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BIOGRAPHICAL
NOTES

Surnames A-D
Surnames E-H
Surnames I-O
Surnames P-S
Surnames T-Z

1897
SHAREHOLDERS

Surnames A-F
Surnames G-N
Surnames O-Z

BRANCHES
Place-names A-G
Place-names H-O
Place-names P-Z

FURTHER
INFORMATION


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Brian Seddon
PO Box 74, Sandringham
Victoria 3191, Australia
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The Public Benefit Boot Company



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: Surnames A to D

Edwin ALDERWICK
Born 1868 at Bristol, son of George ALDERWICK, boot maker, and his wife Mary Ann COYNE. He married Mary Maria HURL in 1899 and they had two children: Reginald Bernard ALDERWICK 1899 in Pembroke, Wales, and Edward Claud ALDERWICK 1902 in Haverfrdwest, Wales. In 1901 he managed a boot shop in Guildford, Surrey and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 110 Wells Road, Bristol. His wife Mary died in 1932 and he died in 1946 aged 77.

William ALLEN
Born 1865 at Stourbridge, Worcestershire, son of William ALLEN, chain maker, and his wife Sarah. He married Emma Elizabeth STORER in 1896 and their children born at Ripley, Derbyshire, included William Joseph ALLEN 1897 and John Eric ALLEN 1901. In the 1880s and until at least 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Market Place, Ripley. He died at Ripley 23 August 1933 aged 68.

Mary G ALLISON
Born 1927 at Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, daughter of John ALLISON, in the 1940’s-1950’s she worked at the Benefit Footwear branch at Northumberland Street, Newcastle. In 1948 she married William COMB and they had a son William D COMB 1954.

John Herbert ASHWORTH
Born 1871 at Bramley, son of Abraham ASHWORTH, Baptist minister from Lancashire, and his wife Isabella ASHWORTH. He married Hannah BARKER in 1896 at Bramley. Two of his brothers-in-law, Nelson ELLIS and Brow DICKINSON, were also imtimately associated with the Public Benefit Boot Co. He worked firstly as a clerk, then as a warehouseman and traveller. He died at Exeter in 1941 aged 87.

Samuel ASTON
Born 1890 at Bannell, Flintshire, Wales, son of Thomas ASTON and his wife Maria JONES. In 1911 he worked as a boot shop assistant at the company’s premises in Rugby, Warwickshire. He served in WWI and afterwards married Amy MILLS. Their children included William J ASTON 1922, Mary R ASTON 1929, Kathleen J ASTON 1933 and Ronald Henry ASTON 1934. He died at Manchester in 1951 aged 61.

Charles Thomas ATKINSON
Born 1853 at Westerham, Kent, the son of Isaac ATKINSON, grocer, tea dealer and draper, and his wife Emma CAFFALL. In 1911 he was unmarried and worked as a boot salesman at 23 Goldsmith Street, Exeter. He died at Exeter in 1941 aged 87.

Thomas ATKINSON
Born 1850 at Wolverhampton, son of Thomas ATKINSON, a Wolverhampton clothier originally from County Mayo, Ireland, and his wife Ann REABY. In 1885 at Wolverhampton he married Emma and their children included Wilfred Augustine ATKINSON 1888 and Augustine Leo ATKINSON 1892. In the early 1890s he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 216 High Street, Dudley, Worcestershire.

Thomas William Badgery portraitThomas William BADGERY
Born 1868 at Worcester, the eldest son of James Thomas BADGERY, leather dresser, and his wife Mary JONES. He followed his father’s footsteps into the tanning and leather manufacturing business and went on to become principal of Ward & Co (Worcester) Ltd, chairman of British Chrome Tanning Co and chairman of James Cycle Co of Birmingham. He served for many years as president of the British Glace Kid Tanners’ Association. He married in London in 1896, travelled to Boston, Massachusetts in 1927, was appointed to the board of Benefit Footwear in 1929 and became chairman in 1931. He died at Worcester in 1953 aged 84.

