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Henry Francis 'Frank' ADKINS
(1878 - 1950)
Elizabeth Mary Barbara RATCLIFF
(1880 - 1921)

Married: 28 April 1971; Blockley Parish Church, Gloucestershire UK [11],[95]
Dennis 'Den' ADKINS
(1909 - 2005)
(1914 - 1999)
 bd.  3 May 1909; Kings Norton, Birmingham, UK
 bpd.  20 March 1925; Kings Norton Parish Church, Birmingham UK [11]
 dd.  25 Nov 2005, age 96; Macclesfield Hospital, Cheshire UK
 brd.  6 Dec 2005; Macclesfield crematorium, Cheshire UK
 edu.  The Elms Preparatory School, Colwall, Malvern, Worcestershire UK; Aldenhams, Elstree, Hertfordshire UK [11]
 occ.  Banker with Lloyds Bank
 mil.  Served in the Pay Corps during WWII. The nearest he got to the action was a tour around Palestine which, by the look of his pictures, was more of a holiday tour than a military one!
 res.  UK
 src.   [8],[95]
 bd.  7 May 1914
 dd.  3 Sept 1999, age 85; 25 Malden Road, Sidmouth, Devon, UK
 brd.  8 Sept 1999; Devon & Exeter Crematorium, Exeter, Devon UK
 occ.  Land girl (working on farms) during WWII; worked in a woollens retail shop [11]
 res.  UK
 src.   [8]

Sheila McMORLAND & Dennis ADKINS wedding at Blockley

Dennis ADKINS b.1909 at his home in Sidmouth, Devon UK Dennis ADKINS b.1909, pictured on 27 July 2003

Sheila McMORLAND b.1914

No issue

Family notes for Dennis 'Den' ADKINS and Sheila McMORLAND

Dennis was a slow starter where the ladies were concerned. He was attracted to Sheila for very many years, decades in fact, before being prompted by an aunt to court and marry her! They enjoyed 28 years of married life before Sheila died. [95]

Notes for Dennis 'Den' ADKINS

Dennis worked for Lloyds Bank and was posted to a number of branches, in particular to Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds, an area that he very much enjoyed.

In his young days Dennis rode a motorcycle. However he soon graduated to a car and owned several over the years. I recall that an early one was an Austin, but later he preferred Rovers. During the 1950s he owned a Rover and, as school boys near Bournemouth, my brother and I very much looked forward to Dennis and our grandmother driving up from Devon for the termly parents' day. We were taken out and enjoyed a good lunch in a local restaurant.

Dennis retired from the bank at age 46 on health grounds. He lived for a further 50 years less 5 days! His final five years were spent at Hope Green Residential Home, Adlington, Cheshire, UK, initially with his sister Katharine in the same home. We took Dennis, and Katharine in the first two years, out in our car each weekend for a short drive in the local countryside, often into the Peak District. I had a Land Rover Discovery and Dennis would sit in the front passenger seat taking the part of the country squire being driven by his chauffeur, with a kindly wave for passing locals!

While living in care, Dennis was visited by various friends and his sister Pat visited about once each year. We arranged a visit to Stratford upon Avon in order to meet his half sister, Evelyn, and her husband Binky and their daughter and son in law Sarah and Kevin Green, who had driven them all up from Wellington in Somerset, and a very happy day was enjoyed by all of us. This was on 14th September 2002 and was the last time that Den and Evelyn met. [95]

His funeral was held at Macclesfield and attended by members of his family who lived in the midlands and north of England. For those relatives and many friends living in Somerset and Devon a further memorial service was held at Exeter Crematorium on 12th January 2006 after which his ashes were interred in the Crematorium garden beside those of his late wife Sheila.

In clearing his effects it was noticeable that Den had not taken an interest in any kind of activity or hobby. Though he had a camera, there were very few pictures, no magazines, few books, indeed, almost no other memorabilia from his passage through life. I like to say that he passed through life without touching the sides. But he will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity - every meeting in our childhood was marked by the gift of half a crown! It may be just 12.5p today but it was a lot of pocket money in those days!

As a bachelor in his younger years he enhanced his living standards by sharing a house with another single man. In the twentyfirst century we would make presumptions about such a relationship, but in the 1940s to 1960s there would be no such thoughts and the situation was not that unusual. The additional person was a writer of one act plays called Philip Johnson b.1900. In the early days they lived at The Owl Pen, a largish detached house in its own gardens in West Hill, near to Ottery St Mary, Devon. Writing one act plays - he had written over 50 by 1951 - was not a lucrative occupation, Philip was always short of money and as time went on he became more and more dependent on Dennis for financial support. This problem was alleviated somewhat by selling the big house and moving to a new bungalow at 25 Malden Road, Sidmouth, Devon, in the mid 1960s. But the extra cash didn't last for long especially through the years of high inflation during the 1970s.

Philip continued to live with Dennis even after Dennis & Sheila married; he had one room to himself. He quickly became very isolated, venturing out of his room only for the bathroom and the kitchen. He would eat all his meals in his room. Dennis would do his shopping for him. He didn't leave the house for almost 20 years. He was also a very heavy smoker and although he died there in 1984 the room remained smoke logged even until we cleared it in 2000! Ironically, after appearing to be in penury, on his death his estate turned out to be worth some thousands of pounds, much of which, most appropriately, went to Dennis. [95]

Notes for Sheila McMORLAND

Lived for many years with friends, Roger & Margaret Farmer of Ottery St Mary, Devon UK, who were farmers. I seem to recall that this was the family she worked with as a Land Girl during WWII. [95]


8.  Document, Evelyn GOODMAN research
11.  Interview, 21 July 2001, Dennis Adkins, Interviewed by STB
95.  Personal information, Tim Boddington (STB, Webmaster)

Family record last updated: 21 March 2023

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