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Beginning Your Family History

Part Thirteen: We need You

User Avatar Penelope Lovesy 17/07/2020 17:49:21

When I started writing this blog, I didn’t have any clear idea of how long it would be or how many resources and themes I could cover. After writing twelve guides I have decided to ask for some stories from you.

Alongside the blog, my usual work has continued and a major part of this is researching Poole and World War Two. I am very interested in local accounts and family tales of this time. Have you uncovered any of your Poole ancestors who were alive at this time or who served and fell in the war? As part of my wider research into Poole and World War Two I would love to collect your stories and photographs, if you would like to share them. Please send anything to katie.heaton@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Much of my research so far has concentrated on the Poole Roll of Honour for the Second World War and I have found some interesting glimpses of lives lost in the conflict. The story of Frank William John Myles, of Broadstone, is bittersweet. He caught my attention as on the 1939 register he has the unusual occupation of Professional Golfer. I decided to do some more research.

Frank was born on the 1 December 1911 to parents Frank Edward Myles and Lilian Elizabeth Myles (nee Churchill).  They married in 1911, both in their early 30s. On the 1911 census, Lilian Churchill is a servant in Longfleet. The head of the household, and her employer, is Jane Durden, a widow. Also listed is Frank Richard Myles, a 32-year-old brickmaker from Dorset. His relationship to the head of the household is not given. Surely this is the same person as the Frank Edward Myles who marries Lilian later the same year?

We next find Lilian a widow on the 1939 register. She is living with two sons, Frank and Arthur. Frank is a professional golfer and Arthur a labourer- heavy worker.

A quick internet search revealed a transcription of a 1939 Kelly’s Directory for Broadstone, and FW Myles is listed as Golf Professional to Dorset Golf Club.  https://www.opcdorset.org/Broadstone/Broadstonedirectories3.htm

The book, Broadstone: A Miscellany, by Jerry Richards, describes Broadstone Golf Club: Ivor Bertie Guest, 1st Baron of Wimborne (1815-1914) an Ironmaster and landowner who lived in Canford Magna Manor commissioned the Golf Course at Broadstone to be built. On 18th July 1898  […] It was resolved that the Club would be called “The Dorset Golf Club” and the course be known as “The Broadstone Links.”

A search of the British Newspaper Archive uncovered some detail about Myles and his life. The Western Morning Times published an article on Friday 3 January, 1936 which read:

Dorset Cadet to Play in Open Championship

William Myles, a 24 year old caddie, who has been breaking records on the Dorset Golf Club’s course at Broadstone, is contemplating a challenge for the Open Championship at Hoylake in June. He cannot compete in the Amateur Championship, and being an artisan, he is not eligible for some of the professional events. “Myles is undoubtedly a fine player” said Mr E. Wards, the secretary of the Dorset Club, yesterday. “He has been breaking records and recently he went round in 69 and 67 on the same day- a record for 36 holes at Dorset. Members of the club have been interested in Myles for some time. I believe they are going to raise a fund for him to go to Hoylake.”

Unfortunately, I can find no further evidence of Myles going to the Open. However, when the History Centre opens again, I will have a look at the Poole and Dorset Herald for 1936.

The second article from the British Newspaper Archive was published in The Western Gazette on Friday 7 February, 1941.

Former Golf Professional Killed by Enemy Action

The wife of Aircraftman Frank William Miles, formerly professional to the Dorset Golf Club, who enlisted in the R.A.F about six weeks ago, has received notification that her husband has been killed by enemy action. Deceased, who was 29 years of age, was very popular with the members of the Golf Club and generally his death is sincerely regretted by a wide circle of friends. Their sympathy is expressed to the widow, who lives in Clarendon Road, and, formerly Miss K. Cox, had only been married about a year. The funeral took place at Broadstone yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

This article brings me to where I started with Frank’s story, his death https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2709376/myles,-frank-william-john/

I would love to know more, the story of a young man who became a promising professional golfer and sadly lost his life within six weeks of signing up, is such a tragic one. 

It would be great to learn more about the other Poole people who were involved in this conflict, so please, if you have stories and photographs and would like to share them, get in touch with me at katie.heaton@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

The image is used with thanks to the Andrew Hawkes Collection.


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