John Albion Henry BAINBRIDGE
Born 1857 at Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, son of James Andrews BAINBRIDGE, sub-postmaster and stationer, and his wife Sarah CLARKE. He married Mary COATES in 1885 and their children included Ethel BAINBRIDGE 1886, Mary BAINBRIDGE c1889, James Henry BAINBRIDGE 1890, Frederick BAINBRIDGE 1892, Doris Marian BAINBRIDGE 1901 and Frank BAINBRIDGE 1907. He managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Silver Street, Durham, from at least 1901 until 1911. He died at Durham 27 November 1927 aged 70.

Alfred Charles BALL
Born 1887 at Harris Mill, Illogan, Cornwall, he worked at the Lennards Ltd boot shop at East Stonehouse, Devon, then for some years prior to WWI he managed the company's premises at 82 Fore Street, Redruth, Cornwall. In 1914 he joined the Scottish Horse Imperial Yeomanry Territorial Force (3rd Reserve) based at Kettering. After several promotions he was transferred to the Royal Artillery and early in 1917 he was appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery Garrison. The following year he was appointed acting captain and was awarded the Military Cross for 'exceptional work' and 'showing an utter disregard of danger'. He was demobilised in November 1919 and married his fiancée Phyllis Irene Dulcibel VICKERY a year later. He died in 1960 aged 72 and his widow Phyllis died in 1977 aged 74.

William BARKER
Born 1868 at Lunedale, Yorkshire, son of Robert BARKER, boot and shoemaker, and his wife Phoebe BRUNSKILL. In the 1890s he assisted in his father’s boot and shoe shop in Middleton, Co Durham. At the same time his brother John George BARKER managed a boot and shoe shop in Darlington, very likely a branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co. Early in the 1900s William managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool.

Disney Charles BARLOW
Born 23 June 1880 at Braunstone, Leicestershire, son of Thomas Disney BARLOW, Church of England clergyman (Curate of Braunstone) and his wife Letitia Amelia McLEAN, both originally from Ireland. At the age of 20 he worked as a cashier for Lennard Bros in Leicester, going on to become secretary and managing director of the company. In February 1919 with fellow Lennard Bros director Samuel BRIERS, he travelled to New York on a business trip. He married Ethel Mabel SEXTON, granddaughter of Sir Robert SEXTON. In 1939 he was appointed High Sheriff of Leicestershire and he continued on the board of Lennard Bros until at least 1951. He was a shareholder in Lennards Bros for more than half a century. He was a director of the District Bank and chairman of Liberty Shoes Ltd. He died 16 February 1965 aged 84.

Harry Hartington BARROW
Born c1873 at Plumstead, London, son of William BARROW, engine fitter, and his wife Elizabeth PACK. He married Mabel Louise MARTIN in 1902 at Croydon, London and their children included Martin Henry W BARROW 1903, Brian Alfred BARROW 1905, Gilbert Harry BARROW 1907 and Joyce Mabel BARROW 1911. He worked at the boot shop at Croydon, Surrey, and in 1911 he managed the company's premises at 121 High Street, Stoke Newington. He died in 1959 aged 86.

Herbert Arthur BASTIN
Born 1875 at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, son of William BASTIN, draper’s warehouseman, and his wife Hannah DAVIES. At the age of 16 he was a Cheltenham music seller’s assistant and a decade later he worked in Derby as an accountant’s clerk. He married in 1902 and in 1913 resided at Rosegarth, Tranby Avenue, Hull, serving as district manager for the Public Benefit Boot Co. He died at Hessle, Yorkshire, on 22 June 1916 aged 41.

Irene BATE
Born 1920, at Blyth, Northumberland, daughter of Thomas BATE, coal miner, and his wife Agnes HALDANE. She worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth 1938-1941.

Harry BAWDEN
He worked at the Benefit Footwear repair facility at Templar Street, Leeds.

Wilfred BAWDEN
While living at Richmond Terrace, Truro, Cornwall, he was employed as a lad at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch on the corner of King Street and Boscawen Street, Truro.

Ann BEADSMORE
In 1958 she started work as a shop assistant at Benefit Footwear in Derby on a weekly wage of £2.50. Fifty years later she still maintains contact with some of the other people who worked at that branch.

