It has not been possible to locate many details about the ‘Private Frank Henson’ listed on the First World War ‘Roll of Honour’ inside Crich Parish Church. Unfortunately, his regiment has not yet been identified.
One family named Henson had been based at Crich since the 1860s, and two members of this family are listed on the Roll of Honour: brothers Norman Henson and George Henry Henson. Extensive family history research has been carried out into this family, with no reference at all to any individual named Frank Henson.
Research has highlighted that ‘Private Frank Henson’ had moved to the parish of Crich for work shortly before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. His origins are currently unknown, though he clearly wasn’t a local man. Articles in the Derbyshire Courier and Belper News dated between 3-7 July 1914 report that Frank Henson, chauffeur, and Walter Rodgers, butler – both of Chase Cliffe – were charged with having been on licenced premises during prohibited hours (at the Homesford Cottage Inn), and for falsely representing themselves to be travellers. They were described in the Courier as ‘smartly dressed young fellows’. They pled guilty to being on the premises, received fines, and were ordered to pay costs. The corresponding entries in the court records of the Wirksworth Petty Sessions provide no further identifying details.
At this time, Chase Cliffe was owned by the prominent Hurt family, and was tenanted by a civil and mining engineer named Maurice Deacon. It was common for the Deacon family to employ staff from outside of Derbyshire. A notable example is another man from the Roll – Alfred Hay – who was born and raised in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and had taken up employment at Chase Cliffe by 1911, working initially as a groom, then later as a chauffeur and gardener.
The court records and newspaper reports contain the only identified references to Frank Henson. He does not appear in the Polling District of Crich in the Register of Electors for 1918, suggesting that he was no longer associated with Chase Cliffe at that time.
|Caroline W||Harrison||Head (wdw)||49||Living on own means||Matlock|
|Frank||Ward||lodger||26||Railway engine driver||Chesterfield|
RG13 piece 3231 folio 16 page 24
|Caroline Walker||Harrison||Head (wdw)||58||Starkholmes|
RG14PN20983 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED12 SN83