Frank Stillman

Author: Gerald Soper
Date published: 10/08/2020
© Gerald Soper

Frank Stillman (1884 – 1923)


Frank Stillman was born 4 March 1848 at 2 Marson’s Cottages in Newbury, the eldest child of Francis Herbert and Emma Jane, nee Rawlins, Stillman.


In the 1891 census Frank was living with his parents Frank and Emma, brother Thomas aged 4, sister Daisy aged 2, brother Brice aged 4 months and four of his mother’s relatives at 15 Carey Street in Reading. His father Frank was recorded as a coach trimmer.


Frank attended Greyfriars school in Reading. He entered on 9 April 1888 but unfortunately the date he left was not recorded in the register. The family was living at 3 Sackville Street when he started.


An article in the Berkshire Chronicle dated 25 June 1898 told of a boy named Moss, aged 5 to 6, who

had a narrow escape. He was playing by the mill tail in Caversham when another boy pushed him in. He no doubt would have drowned but for two boys rescuing him just as he was going down for the third time. He was quite unconscious but brought round by the two young men who knew something about ambulance work. In the following weeks paper one of the boys was named as Frank Stillman aged 15 of 195 Southampton Street who was a member of St John’s Ambulance Service.


In the 1901 census Frank was living with his parents Frank and Emma, brother Thomas aged 14, sister Daisy aged 12, sister Eva aged 9, sister Elsie aged 4, sister Hilda aged 1 and Emma’s sister Rachel Rawlins at 195 Southampton Street in Reading. His father Frank was recorded as a coach trimmer and Frank as a tobacconist’s assistant.


Frank married Mary Belcher on 1 August 1910 at Purley. Mary was born 10 May 1883 in Aldermaston.


The following year Frank and Mary were living at Montreuse, Kingsbridge Road in Newbury when the 1911 census was taken. Frank was recorded as a shop manager for a tobacconist. A son Frank was born on 23 January 1912 and a daughter Monica on 6 March 1915.


Frank attested to join the Army on 11 December 1915 but was placed on reserve on 12 December before being called up for service on 14 June 1916. After he finished training he sailed from Southampton on 24 December 1916 with the Royal Berks Regiment, arriving at Havre on 25 December and Rouen on 28 December. He was posted to join the 5th battalion on 12 January 1917. In March 1917 he was treated for a weak ankle, aggravated by long marching, he had trouble with his ankle in childhood. On 8 May 1917 he was wounded, although it seems not seriously. He was transferred to the Labour Corp on 20 September 1917. In March 1919 he transferred from France to Germany. He was appointed as a corporal on 17 September 1919 and evacuated to UK to await demobilisation on 16 October 1919.


Frank and Mary were recorded in the electoral register living at 4 Chetnole Villas, Kingsbridge Road in Newbury in 1920 and 1921. In 1922 they were recorded at 46 Cheap Street.


Frank died 10 May 1923 and was buried 14 May 1923 at Newtown Road Cemetery.


Mary remarried in 1929 to Albert T Shaw.


Frank’s father Francis Herbert Stillman was buried at Newtown Road Cemetery on 14 August 1929. His mother Emma Jane moved to Reading after Francis’s death and in September 1939 was living at 134 Caversham Road with her daughters Elsie and Doris and her sister Rachel Rawlins. Emma Jane was buried 23 December 1948 at Hemdean Road Cemetery in Caversham.










Sources:as above

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