreal Superior Court
In the matter of F Bengough Jones, civil and military tailor, Montreal, Insolvent.
A first and final dividend sheet has been prepared in this matter, which will be open to objection until the 25th of July 1910, after which date the dividends will be payable at my office.
Montreal, 4th July, 1910    3018"

By the 1911 Canadian Census he had moved home yet again.
Address: 24 Spadine, Dalhousie Ward, Ottawa Ontario
Frank Jones 30 Occupation Cutter
Frances 27
Sydney Jones 5
Ronald Jones 1
Dorothy Jones 2

Evelyn was born 16 April 1912 however the family then travelled back to England only a few months later. They arrived in Liverpool on 3 Nov 1912 on Megantic from Montreal.

Frances Mary seems by all accounts to have been strong minded and her own mother certainly was. Frances' mother had taken over running the family Plumbers and Gas Fitting business in Kirkdale, Liverpool when her husband died early. Between 1912 when they returned from Canada and 1924, Frank and Frances' marriage broke down as a result of Frank's adultery. Frances appeared to believe that Frank had an affair with a Gladys Howe, however when I obtained all of the documentation it is clear that the woman he had an affair with was Violetta Howe.

Frances' Divorce Petition

Frances made a petition for dissolution of the marriage on 1st May 1924 with Frank as the Defendant and Gladys Howe is the co-respondent and her address for service is The Poplars Wigan Lane Wigan. Frank is referred to as Bingough not Bengough because the marriage certificate from Canada was wrongly written as an e in handwriting can look very like an i. The Defendants did not defend the divorce and on 12th December 1924 the Decree Nisi was granted.

The divorce petition makes it clear that Frank had set up home with Gladys Howe from September 1921 at The Poplars in Wigan. A note at the top of one of the papers says that the Petitioner will identify the Respondent and a "Mrs Porcia(?) will complete identification of the woman named". The woman involved was of course, Violetta Howe, not Gladys Howe.

10 Springwood Road Leeds
The addresses given by Frances for where Frank and Frances had previously lived together are;
Chorley Road, Wigan
15 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds
10 Springwood Road, Leeds

Frances was, at the time of the divorce, living at Springfield, The Drive, Adel, Leeds.

Frances' Signature
You can see that Frances' signature on the petition is the same as on the marriage certificate shown above.

The petition calls Frank a traveller however that does not mean what it does today, at that time it meant a travelling salesman.

The divorce is made Absolute on 5th August 1925 and on 4th September 1925, Frances filed a petition for maintenance. Interestingly, Frank now starts to respond. In September 1925, October 1925 and February 1926 he sends responses to the Court regarding Frances' request for maintenance. Frances and the children have by now been left to fend for themselves since at least 1921, nearly 5 years.

Frances in 1966
Maintenance is not finalised until 15th June 1926 and there clearly seems to have been some argument but the papers from that do not appear to have survived. Frank is ordered to pay to Frances the sum of £24 per month until she dies, back-dated to 5th August 1925 which is the date of the Decree Absolut. This maintenance is worth £3,600 per month at today's values.

Frank had left his family by 1921 leaving his children when Sydney, Dorothy, Ronald and Evelyn were only aged 16, 13, 11 and 9. Frances does not go on to remarry and devotes herself to her children. She dies aged 83 on 26 September 1966 at 17 Columbus Drive, Pensby, Wirral at the home of her daughter Dorothy. Her death is reported by her son-in-law who lives with Evelyn next door at number 19. She died of Bronchopneumonia, Cerebral Arterio Sclerosis and Chronic Pancreatitis. Death was certified by Dr Edwards of Irby.

Frank's Second Marriage to Violetta Howe

Although at the time of the divorce Frank and Violetta are living in Leeds they soon move to Southport and within days of the divorce being made absolute, they marry.

Frank and Violetta's marriage certificate is dated 12th Sept 1925 in Ormskirk Registry Office. He is Frank Bengough Jones aged 45, under condition it says "formerly the husband of Frances Mary Jones from whom he was divorced", under Rank or Profession it says "Clothing Factory manager and designer", address 14 Blundell Drive, Birkdale, Fathers name "Frank Bengough Jones (deceased)" and Rank or profession of father is "Commercial Agent". Violetta Howe is 32 years old, spinster, no rank or profession, address 14 Blundell Drive, Birkdale, father John Edward Howe, occupation retired engine driver. Witnesses are Elizabeth Anne Howe and Elizabeth Utherton. I believe Elizabeth Anne Howe was probably Violetta's mother.

Violetta had been Frank's secretary and they had apparently fallen in love while working together. Frank had a clothing Factory in the Northwest that he apparently co-owned with another business man however allegedly this man swindled Frank out of ownership but I have not been able to find any further details with regard to this.

