Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted

Biography:
Frank Saltmarsh
d. 09/01/1940

FRANK SALTMARSH: 1867 – 1940

Frank was born in Berkhamsted on 19th August 1867. He was youngest of seven children born to Alfred and Caroline Saltmarsh. (Alfred and Caroline are also buried in Rectory Lane cemetery, in plot 510) Alfred and Caroline were both born in Chelmsford, Essex and came to settle in Berkhamsted from London. Alfred was a boot maker. Of their seven children, the four oldest children all died at young ages. Only Frank and two of his sisters, Caroline and Eliza, survived to adulthood. Although Frank had been born in August 1867, he was not baptised until 5th July 1868, nearly a year later.

Frank was 3 years old at the time of the 1871 census and was living with his parents and older siblings, Sidney (who was to die later that year), Caroline and Eliza. The family were living in Victoria Road, Berkhamsted.  In 1881 the family had moved from Victoria Road to the High Street. Frank was then 13 years old and was noted as being a “scholar,” indicating he was attending school. A further ten years later, Frank having turned 24 years of age was still living with his parents. His two older sisters Caroline and Eliza had moved on. In 1888 Eliza had married Arthur Timson who lived in Charles Street, Berkhamsted and Caroline, who married in 1892, was working as a domestic parlourmaid in Kennington, London.

Frank had taken up work as a carpenter. There had been small scale wood workers in Berkhamsted for centuries, but the industry expanded substantially after Job East moved from Chesham in the 1840 and took over a small shovel maker and wood turner’s business. William Key founded another timber yard, which subsequently became J Alsford Ltd. By 1880 these and other smaller businesses employed over 200 men and yet others worked as coach builders and boat builders.

The work demanded hard physical labour and long hours. Joseph Tufnell, who was born a few years before Frank in 1862 worked as a carpenter in the town and “...had interesting recollections of the time he was apprenticed to one of the town’s master-craftsmen, Mr John Sills...There Mr Tufnell learnt his trade the hard way. He often had to help fell and cart the trees to the workshop, where pit sawing was the vogue and little use was made of the circular saw. Hours were from 6 in the morning until 6 at night except on Saturdays when the men “knocked off” at 4.00pm. Sixpence an hour was considered a good wage for a skilled craftsman.”

Frank married Mary Jane Baker in 1891. Frank was 24 years old and Mary 26. Mary, like Frank’s parents, was originally from Chelmsford. She was a cousin of the Timson family and Mary was staying at the Timson’s home at the time of the 1891 census.

Frank and Mary had two children, Florence, born on 6th March 1891 and Frank, born in 1894.

In 1892 Frank and Mary had a lucky escape as recounted in the Bucks Herald of 6th August that year.

“About 8 p.m. on Monday a party of four men, who were said to be intoxicated, and driving a heavy cart, met a wagonette in which were several members of the Timson family and Mr and Mrs Saltmarsh. Running into Mr Timson’s vehicle, the cart broke it into two, and the horses dashed away into Berkhampstead with the shafts and the forewheels. Fortunately no one appears to have been seriously hurt.”

This early form of “drink driving” was evidently not uncommon; the same article goes on to describe a second collision in Berkhamsted of two horse drawn vehicles in which the consumption of alcohol also played a part.

The 1901 and 1911 census tell us that Frank and Mary, together with Florence and Frank were living in Doctor’s Commons Road. The later electoral rolls and the 1939 Register give us the name of the house, Hythe.

Frank is described in the 1901 census as working as an estate carpenter, but unfortunately the estate for which he worked is not named.

In 1911 Florence was working as a cashier. Frank (junior), like his grandfather Alfred, was working as bootmaker. In September 1914, on the outbreak of World War I, Frank enlisted as a private in the 3rd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). He went to Malta in late 1914 and from there to Egypt in April 1915. He took part in the Gallipoli campaign and was killed in action on 15th November 1915. His name is recorded on the Helles Memorial at Canakkale in Turkey and also on the Berkhamsted war memorial.  

Frank was for a good many years a bell ringer at St Peter’s Church. An article published in the Watford Observer in 1907 describes a visit to Berkhamsted by the bell ringers of Walthamstow. The visitors had tea with local bell ringers, including Frank, at the Coffee Tavern in Castle Street. “The party afterwards adjourned to the belfry, where the visitors rang several touches of Stedman triples and also joined with local ringers in several touches” Some 30 years later in 1938, the Bucks Examiner tells us that Frank was still ringing bells at the age of 70 and had by then completed fifty years’ service as a bell ringer.

When the 1939 Register was compiled, Frank and Mary were still living at Hythe in Doctors Common Road.

