Frank Twydale Dear
Person Male Born 19/8/1888 Died 9/1/1965
Architect of John Street and/or Bedford Row, our source, The Vauxhall Society, is unclear.
So many records (as at April 2022) can be found on the internet claiming that the Stockwell War Memorial was designed by Frank Twydals Dear, e.g. London Picture Archive, Alamy, War Memorial Trust, Brixton Buzz, Vauxhall History and Stockwell News. However, we have not been able to trace any such person. Our colleague, Andrew Behan, believes that the poor state of the Portland stone has caused his name to have been mis-read and that the designer was in fact Frank Twydale Dear.
Andrew's researches show that Frank Twydale Dear was born on 19 August 1888 in Wimbledon, Surrey, the second of the six children of Matthew Henry Dear (1858-1930) and Eliza Anne Dear née Priest (1859-1951). His birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1888 in the Kingston registration district.
In the 1891 census he is shown as living at 210 Lambeth Road, Lambeth, with his parents and two siblings: Ethel Louisa Dear (1887-1974) and Dorothy Dear (b.1889). His father's occupation was recorded as the depot manager at Singleton's Eye Ointment Manufacturers of the same address.
The 1901 census confirmed that he was still living at the same address with his parents and his five siblings: Ethel L. Dear, Dorothy Dear, Gladys Edith Dear (1892-1968), Harold Henry Dear (1896-1903) and Hilda Grace Dear (1900-1957).
He was described as an architectural draughtsman employed by H.M. Office of Works in the 1911 census. He was still residing in the five roomed property at 210 Lambeth Road, Lambeth, with his parents and three of his sisters, Dorothy, Gladys and Hilda.
On 21 September 1912 he married Ella Louisa Stevens (1889-1956) at St Saviour's Church, Brixton Hill, where in the marriage register he is shown as an architect and that they were both living at Burleigh House, Bonham Road, Brixton.
On 30 May 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Navy, service number F15079. He was initially based in HMS President II (Crystal Palace), a shore-based establishment. On 1 August 1917 he was transferred to HMS President II (Wandsworth) and was rated as a Petty Officer Mechanic. On the creation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 he was transferred to them, his service number was 215079. As he was awarded only the British War Medal 1914-1918 and not the Victory Medal, it would appear that he saw service on the home front and did not enter any theatre of war.
Electoral registers from 1921 to 1924 show him and his wife listed at 9 Haycroft Road, Brixton, SW2 and registers in 1922 & 1924 also list him and his wife as business premises qualified voters at 3 John Street, Holborn, whilst residing at 9 Haycroft Road, SW2. The registers from 1928 to 1939 show him and his wife at 72 Strathbrook Road, Streatham, SW16.
In the 1939 England and Wales Register he is listed as an architect at The Queens Hotel, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, Sussex, whilst his wife is recorded at the home of a Mrs Annie Harrison, 6 Horsecroft Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
Electoral registers in 1945 and 1946 show him and his wife at Green Roofs, Riverside Drive, Esher, Surrey and from 1949 at Green Roofs, Pelhams Walk, Esher. However, telephone directories from 1950 to 1965 show him as Dear F.T., F.R.I.B.A, Green Roofs, Riverside Drive, Esher. He was also listed as such at 57 Queen Anne Street, London, W1 in telephone directories from 1958 onwards.
Probate records confirm that his wife's address had been Green Roofs, Pelhams Walk, Esher and that she died, aged 67 years, on 7 December 1956 at the Royal Masonic Hospital, Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith. Administration of her estate was granted to her husband on 5 February 1957 and her effects totalled £1,491-3s-7d.
He is again shown as an architect of Green Roofs, Pelhams Walk, Esher in the ships manifest of the 'Edinburgh Castle' of the Union-Castle Mail S.S. Co Ltd line that arrived on 28 June 1957 in Southampton, Hampshire, having embarked in Madeira.
Probate records confirm that his address had been Green Roofs, Pelham Walk, Esher Place, Esher, Surrey, and that he died a widower, aged 76 years, on 9 January 1965 at The Cottage Hospital, Weston Green Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey. Probate was granted on 4 March 1965 to Barclays Bank Ltd and his effects totalled £24,928.
Scottish Architects has Dear as the "chief architect with United Dairies" and A World Transformed: Studies in the History of Capitalism has a lovely drawing captioned "Frank Twydale Dear’s housing design for Streatham Garden Village which was originally planned for workers of United Dairies, 1922."