Frederick Joseph BEARD
Born 1880 at Battersea, London, son of Henry Richard BEARD, labourer and driller, and his wife Jane BLACKMAN. He married Lilian May WADE in 1903 and their children included Frederick Richard Augustine BEARD 1904 and Gwendoline Lilian Ivy BEARD 1910, Vera Evelyn BEARD 1913 and Cecil Norman BEARD 1915. In 1904 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 32 Rye Lane, Peckham, London, and in 1911 he managed the premises at 159 Highland Road, Eastney, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire. He enlisted in WWI in 1916. He died in 1954 aged 73 and his widow Lilian died in 1969 aged 83.

Thomas Leslie BEEBY
Born August 1896 at East Shilton, Leicestershire, son of Thomas BEEBY, commercial clerk, and his wife Alice GOODWIN. It is thought he worked at Lennards as a clerk prior to enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914. He served in Egypt and France. He married Elizabeth REID in 1940 and he died in 1971 at Poole, Dorset aged 74.

Joseph Frank BEECHAM
Born 1879 at Boston, Lincolnshire, son of Elijah BEECHAM, ostler, and his wife Lucy Osborne SCOFFIN. He married Florence Annie HATFIELD in 1904 and their children included Doris Helen BEECHAM 1906 and Norman F BEECHAM 1914. In 1911 he managed the boot store in Market Place, Grantham. His wife Florence died in 1953 aged 77 and he died in 1963 aged 83.

Arthur BEMAND
Born c1863 at Christchurch, Stafford, son of Oswald BEMAND, shoemaker, and his first wife Hannah HILDITCH. He married Rose Mary A JEWERS in 1886 at Northampton. Their children included Rose BEMAND 1887, Arthur BEMAND 1888, May BEMAND 1890, Fred BEMAND 1891, Minnie BEMAND c1894 and Phyllis Beatrice BEMAND 1904. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 603 Smithdown Road, Wavertree, Liverpool. His two sons also worked in the boot trade. Arthur died in1934 aged 71 years and his wife Rose died in 1936 aged 67 years.

John William BILTON
Born 1860 at Ripon, Yorkshire, son of Joseph BILTON, labourer and mattress maker, and his wife Mary Ann ROBINSON. He married Mary Jane BLACKBURN in 1885 and they had a son John Ewart BILTON 1888. John senior was a boot and shoe dealer in 1891 at 9 Fishergate, Ripon, and a decade later he had moved to 18 Fishergate where he continued to trade until his death in 1912 aged 51. In 1917 the premises at 18 Fishergate continued to operate as a branch of the Public Benefit Boot Co.

William BILTON
Born in 1863 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, he worked initially as a draper’s apprentice. He married Emily ROTHERFORTH in 1888 at Hull and their children included Stanley BILTON c1890 and Louis BILTON 1895. By 1891 William was managing the Public Benefit Boot Company premises at 33 Booth Ferry Road, Goole, Yorkshire. He died at Hull 9 September 1912 aged 49 and his wife Emily died there in 1954 aged 88.

Thomas Norton BIRD
Born 1886 at Kettering, son of Thomas BIRD, boot and shoe manufacturer, and his wife Mary SPENCE. In 1911 he married Edith May WEBB at Kettering and in WWI he served as a Captain in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He was a principal of the firm Thomas Bird & Sons Ltd, shoe manufacturers and in 1937 he joined the board of Benefit Footwear. He died at Kettering in 1958 aged 71 and his widow Edith died there in 1979 aged 92.

George Frederick BLACKBURN
Born 1861 at Diss, Norfolk, son of Philip BLACKBURN, agricultural labourer, and his wife Ann Elizabeth TWAITES. He married Ellen Elizabeth TAYLOR in 1888 at Nottingham where he worked as a porter and boot shop assistant before taking over management of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 73-75 Radford Road. In 1911 he managed the company premises at 42 Northgate Street, Chester, Cheshire.

Robert Holliday BLACKBURN
Born 1874 at Bramley, son of William BLACKBURN, clothing manufacturer, and his wife Maria HOLLIDAY. Robert and his brothers Richard Arthur BLACKBURN and William BLACKBURN worked initially in their father’s manufacturing business. In 1906 at Bramley he married Ethel Ann DICKINSON, daughter of Brow DICKINSON, managing director of the Public Benefit Boot Co. Robert served as a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co in the 1920's. He was Lord Mayor of Leeds1932-33. His time in office include the day of the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Leeds to open the Civic Hall on 23 August 1933. Alderman Blackburn represented the Conservative on Leeds City Council as a councillor or alderman for 35 years, with the exception of one year. He was the chairman and joint managing director of William Blackburn & Co Ltd, clothing manufactures of Whitehall Road, founded by his father in 1867. He died at Leeds 31 August 1950 aged 76.

