Frank Underwood

Frank Underwood was born in West Haddon in 1883 or 1884. His father Edward was also born in West Haddon whereas his mother, Elizabeth, was from Shropshire. Parish Records do not record the baptism of either Frank nor his father. The records do show the baptism of a brother John Reginald on 11/9/1886. Sadly the records show the burial of John Reginald on 14/2/1889 aged 2.

Frank’s name appears in the census for 1891, 1901 and 1911. In 1901 his trade was shown as a Clicker in a shoe factory. The 1911 census shows his full name as Frank Roden Underwood, and he had, by the age of 27, progressed to be a Drapery Manager. Research shows he was, in fact, manager of the Manchester Warehouse drapery in West Haddon High Street. His wife Mary Ann worked with him as a drapery assistant.

It was not possible to trace any military records for Frank Underwood but an article in the Northampton Mercury dated 26/3/1920 reported on the Annual Ball ‘A’ Squadron Northamptonshire Yeomanry which took place on 14/3/1920 (tickets £1 per couple or 12/6d single) with F Underwood of West Haddon shown as a committee member. The ball was attended by Second Lieutenant F R Underwood.

Frank died in Nottingham on 30/3/1954. The Probate 19//7/1954 Nottingham read: “Underwood Frank Roden of 7 Buckingham Road, Woodthorpe, Nottingham died 30/3/1954 at The City Hospital, Nottingham. Probate Nottingham 19 July to Alfred Edward Flint Walker, Solicitor £4752 16s 6d”.

(Jim Blakey 13 November 2015)


This from a Facebook post:

My contribution concerns Frank Underwood who is a distant “cousin “of mine. My Underwood ancestors are from West Haddon and Crick and were boot-makers or as they were known in the census Cordwainers. Boot making is of course a traditional Northamptonshire industry. Before going to war Frank worked with his father Edward and Uncle William (my great great grandfather) making boots and shoes in the family business. Sadly I know nothing of Frank’s wartime or post war life, although he must have joined up in his mid-thirties. I have visited the church a couple of times as part of family history research and saw the First World War Roll of Honour and noticed Frank’s name.

In the West Haddon churchyard his Uncle William is buried (the grave is behind the church on the eastern boundary of the churchyard with sadly a large holly tree growing through it, the grave stone mentions the boot making business) and so are Frank’s grandparents, William and Charlotte Underwood (William senior also a boot maker, this grave not far from the former mentioned grave but in open ground).

Forming a “wall” to the west side of the graveyard in front of the church are many re-located Underwood gravestones, these are relatives of Frank but from the farming side of the family rather than boot makers. I think Frank’s family moved from Crick to West Haddon towards the end of the 19th century. So if you check the records for Crick church you should find records of baptism there for Frank and Edward.

Thanks very much for the information that you have found about Frank which I will add to my records.
Thanks for honouring Frank and the others who served a hundred years ago, a very worthwhile project.

Mike Underwood of Bamber Bridge, Lancashire