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BirthMale; 14 Nov 1878; Kings Norton, Staffordshire UK
Death20 Aug 1950, age 71; Paternoster House, Ottery St Mary, Devonshire UK [46]
BurialOttery St Mary parish church
EducationRossall School, Fleetwood, Lancashire UK. See notes
OccupationBarrister at law with Douglas Wenham
Later, accountant with William Wenham
Military17 Aug 1916: 33559 Private in the Worcestershire Regiment
Residence1881 Census - Living in New Road, Woodleigh, Kings Norton, Staffordshire
Grays, 5 Church Hill, Solihull Warwickshire to 1929
Eastcroft, Herbert Road, Solihull to January 1939
Paternoster House, Ottery St Mary, Devonshire UK from January 1939 until his death. [10]

Henry Francis ADKINS b.1878 Henry Francis 'Frank' ADKINS b.1878 Paternoster House, Ottery St Mary


1        Married, 1907
BirthFemale; 26 Oct 1880; Edgbaston, Warwickshire UK
Birth MemoRegistered: Vol. 6C Pg. #446.
Her mother died giving birth to Barbara [16],[17]
Baptism21 Nov 1880; Great Alne, Alcester, Warwickshire UK
Death30 Dec 1921, age 41
Death MemoBreast cancer; day of death not certain

Elizabeth Mary Barbara RATCLIFF b.1880 Elizabeth Mary Barbara RATCLIFF b.1880 as a child Elizabeth Mary Barbara RATCLIFF b.1880

Marriage 11 April 1907, St Alphege Church, Solihull, Warwickshire [45],[95]
Children (4):Dennis 'Den' ADKINS (1909 - 2005)
Katharine Mary 'Katy' ADKINS (1912 - 2002)
Elizabeth Nancy 'Nan' ADKINS (1915 - 2002)
Frances Patience 'Pat' ADKINS (1918 - 2011)

2        Married, 1923
BirthFemale; 27 Dec 1888
Death19 Oct 1972, age 83; Brockhill Nursing Home, Broadclyst, Devonshire, UK
BurialOttery St Mary parish church
ResidenceGrays, 5 Church Hill, Solihull Warwickshire to 1929
Eastcroft, Herbert Road, Solihull to January 1939
Paternoster House, Ottery St Mary, Devonshire to late 1950
The Vicarage, Ottery St Mary
Yew Tree Cottage, North Street, Ottery St Mary, Devon, UK

Ida Laura TOWNSEND b.1888 with daughter Evelyn ADKINS Ida Laura TOWNSEND b.1888 in her later years

Marriage 12 Sept 1923, Parish Church, Solihull UK
Child (1):Evelyn Laura ADKINS (1925 - 2007)

Notes for Henry Francis 'Frank' ADKINS

While at Rossall School he won a book prize of Dickens' Curiosity Shop which is endorsed 'Rossall School H. F. Adkins 1st Arithmetic examination Xmas 1896 from CBD'. The book has been returned to the school for its historic archive.

Frank's ambition was to be an accountant. However, his father wanted him to become a solicitor so he joined up with Douglas Wenham, a relation of his brother-in-law (sister Evelyn's husband, William Wenham). As independent solicitors they were not successful and the partnership failed, perhaps also because his heart was not in it. He then took the opportunity to become an accountant under the management of his brother-in-law William Wenham. He provided accounting services for various people and companies and was paid secretary of Oulton Golf Club.

He moved the family to Ottery St Mary on the outbreak of war in order to protect them from the danger of bombing. From then on he was frequently away from home in the week. The family had a presence in that part of Devon until 2000 when his son Dennis moved up to Cheshire. [10]

Frank obtained a coat of arms in 1923. The principle feature was reproduced as a monogram in two rings, one for himself and the other for his son Dennis. On Henry's death Dennis took to wearing his father's ring, and later gave his own to his nephew, Tim Boddington. Regrettably, Henry's ring was lost while Dennis was in care and Tim replaced it with a copy made from his. On Dennis's death (2005) this ring went to another nephew, Jonathon Boddington. [11]

Notes for Elizabeth Mary Barbara RATCLIFF

Named after the mother she never knew, her mother having died while giving birth.

I have a number of very touching letters and notes written to her children by Barbara when she knew that she was about to die of cancer. She also gave each child a bible and a prayer book all enscribed with the name of the child and 'With Mummy's love'. I have those given to my mother, Katharine Mary. [95]

Family notes for Henry Francis 'Frank' ADKINS and Elizabeth Mary Barbara RATCLIFF

When the children were young the family employed Eliza, a 'cook general' - a house help who both cooked meals and did the general housekeeping. This lady had a favourite saying, in a Birmingham accent, 'Winds chinged, it's coommin from ouver the rilewey.' - the railway being just beyond the bottom of the garden in the days when they lived at Church Hill, now Church Hill Road, Solihull. [95]

Notes for Ida Laura TOWNSEND

Ida joined the Adkins family sometime after 1912 as governess to the children. When Frank's first wife, Barbara, died young, he married his children's governess, Ida.

On the death of Frank she moved to The Vicarage, Ottery St Mary, Devonshire UK and later to Yew Tree Cottage, Ottery St Mary. She was brought up in Staffordshire.

The picture (left above) was taken at a family gathering on the lawn at Mickleover Vicarage (her step-daughter Pat's home) in 1948 when she was 59. The girl behind is her daughter Evelyn then aged 23.

It is regrettable that Ida and her own child, Evelyn Adkins, were never fully accepted by some of the Adkins children as being a full part of the same family. [95]


8.  Document, Evelyn GOODMAN research
10.  Census, 1881 British Census, Kings Norton, Worcestershire, England
11.  Interview, 21 July 2001, Dennis Adkins, Interviewed by STB
16.  Email, Kenneth Ratcliff, February 2002
17.  Email, Kenneth E Ratcliif, 14 April 2003
45.  Marriage certificate, District: Solihull, Witnesses: Dorothea M Fletcher, T Adkins, Ada Holland Smith
46.  Interview, Dennis Adkins
95.  Personal information, Tim Boddington (STB, Webmaster)

Person record last updated: 21 March 2023

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