William Thomas BONE
Born c1891 at Winchester, Hampshire, son of Thomas BONE, billiard maker, and his wife Kate BUDDEN. In 1911 he worked as a Lennards Ltd boot repairer in Bristol and served in WWI. In 1914 he maried Agnes H Morgan and their cildren included Ronald W BONE 1915 and Charles BONE 1923. His wife Agnes died at Bristol in 1953 aged 66 and he died there in 1959 aged 68.

Hamilton BONNER
Born 1857 at Rodley near Leeds, son of Benjamin Holme BONNER, boot manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Ann LISTER. He married Emma POLLARD in 1880 at Bradford and their children included William BONNER 1882, Rhoda BONNER 1891 and Lilian BONNER 1898. Hamilton’s father Benjamin manufactured footwear in 1899 as B Bonner & Sons and built the Gladstone Works in Stanningley (occupied in 2004 by Dents, Dyers & Cleaners). Benjamin’s two sons Hamilton and Lonsdale, were both shareholders in Lennards Ltd in 1914 and carried on the business their father founded until 1930.

Lonsdale BONNER
Born 1865 at Bramley near Leeds, son of Benjamin Holme BONNER, boot manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Ann LISTER. He married Sarah Ada GUDGEON in 1890 at Bradford and their children included Thomas William BONNER 1895 and Robert Arthur BONNER 1900. With his brother Hamilton, he was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and continued in his father’s business B Bonner & Sons. One hundred employees were engaged in manufacturing heavy boots, mainly for farmers and the Army. The firm enjoyed a large export trade with Ireland.

Herbert James BOOL
Born 1877 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, the son of James BOOL, freestone mason, and his wife Emma CHAPPELL. At the age of 13 he worked as a shop boy at Battersa, London. He married Ethel May FINCH in 1901 at Worcester and their children born at Swansea included Albert James BOOL 1902, Douglas Clifford BOOL 1906 and Ronald Barry BOOL 1911. From at least 1901 to 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 1 King Street, Swansea, where his sister-in-law Clara Ellen FINCH also worked as a shop assistant. His wife Ethel died in 1946 aged 63 and he died in 1951 aged 73.

Isaac BOSTOCK
Born 1860 at Stockport, Cheshire, son of Isaac Moore BOSTOCK, postman and shopkeeper, and his wife Jane WHITAKER. In 1882 he married Henrietta Steward MUNSLOW who died in 1926. He secondly married Louisa Kate DOOGOOD. Isaac worked initially as a tailor’s salesman but in the 1890's and early 1900's he was a Public Benefit Boot Co shareholder and managed a boot shop at Douglas on the Isle of Man. In 1911 he was listed as a managing director and retail boot dealer in Stockport. He died at Southport in 1932 aged 72.

George Arthur BOSWORTH
Born 1892 at Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, son of Thomas BOSWORTH, builder’s labourer, and his wife Annie Louisa NICHOLS. He worked as a salesman for Lennards Ltd in Bristol before enlisting to serve in WWI. He served as a driver with the Royal Field Artillery in France for 3 years, 8 months.

Frederick James BRAGG
Born 1871 at Bristol, son of John Bragg, boot maker, and his wife Sarah Ann JONES. Frederick and three of his brothers (Albert, William and John) commenced their working life in the boot trade. He married Kathleen ABBOTT in 1893 at Bristol and their children included Frederick John BRAGG 1893, Herman Abbott BRAGG 1894, and Kathleen Vera BRAGG 1897. From 1901 to 1906 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 43 Market Place, Falmouth and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 52 Fore Street, Tiverton, Devon. He died in 1919 aged 47.

Mr BRAITHWAITE
Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Goole, Yorkshire in the 1930's and 1940's.

John William BRAMMAN
Born 7 May 1903 at Goole, Yorkshire, son of James BRAMMAN, dock labourer, and his wife Sarah Elizabeth BULLASS. As a young lad he worked as an errand boy for four shillings a week at the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole. He later went on to work on the docks and died at Goole in 1996 aged 93.

