Henley Frank Curl
DescriptionSon of draper, Henry Curl, and his wife, Emily of Norwich, Henley Frank was the second youngest of three sons and two daughters. Upon completion of his medical training at Cambridge University and at the London Hospital, Henley practiced at Ely in Cambridgeshire.
He married Agnes Ellen (1884-1920) in 1908 and they had a daughter, Francis Henley (1910-1982) who married Mr. Hugh St. Clair Stewart, the older son of the Rev. M. J. Stewart of Bishop's Stortford in July 1934. After Agnes's death he came to Wokingham in 1923, and took up residence at 20, Market Place to share the practice of Curl & James, Physicians & Surgeons. His chauffeur was Mr. Eamer. By 1932 Doctor James had left and Henley was joined by Doctors Ward, Smith, Chapman and Rose.
During his term of office as Mayor his daughter Francis, who had always taken a keen interest in Wokingham, served as his Mayoress.
For a number of years Henley served as honorary surgeon to the Wokingham Fire Brigade; the Wokingham War Memorial Clinic and the Volunteer Air Defence. He was also medical director and advisor at the Royal Merchant Navy School at Bear Wood.
In 1931 he became vice-president of the Wokingham Club and, in 1934, president of the Wokingham Fat Stock Show. After the Second World War he did valuable work in the Wokingham Red Cross and in the ARP.
He retired because of ill health and, after more than twenty years of residence in Wokingham, moved to Norfolk in January 1945. He had decided to continue, despite his condition, because of the shortage of doctors but the severity of his illness compelled him to give up his work. Before he departed, the Town Council presented him with a piece of Georgian silver plate and a substantial cheque to which 400 people had contributed.
Dr. Curl B.A.Camb., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P died at his home, Pump Cottage in Overstrand, Norfolk, a few weeks later, after a heart attack at the age of 67. Following a cremation service at Norfolk, the casket containing the remains were interred in the grave of his wife at Brookwood Cemetary.
Curl Way, off Meadow Road, was named in his memory.
SourceFormer Mayors of Wokingham from 1885 - 1946, by J Bell.
“Henley Frank Curl,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed August 14, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0147.