For many years F. Saltmarsh hardware store stood at 35 -37 Lower King’s Road, only closing in the early years of this century. Prior to that, the property had been part of A C Meeks Livery and Hunting Stables which until about 1915 stood in Lower Kings Road. (More information about the Meek’s stables can be found at https://www.rectorylanecemetery.org.uk/locations/meeks-stables/.)  It subsequently became Blake’s and is now the Keech Hospice charity shop. Percy Birtchnell, writing in Berkhamsted Review about Frank’s son in law. Sidney Chappell, who was often seen in the shop, tells us that Frank’s premises were originally in Prince Edward Street before transferring to Lower King’s Road. A photograph of a carnival float in Prince Edward Street shows Frank’s premises. The notice over the door is not completely visible in the photograph, but appears to read “F Saltmarsh, Carpenter and Joiner.” Frank is consistently described in the census returns as a carpenter rather than a shopkeeper or iron monger, even as late as the 1939 Register in which, at the age of 72, he is noted as being a carpenter and joiner. There is, however,  evidence from 1936 in the form of a letter written by James William Moir of Holmleigh, 16 Charles Street to his son, that suggests that Frank was also engaged in selling decorating supplies;

'Mr Saltmarsh has just been in, and left a Book of sample wallpapers. He says I may keep them till you return, when we can choose something for the Dining Room. He says the whole will cost about £14. “Money, money” you will say “Dads always thinking about money”!!’ 

It seems likely that initially the shop was a carpentry workshop and later became a hardware shop.

On the 9th January 1940 Frank died. His estate was worth £2,958 4s 10d. Probate in respect of his estate was granted to his widow Mary and Ernest Sedgewick, solicitor. Frank was laid to rest in Rectory Lane cemetery where his parents had also been buried. He was to be joined there by Mary when she died in 1953.

Frank seems to have been a much respected and well-liked member of the local community and the last word on Frank best comes from his obituary published in a local paper.:

“Frank Saltmarsh was one of those quiet souls, whose steadfast life and example will remain an inspiration to all who knew him.

A craftsman who followed our dear Lord both in his handiwork and in the walk of his daily life. I am sure our Lord was a good carpenter who did no slipshod work, and Frank Saltmarsh took that pride in his craft which made it his delight – and the delight of those he served.

For over half a century he had served the Church as a ringer and a sidesman, and he did more – he gave of his best to it in worship and service, and he found it more blessed to give than to receive, for indeed he was abundantly blessed at home, among his friends and in himself. There was an inner strength which not only enabled him to bear it bravely when his son made the supreme sacrifice, but again in his own hour of need when his last illness was so patiently born.

A good man and true, and one of those who whose title to the word ‘gentle-man’ was evident to all.

God bless and comfort his dear wife and daughter and all who loved him.”

 

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FRANK SALTMARSH: 1867 – 1940

Frank was born in Berkhamsted on 19th August 1867. He was youngest of seven children born to Alfred and Caroline Saltmarsh. (Alfred and Caroline are also buried in Rectory Lane cemetery, in plot 510) Alfred and Caroline were both born in Chelmsford, Essex and came to settle in Berkhamsted from London. Alfred was a boot maker. Of their seven children, the four oldest children all died at young ages. Only Frank and two of his sisters, Caroline and Eliza, survived to adulthood. Although Frank had been born in August 1867, he was not baptised until 5th July 1868, nearly a year later.

Frank was 3 years old at the time of the 1871 census and was living with his parents and older siblings, Sidney (who was to die later that year), Caroline and Eliza. The family were living in Victoria Road, Berkhamsted.  In 1881 the family had moved from Victoria Road to the High Street. Frank was then 13 years old and was noted as being a “scholar,” indicating he was attending school. A further ten years later, Frank having turned 24 years of age was still living with his parents. His two older sisters Caroline and Eliza had moved on. In 1888 Eliza had married Arthur Timson who lived in Charles Street, Berkhamsted and Caroline, who married in 1892, was working as a domestic parlourmaid in Kennington, London.

Frank had taken up work as a carpenter. There had been small scale wood workers in Berkhamsted for centuries, but the industry expanded substantially after Job East moved from Chesham in the 1840 and took over a small shovel maker and wood turner’s business. William Key founded another timber yard, which subsequently became J Alsford Ltd. By 1880 these and other smaller businesses employed over 200 men and yet others worked as coach builders and boat builders.

The work demanded hard physical labour and long hours. Joseph Tufnell, who was born a few years before Frank in 1862 worked as a carpenter in the town and “…had interesting recollections of the time he was apprenticed to one of the town’s master-craftsmen, Mr John Sills…There Mr Tufnell learnt his trade the hard way. He often had to help fell and cart the trees to the workshop, where pit sawing was the vogue and little use was made of the circular saw. Hours were from 6 in the morning until 6 at night except on Saturdays when the men “knocked off” at 4.00pm. Sixpence an hour was considered a good wage for a skilled craftsman.”

Frank married Mary Jane Baker in 1891. Frank was 24 years old and Mary 26. Mary, like Frank’s parents, was originally from Chelmsford. She was a cousin of the Timson family and Mary was staying at the Timson’s home at the time of the 1891 census.