John Thomas BRAY
Born 1851 in Leigh, Gloucestershire, the son of John BRAY, tailor, and his wife Maria POWELL. He married Mary Sims RAYNER in 1879 at Axbridge, Somerset, and their children included Mary Gertrude BRAY 1880, Ethel Kate BRAY 1882, William John BRAY 1884 and Arthur Henry BRAY 1886. It is thought he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Penryn in 1898 and from 1901 to at least 1913 he managed the boot shop at 19 The Homend, Ledbury, Herefordshire. He died at Ledbury in 1915 aged 63 and his wife Mary died there in 1923 aged 72. Their son William carried on business as a boot and shoe retailer.

William John BRAY
Born 1884 at Ledbury, Herefordshire, son of John Thomas BRAY, boot retailer, ad his wife Mary Sims RAYNER. He married Catherine A DAGGER in 1910 and their children included Arthur J W BRAY 1911, Marjorie E BRAY 1914 and Mary C BRAY 1918. He managed the boot and shoe retailing business in Ledbury for some years. His wife Catherine died in 1944 aged 63 and he died in 1966 aged 81.

Samuel BRIERS
Born 1868 at Leicester, son of Frederick BRIERS, a Hugglescote wheelwright. Samuel married Mary GRIFFITHS in 1892 and their children included Gladys Mary BRIERS 1893, Dorothy Harriet BRIERS 1896 and Winifred Emily BRIERS 1898. Along with his brother-in-law Thomas HATTON, Samuel was a shareholder in Lennard Bros. Samuel commenced working as a clerk before taking over the management of the company’s warehouse in Leicester, later serving as managing director. In February 1919 with fellow Lennard Bros director Disney Charles BARLOW, he travelled to New York on a business trip. He died at Birstall, Leicestershire, 28 December 1926 aged 58.

Thomas Henry BRIERS
Born 1901 at Leicester, son of Samuel BRIERS, boot manufacturer, and his wife Mary GRIFFITHS. He married Frances E GREENWOOD in 1927 and their children include Annette E BRIERS 1928, Jane M BRIERS 1932 and Susan BRIERS 1939. He continued his family’s long association with the companies and in 1951 was a director of Lennards Bros.

John James BRITTEN
Born 1845 in London, he married Sarah Ann TURNER in 1869 at Hackney. Their children included Sarah BRITTEN 1872, Louisa Mary A BRITTEN 1874, Ellen Elizabeth BRITTEN 1875, Florence May BRITTEN 1877, Henry Warner BRITTEN 1879, John Turner BRITTEN 1883, James William BRITTEN 1885 and Charles Wallis BRITTEN 1888. John was a boot manufacturer at Bethnal Green, London and a shareholder in the Public Benefit Boot Co.

Albert BROWN
Born around 1867 at Chatham, Kent, he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at High Street, Totterdown, Bristol from 1891 to 1895.

Charles Henry BROWN
Born 1866 at West Hartlepool, Co Durham, son of James BROWN, a tailor from Lancashire and his wife Jane. He married Agnes WOODHOUSE in 1893 at Hartlepool and their children included Gladys BROWN 1894, Winnie BROWN 1896, Adolph BROWN 1897 and Ida BROWN 1900. He was a boot salesman and 1900-1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 23 Northgate Street, Hartlepool.

Ernest Henry BROWN
Born 1879 at Bridgwater, Somerset, son of Frederick BROWN, sailor, and his wife Sarah Ann. He married Bessie Bromfield GOULD in 1903 and their children included Margaret Evelyn Bromfield BROWN 1905 and Ernest Orlando BROWN 1909. In 1901 he worked as a shop assistant in Bath and by 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 175 Commercial Street, Newport, Monmouthshire. He was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and died at Weston-super-Mare on 20 December 1929 aged 50.

George William BROWN
A boot dealer, he traded as the Public Benefit Boot Co at 136 Yorkshire Street, Rochdale and went into receivership on 26 November 1897.

George William S BROWN
Born 1884 at Poplar, London, son of George BROWN, stationary engine driver, and his wife Emily. He married Ethel Jane JAMES in 1910 at Isle of Wight. In 1911 he worked as a boot salesman at the company’s premises at Brockenhurst, Hampshire.

