Frank Moles

Description

The second son of Charles Henry (1862-1923), gardener and domestic servant, and Mary Ann Moles (1866-1950), Frank was born at 9, Waterloo Road on the 27th January 1899. His brother, Charles Wallace (1894 1972) was also born at No. 9.. Upon leaving Palmer Street School Frank's first job was that of a butcher’s boy for Thomas Martin in Denmark Street. Not liking this type of work he joined Wallace Moles, his uncle, who was head gardener for Howard Palmer of Huntley and Palmers.

In 1916 Frank enlisted in the Berkshire Yeomanry and was posted to Dublin. He was later transferred to the East Yorkshire Regiment and served in France until 1920 during which year he was detailed to re-burial work.
Upon his return to Wokingham, Frank secured a position of second gardener at Mertonford in Easthampstead Road. He later became head gardener at Starmead in the same road.
Frank married Gladys Mary nee Hayward in 1928. They had three children: Godfrey Frank (b. 1930), Philip John (b. 1931) and Anne (b.1937), later Mrs Feast.
Mr Stud died in 1939, the year in which the Second World War broke out, and his land was requisitioned by the army. Frank became billet officer as well as gardener at Starmead, and in addition to his duties, served as transport officer with St. John's Ambulance, Wokingham Division and Rescue Service. He was later awarded the St. John's Long Service Medal.
At the end of the Second World War, Frank opened a general store in Easthampstead Road beside the Ritz Cinema. He closed it around 1965 as he couldn't compete with supermarkets.
Frank served on the Borough Council from 1943 until his death. In addition to his work on the council he had associations with several charities and organisations including Palmer Street School, of which he was School Manager, and at which he had attended as a child. One of the school houses was named after him. For fourteen years he served as churchwarden of All Saints Church where he had been baptised and confirmed.
A keen footballer, he played for Wokingham Rovers and was chairman of Wokingham Town Supporters' Club.
While chairman of the Hospital Sunday League a bed was endowed at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

As chairman and a trustee of Wokingham United Charities Frank was mainly responsible for the rebuilding of the almshouses in London Road. He and Stanley Bowyer and Leonard Smalley, Town Clerk formed a delegation and went to the Charity Commissioners in London where they stated that they wouldn’t leave until an agreement had been reached to have the almshouses re-built. The agreement was obtained.

Frank suffered a heart attack in October 1972 and was rushed to Battle hospital in Reading. After several weeks he was allowed home but on Christmas Day he had another attack and was taken to hospital for further treatment. He died on New Year’s Day, a few weeks before he was due to receive the Freedom of the Borough in recognition of his services to the Borough and especially for his work with the Wokingham United Charities. He was buried beside Gladys, in All Saints Parish Churchyard, where he had been baptized, confirmed, and had served as a choirboy, sidesman and church warden. There is a brass plate to his memory in the Lady Chapel of All Saints' Parish Church. Moles Close, off Easthampstead Road was named in his memory.

Source

Former Mayors of Wokingham from 1947 - 1979, by J Bell.
Honorary Freeman of Wokingham, by J. Bell

Identifier

WTH0113

Citation

“Frank Moles,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed December 13, 2019, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0113.

Files

web_FrankMoles.jpg
FMoles.jpg

Collection

Date

Mayor 1958, 1959