Frank and Mary had two children, Florence, born on 6th March 1891 and Frank, born in 1894.

In 1892 Frank and Mary had a lucky escape as recounted in the Bucks Herald of 6th August that year.

“About 8 p.m. on Monday a party of four men, who were said to be intoxicated, and driving a heavy cart, met a wagonette in which were several members of the Timson family and Mr and Mrs Saltmarsh. Running into Mr Timson’s vehicle, the cart broke it into two, and the horses dashed away into Berkhampstead with the shafts and the forewheels. Fortunately no one appears to have been seriously hurt.”

This early form of “drink driving” was evidently not uncommon; the same article goes on to describe a second collision in Berkhamsted of two horse drawn vehicles in which the consumption of alcohol also played a part.

The 1901 and 1911 census tell us that Frank and Mary, together with Florence and Frank were living in Doctor’s Commons Road. The later electoral rolls and the 1939 Register give us the name of the house, Hythe.

Frank is described in the 1901 census as working as an estate carpenter, but unfortunately the estate for which he worked is not named.

In 1911 Florence was working as a cashier. Frank (junior), like his grandfather Alfred, was working as bootmaker. In September 1914, on the outbreak of World War I, Frank enlisted as a private in the 3rd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). He went to Malta in late 1914 and from there to Egypt in April 1915. He took part in the Gallipoli campaign and was killed in action on 15th November 1915. His name is recorded on the Helles Memorial at Canakkale in Turkey and also on the Berkhamsted war memorial.  

Frank was for a good many years a bell ringer at St Peter’s Church. An article published in the Watford Observer in 1907 describes a visit to Berkhamsted by the bell ringers of Walthamstow. The visitors had tea with local bell ringers, including Frank, at the Coffee Tavern in Castle Street. “The party afterwards adjourned to the belfry, where the visitors rang several touches of Stedman triples and also joined with local ringers in several touches” Some 30 years later in 1938, the Bucks Examiner tells us that Frank was still ringing bells at the age of 70 and had by then completed fifty years’ service as a bell ringer.

When the 1939 Register was compiled, Frank and Mary were still living at Hythe in Doctors Common Road.

For many years F. Saltmarsh hardware store stood at 35 -37 Lower King’s Road, only closing in the early years of this century. Prior to that, the property had been part of A C Meeks Livery and Hunting Stables which until about 1915 stood in Lower Kings Road. (More information about the Meek’s stables can be found at https://www.rectorylanecemetery.org.uk/locations/meeks-stables/.)  It subsequently became Blake’s and is now the Keech Hospice charity shop. Percy Birtchnell, writing in Berkhamsted Review about Frank’s son in law. Sidney Chappell, who was often seen in the shop, tells us that Frank’s premises were originally in Prince Edward Street before transferring to Lower King’s Road. A photograph of a carnival float in Prince Edward Street shows Frank’s premises. The notice over the door is not completely visible in the photograph, but appears to read “F Saltmarsh, Carpenter and Joiner.” Frank is consistently described in the census returns as a carpenter rather than a shopkeeper or iron monger, even as late as the 1939 Register in which, at the age of 72, he is noted as being a carpenter and joiner. There is, however,  evidence from 1936 in the form of a letter written by James William Moir of Holmleigh, 16 Charles Street to his son, that suggests that Frank was also engaged in selling decorating supplies;

‘Mr Saltmarsh has just been in, and left a Book of sample wallpapers. He says I may keep them till you return, when we can choose something for the Dining Room. He says the whole will cost about £14. “Money, money” you will say “Dads always thinking about money”!!’ 

It seems likely that initially the shop was a carpentry workshop and later became a hardware shop.

On the 9th January 1940 Frank died. His estate was worth £2,958 4s 10d. Probate in respect of his estate was granted to his widow Mary and Ernest Sedgewick, solicitor. Frank was laid to rest in Rectory Lane cemetery where his parents had also been buried. He was to be joined there by Mary when she died in 1953.

Frank seems to have been a much respected and well-liked member of the local community and the last word on Frank best comes from his obituary published in a local paper.:

“Frank Saltmarsh was one of those quiet souls, whose steadfast life and example will remain an inspiration to all who knew him.

A craftsman who followed our dear Lord both in his handiwork and in the walk of his daily life. I am sure our Lord was a good carpenter who did no slipshod work, and Frank Saltmarsh took that pride in his craft which made it his delight – and the delight of those he served.

For over half a century he had served the Church as a ringer and a sidesman, and he did more – he gave of his best to it in worship and service, and he found it more blessed to give than to receive, for indeed he was abundantly blessed at home, among his friends and in himself. There was an inner strength which not only enabled him to bear it bravely when his son made the supreme sacrifice, but again in his own hour of need when his last illness was so patiently born.

A good man and true, and one of those who whose title to the word ‘gentle-man’ was evident to all.

God bless and comfort his dear wife and daughter and all who loved him.”

 

Relatives