Leo Sylvester BRYAN
Born 1890 at Cardiff, son of James William G BRYAN, cigar merchant, and his wife Ursula KERR. He married Dorothy Ethel CORNWELL in 1910 and they divorced in 1924. He likely managed the company’s premises in Regent Street, Burnham on Sea, Somerset in 1911

Percy Berry BUGG
Born 1875 at Ipswich, Suffok, twin son of John William BUGG, iron hardware-man, and his wife Salome BERRY. He married Gertrude Emma BLOOMFIELD in 1903 and they had a son Cecil Percy BUGG 1910 at Chelmsford where Percy managed the Public Benefit Boot Company premises at 87 High Street. He died in 1959 aged 84.

Thomas BULL
Born 1858 at Mersham, Kent, son of Charles BULL, boot maker, and his wife Ruth HANSON. He married Eleanor MARTIN in 1892 and at Folkstone, Kent, they had the following children: Thomas Henry BULL 1893, twins James Alfred BULL and Stanley Charles BULL 1897, Sidney Martin BULL 1898, Victor Edward BULL 1901 and Leonard Hanson BULL 1903. He was a Lennards Limited shareholder and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 4 Cheriton Road, Folkstone with his wife Eleanor assisting in the business. He died at Littlemore, Queensland, Australia in 1923 aged 65.

Jabez Sidney BULLOUGH
Born 1866 at Huddersfield, Yorkshire, the son o Thomas BULLOUGH, iron moulder, and his wife Agnes Mary DEVEY. In 1893 he trades as the Public Benefit Boot and Shoe Co at Westgate, Bradford, before going in to liquidation. In 1897 at Bramly, Yorkshire, he married Agnes Mary Devey from Seaton Carew, Co Durham. They had one surviving child Roland BULLOUGH 1903 at Crook, Co Durham. By the turn of the century Jabez worked variously as a Publican and a Draper. He died 24 December 1939 at London aged 73.

John BULMER
Born 1885 at South Shields, Co Durham, where in 1908 he married Florence HIMSLEY. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Company’s premises at 29 Victoria Street, Grimsby, Lincolnshire. He died at Hull 2 January 1924 aged 38.

Arthur Lewis BURNLEY
Born 1861 at Shipley, Yorkshire, son of Denby BURNLEY, boot and shoe dealer, and his wife Sarah Ann WALKER. He married Harriet HOLMES in 1901 and they had a daughter Ida BURNLEY 1903 at Keighley, Yorkshire. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 12 Lytham Street, Blackpool, Lancashire. He died in 1944 aged 83.

John William Henry BURMESTER
Born c1919 in Oxfordshire, son of John William Lawrence BURMESTER and his wife Erica S C ROSE. In 1942 he married Joyce Marian GURR. He was appointed a director of Lennards Limited in 1969.

Charles BURROW
In 1884 he was proprietor of four Public Benefit Boot Co stores – at Bradford, Huddersfield, Rochdale and Stockport. He also had extensive interests in other boot dealerships but went into receivership in 1884.

Samuel BURTON
Born 1841 at Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, son of William BURTON, grocer and draper. Samuel worked in the family business for many years. Later in life he married Isabel MARK and managed the Public Benefit Boot Co shop in Rugby, Warwickshire. He was a brother-in-law of the Coventry boot dealer Samuel HARKER and died at Rugby in 1903 aged 61.

William Joseph BUSH
Born 1867 at Shirley, Hampshire, son of James BUSH, joiner, and his wife Louisa BURROW. He married Hetty Elizabeth SIMMS in 1890 and they had a daughter Louisa Hetty BUSH born 1891 in Southampton. In 1891 he worked as a boot shop assistant in Southampton and from at least 1901 until 1913 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 99 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire. His wife Hetty died at Weymouth, Dorset, in 1954 aged 86 and he died there in 1957 aged 90.

Mr BUTLER
Manager of the ladies room at the premises of the Public Benefit Boot Co at 33 Boothferry Road, Goole, Yorkshire, around 1913-1914.

John BUTSON
Born 1847 at Crediton, Devon, son of William BUTSON, carpenter, and his wife Susan. He married Emma Jane PARK in 1870 and they had two daughters Rosa Agnes BUTSON 1874 and Lily Louisa BUTSON 1877. He was a boot dealer and by 1911 he had retired and his two daughters carried on the boot dealership at 10 High Street, Totnes, Devon. His wife Emma Jane died in 1924 and he died in 1935 aged 88.