I was told that Frank and Violetta went to Europe on an extended honeymoon and that their first daughter Violetta Winifred was born in Cairo. They then returned to England and Norma Doreen was born 2 years later in Southend (I think this should be Southport) with their younger sister Florence Adelaide being born in South Africa a couple of years later.

This gave me quite a challenge however as yet have not found anything to show that this extended honeymoon occurred as suggested, I have however found that the family travelled from South Africa to England at the end of 1926;

Arrived 3 January 1927 Southampton from Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Ship Tanganjika
Frank Jones - Manager age 46
Violetta Jones age 34
Violet Winifred Jones age 4
Norma Doreen Jones age 2
Florence Adelaide Jones age 9 months
They were travelling to stay with F S Jones of 152 Seabank Road, London and their last permanent residence had been Cape Province, their intended future residence was England.
(I do wonder whether the FS Jones they were going to stay with was in fact his son Francis Sydney by Frances Mary Jones. I suspect also that Seabank Road was not in London but in Wallasey.)

This shipping list record does suggest a slightly different version of events. I did indeed find a record for the second daughter
Norma Doreen:
Name: Norma D Jones
Mother's Maiden Surname: Howe
Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1924
Registration District: Ormskirk
Inferred County: Lancashire
Volume Number: 8b
Page Number: 1396

This ties up with the age given for Norma Doreen in the shipping list above and therefore means that Violetta Winifred must have been born in 1922 and Florence Adelaide in March 1926. I believe that Florence was born in Port Elizabeth and so therefore when the family returned from South Africa at the end of 1926 they had clearly been there from before March that year.

I was told by one of his grandsons in South Africa that Frank was a gentleman and very family orientated. On the evidence I am not sure I would entirely agree. If we look back over this short period of time it does not show Frank in a very good light.

Frank's Double Life

Frank and Frances had 4 children between 1905 and 1912, Frank then had an affair with his secretary and left Frances Mary, his wife, with 4 small children to fend for themselves in a time when there was no safety net of the welfare system. Frances Mary was clearly very resourceful to support herself and the 4 children in those years. It is impossible to say how long she and the 4 children survived without support but the divorce documentation shows that they were at the very least without financial support from May 1924 to June 1926, more than 2 years. However the evidence does suggest it may have been significantly longer than that.

When Frances divorced Frank she had the wrong name for the co-respondent which rather suggests Frank had not been entirely open, Frances was not a stupid woman so the details of Frank's mistress must have been concealed or misrepresented as presumably he was still seeing the children during this time. But maybe worse than this is the fact that Frank and Violetta had, by the time the divorce petition was issued, already had one child, Violetta Winifred, who was born 1922, and by 1924 (when the divorce petition was issued) Frank's mistress Violetta was already pregnant with her second daughter Norma Doreen. By the time maintenance was ordered in 1926 he had had 3 children with his mistress. It is more than a little strange that Frank gave his second daughter, with Violetta, the same middle name as his second daughter with Frances Mary.

Interestingly, as well as the divorce petition stating the wrong name as co-respondent, the divorce petition makes no reference to the children born to Violetta suggesting Frank hid his new family. Not very gentlemanly behaviour.

I wrote above that Frances Mary obtained a Court order that Frank should pay her £24 per month which in those times was a sum which would ensure his 4 children from the first marriage were well looked after. However I have no evidence at all that he actually paid and now I look at the evidence that is available I see that, the minute the Court action for maintenance was over, Frank left the country, I wonder how well he kept up those maintenance payments if he was moving around so much.

Frank's Tailoring Career

Frank applied for a patent for a method of tailoring in 1934 when he was working in Holland:
Publication Date
Int. Classification A41D27/06 ; A41D27/02
European Classification A41D27/06
Application number GB19320034505 19321206
Priority Number(s) GB19320034505 19321206
INPADOC patent family
1 Improved method of forming the lapels and collar ends of coats
Inventor: Applicant: FRANK BENGOUGH JONES
EC:A41D27/06 IPC: A41D27/06;A41D27/02
Publication info: GB410231 A - 1934-05-17

A tailoring patent Frank obtained as a British citizen but from a company in Holland.

Moving to South Africa

Eventually Frank stopped moving around the world and the family moved permanently in 1945 to South Africa and they stayed there. Frank went out to South Africa in May 1945 and then just over a year later Violetta and the girls followed.

Ship: Tarkwa
Departure Date: 18th May 1945 from Middlesborough
Destination: Cape Town
Frank Bengough Jones age 64 Factory Manager
Address: 6 Carlton Terrace, Wembley

Ship: Winchester Castle
Departure Date: 24 July 1946 from Southampton
Destination: Durban South Africa
Mrs V Jones age 54
Miss VW Jones age 25
Miss ND Jones age 22
Miss FA Jones age 21
Address: 6 Carlton Terrace, Wembley

So Frank Bengough Jones has 3 children and their descendants in South Africa and 4 children and their descendants in England and Europe.

Frank died on 20 Jun 1970 in Johannesburg, South Africa aged 90.

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