Frederick Poyntz Poore


This biography was written by Victoria Doran.

Frederick Poyntz Poore was a man who had no need to volunteer as he was well over the age to be conscripted. He had some illustrious and wealthy ancestors, but he had descended the social scale.

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Blackpool War Memorial, Blackpool, Lancashire

Frederick Poyntz Poore was born at the beginning of 1873 in Liverpool, Lancashire, the 12th of the 15 children (14 of whom survived infancy) of John Chapman Poore (1832-1891) and Emily Graydon (1835-1890). Frederick and his next younger sister, Evelyn Muriel Poore (1874-1914) were baptized at Holy Trinity, Hoylake on 25 June 1876. At the time the family was living in Oxton, and no reason for their baptisms in Hoylake has been found. Several other siblings were also baptised a long time after their birth.

His grandfather George James Poore (1799-1866), though born on the Isle of Wight, moved to Liverpool before 1841 and by 1848 had set up in business at 42 Castle Street as a letter press printer. He remained at the same address, changing to being a wholesale stationer, and his 3 sons followed him into the business. The business was still  going in 1938, now in Tithebarn Street, but probably not under the control of the Poore family, as no-one closely related to Frederick seems to have been involved after the late 1890s.

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from Kelly’s Directory of Liverpool 1938

The Poore family were by this time firmly middle class merchants, but Frederick’s mother, Emily Graydon, came from the Irish Protestant Ascendancy. She was born in Dublin, Ireland and all her ancestors traced go back to Protestant Englishmen who received land settlements in Ireland in the 17th Century. The settlements were intended to ensure that Ireland was under control of amenable Protestants rather than recalcitrant Roman Catholics after Cromwell subdued the Irish. They were all landed gentry, some of them baronets. One of her great grandfathers, Sir Edward Newenham (1732-1814) was Member of Parliament for the County of Dublin and a significant political figure. However Emily’s grandfather, Major Alexander Graydon (1734-1812), a professional soldier, fell out with her great grandfather over her grandmother’s dowry. It would appear that her father Newenham Edward Eustace Graydon (1785-1868) was never gainfully employed, always being described as ‘Esquire’. Frederick’s middle name of Poyntz comes from Emily’s mother Susannah Poyntz (1801-1874). It is not known what brought Emily to Liverpool where she married John Chapman Poore on 28 January 1858 by licence at the church of St Bride.

Frederick and his siblings were clearly brought up to believe that they had to make their own way in the world, unlike his cousins, the children of his uncle Edward Chapman Poore (1827-1894). Edward Chapman Poore went to Oxford University and married the daughter of a Cheshire clergyman before joining his father’s business.  Edward’s family were brought up not to go into trade, and the girls were definitely never expected to work. In contrast, all of Frederick’s sisters either became teachers or Anglican nuns or missionaries. Many of his siblings emigrated, mainly to the USA and Canada, but also to Mexico and to what is now Bangladesh; a couple moved to London. Some prospered and some did not. Not surprising in such a large family.

At some point in the 1880s, John Chapman Poore moved his family to Marine Park, West Kirby, and Frederick was living there in 1891 when he was an apprentice electrical engineer. After his father died in on 31 July 1891, some of Frederick’s sisters started a school in Westbourne Grove.  By 1895 Frederick had moved to Blackpool, Lancashire, where he married Sarah Jane Denbigh (1856-1906) in the autumn. She was at least 15 years older than him.

Sarah Jane was the daughter of Richard Denbigh (1835-1896) and Jane Bradshaw (1833-???).  The Denbigh family  came from Padiham, Lancashire and worked in cotton mills at a variety of jobs. However by 1891 Richard Denbigh was employed as steward by the Padiham Liberal Club. He seems to have moved his family to Blackpool soon after as, when he died in 1896, they were living in Blackpool where he was a club steward. He had managed to save about £250, which was not bad for a former cotton mill worker.

In 1901 Sarah Jane’s younger sister Annie Denbigh (1860-1942) was running a restaurant or refreshment house in Blackpool, and Frederick and Sarah Jane, with their 2 children, Edgar Poore (1899-1970) and Lilian Poore (1900-1955) lived in the same house as well as widow Jane. Frederick was working as an electrical engineer.

Sadly Sarah Jane died towards the end of 1906. Just over a year later Frederick was remarried to his sister-in-law Annie. From then on he seems to have joined her in running the refreshment house.

As Frederick was already over the age of 40 when war was declared, there was no reason why he should have served in the army. His military record has not survived, so we know little of his service. He did not serve overseas until 1916 or 1917.  By April 1917 he was Lance-Corporal 30095 in the 8th Battalion, King’s Own Lancaster Regiment.

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Royal Lancaster Regiment cap badge

His battalion was part of the 3rd Division which fought the 1st Battle of the Scarpe in support of a much larger French attempt to break the German lines. The 9th April 1917 was the first day of the Arras Offensive. Further along the line the Canadians were to capture Vimy Ridge. Frederick’s battalion were charged with the capture of Tilloy-les-Mofflaines, a small village 2 or 3 miles from Arras south of the Arras to Cambrai road. They were successful, with fewer than expected casualties, but one of them was Frederick. It was Easter Monday and Frederick was 44 years old.

He was buried in Sainte Catherine British Cemetery not far away.

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Sainte Catherine British Cemetery, Arras, Pas de Calais, France

He is also commemorated on Blackpool War Memorial, Grange Hill War Memorial and the Rolls of Honour in St Bridget and St Andrew churches, West Kirby.

His eldest sibling Emily Louisa Poore (1859-1935), never married and spent the rest of her life in West Kirby running various private schools. She was probably responsible for Frederick’s name appearing on Grange Hill War Memorial.

There was some confusion over Frederick’s will as there were 2 grants of probate. The first to his widow Annie in 1917 was for £464. However, following Annie’s death in 1942, his son Edgar obtained another grant on his father’s estate for £1,500. So the restaurant business must have been profitable. Edgar was still living in Blackpool and was a fish fryer. Edgar was not the executor of Annie’s will.

Both  Edgar and Lilian married, but it seems that neither had any children.

Birth: Jan 1873, Liverpool
Death: 9 Apr 1917 near Tilloy les Moufflaines, near Arras, France; killed in action
Addresses: Stanley Mount, Ingestre Road, Oxton (81); 8 Marine Park, West Kirby (91); 14 Livingstone Road, Blackpool (01); 67 Whitegate Drive, Blackpool (11)
Occupations: electrical engineer; owner of refreshment house
Unit: 8th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
Number and Rank: 30095; Lance Corporal
Medals: Victory & British War
Buried & Commemorated Ste. Catherine British Cemetery, near Arras, France; Grange Hill War Memorial, West Kirby; Blackpool War Memorial, Blackpool, Lancashire; St Bridget & St Andrew churches, West Kirby
Sources: CWGC, MC, Census: 81, 91, 01, 11, PR, BR, probate, Kelly’s Directory of Liverpool, Dublin Directory


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