William BUTTERFIELD
Born c1838 at Shipley, Yorkshire, son of Jonas BUTTERFIELD, wool sorter, and his wife Ann SHEPHERD. He married Mary FOSTER in 1872 at Bridlington and their children included James Foster BUTTERFIELD 1873, Jane Foster BUTTERFIELD 1880, William BUTTERFIELD 1883 and Jessie BUTTERFIELD 1885. From the 1870’s until at least 1911 he and his wife managed the boot dealership at 31-32 Market Place, Driffield, Yorkshire, assisted in the business at various times by their daughters Jessie and Jane and nieces Clara PICKLES and Anna Marie HAINSWORTH.

Eva BUTTON
Born 1914 at Goole, Yorkshire, daughter of Clifford BUTTON, railway company employee, and his wife Sarah Ann PROCTOR. At the age of 15 she worked as a junior for Benefit Footwear in Goole, earning eight shillings per week. She was very happy working there and on some weekends assisted at the company’s premises at King Edward Street, Hull and in Whitefriar Gate, Hull. Over the eight years she worked for Benefit Footwear, her wages rose to 19 shillings per week. She left the job to get married in 1938 to William Arthur CARR. Her husband died at Goole in 1978 aged 66.

Jessie BUZZACOTT
Born 1878 at Crediton, Devon, daughter of Eli BUZZACOTT, currier, and his wife Mary Jane KIDWILL. In 1900 she married Francis Edwin NEWTON who worked as a salesman for the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1912 Jessie was the manageress of the company’s branch at 43 Market Street, Falmouth, Cornwall. It is thought she died in Canada in 1929 aged 51 and her husband Francis died there in 1959 aged 82.

William CALEY
Born 1887 at Hunslet, Yorkshire, the son of Benjamin CALEY, a boot repairer, and his wife Laura LONGBOTTOM. In 1911 William managed a new boot business at 28 Queen Street, Morley, Yorkshire, while his father Benjamin and brother Rowland CALY worked as boot repairers. He married Ethel CROSSLAND in 1912 and their children include Cyril CALEY 1914 and William CALEY 1921. He died at Morley in 1922 aged 34.

Alice Clements CARD
Born 1866 at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, daughter of Ephraim CARD, farmer, and his wife Harriet CLEMENTS. In 1890 at Tunbridge Wells she married Francis Edward VICK. In 1911 she and her husband ran the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 1 Wellington Street, Teignmouth, Devon. She died at Bournemouth in 1947 aged 81 and Francis died there two years later aged 82.

Betty CARR
Miss Carr worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Regent Street, Blyth, Northumberland in the 1930’s.  In 1938 she spoke on behalf of a neighbour Bill Clayton who was then taken on at the shop as an errand boy.

Thomas Albert CARTER
Born 1879 at Gloucester, son of Henry CARTER, tram car driver, and his wife Emma TUCKER. He married Bessie DRAKE in 1908 at Fulham, London. Their children included Norman Arthur CARTER c1910 and Cyril J CARTER 1913. Thomas worked as a boot shop assistant in Croydon, Surrey and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 36 High Street, Stratford-on-Avon.

John CASHMORE
Born 1855 at Stone, Staffordshire, son of John CASHMORE, shoemaker, and his wife Mary. He married Emma MOULD in 1877 at Stafford and their children included Mary May CASHMORE 1877, Arthur John CASHMORE 1879, Helen Lucy CASHMORE 1882, Bertram Charles CASHMORE 1886 and Reginald George CASHMORE 1893. He worked as a boot maker and in the 1890s and early 1900s he was a foreman and manager of the Lennards' shoe manufacturing operations at Blaby, Leicestershire.

William Robert CHAPMAN
Born 1856 at Uppingham, Rutland, son of James CHAPMAN, grocer and letter carrier, and his wife Elizabeth. William firstly married Harriet CORSER in 1883 and they had a son Willie Gordon CHAPMAN 1885. Harriet died in 1892 and William secondly married Edith CLARK in 1898 and their children included, Robert James CHAPMAN 1899 and Edith Olive CHAPMAN 1910. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 23 Foregate Street, Chester. He died at Chester 4 September 1939 aged 83.

John Gordon CHATTAWAY
Born 1854 at Earlsdon, Warwickshire, son of Thomas CHATTAWAY, writing master, and his wife Mary. He married Sophia HANGER of Kettering in 1882 and their children included Sophia Lillian CHATTAWAY 1883 and Charles Gordon CHATTAWAY 1892. John was a Leicester boot and shoe manufacturer and served as a director of Lennards Ltd. His son Charles followed him into the footwear manufacturing business. With his colleagues W EVANS and Joseph Wallis GODDARD, John provided business finance to a Spanish-American engineer, Hildalgo MOYA, who went on to become his son-in-law and establish the Imperial Typewriter Co in Leicester in 1908. He died 16 November 1936 aged 82.

Mr CHIVERS
Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Wallsend on Tyne, Northumberland c1960’s.

Arthur CHURCH
Born c1893 at Hampstead, Middlesex, son of Henry John CHURCH, circular sawyer, and his wife Ellen. He married Bertha May PHILLIPS in 1905 and their children included Olive May CHURCH 1907 and Arthur Alexander CHURCH 1911. He worked firstly as a shop assistant in London and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 405 Hoe Street, Leyton, Essex.

Edward John CHURCH
Born 1897 at Hornsey, Middlesex, son of Henry John CHURCH, circular sawyer, and his wife Ellen. In 1911 at the age of 14 he worked as an assistant at the company’s premises at 405 Hoe Street, Leyton, Essex, managed by his brother Arthur.

John Arthur CLAPHAM
Born 1874 at Pluckley, Kent, son of John Palliser CLAPHAM who had worked variously as a rope maker, marine store dealer, fishmonger and fruiterer. By the age of 16 John junior was a boot and shoe salesman in Peascod Street, Windsor. He married Eunice Clara May HOWE in 1894 at Bristol and their children included Dorothy May CLAPHAM 1895, Elsie Gladys CLAPHAM 1897, Eunice Gertrude CLAPHAM 1900, John Arthur Henry CLAPHAM 1904 and Charles Rodney CLAPHAM c1907. In 1891 he worked as a salesman at the Public Benefit Boot Co's branch in Peascod Street, Windsor, in 1893 he managed the branch at 39 Gloucester Road, Bishopton and afterward the  branch at 90 Queens Street in Cardiff. In 1911 he was based in Redland, Gloucestershire and worked a district inspector of Lennards Ltd branches. His daughter Dorothy worked as a shop assistant at one of the Lennards branches in Bristol. His wife Eunice died in 1926 aged 52 and he died in 1970 aged 95.

Arthur Russell CLAYTON
Born 1859 at Belgrave, Leicestershire, son of Thomas CLAYTON, framework knitter. He married Eliza Jane WELCH of Birmingham in 1884 and their children included two daughters Amy CLAYTON 1887 and Edith Welch CLAYTON 1892. Arthur commenced his career as a shoe warehouseman in Preston and went on to manage Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Blackpool in 1891 and at 109 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, from 1901 until at least 1911. He died at Ilkeston 8 January 1940 aged 80.

William CLAYTON
He commenced work as an errand boy for the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1938 at the Blyth shop and was soon sent to the Northumberland Street branch in Newcastle to learn window dressing. He served as a driver/gunner in Belgium, Holland and Germany. In 1945 he returned to the Benefit Footwear branch in Blyth and continued with window dressing the company’s branches in various regional towns. In 1949 he married Margaret MOSELEY, a Benefit Footwear shop assistant and they had a son Ralph CLAYTON the following year. William's first management position (on a wage of £5) was a small Benefit Footwear shop in Spennymoor, Co Durham, after which he went on to manage branches in Morpeth and the branch at Ashington that he managed for more than 36 years.

Frederick CLEWS
Born 1875 at Redditch, Worcestershire, son of John CLEWS, warehouseman, and his wife Elizabeth GOODALL. In 1911 Frederick and his Irish-born wife Agnes lived on High Street, Evesham, where he worked as a boot salesman. He died at Belfast, Ireland 16 April 1941 aged 66.

Joseph Otley COLLETT
Born 1890 at Diss, Norfolk, son of Christopher COLLETT, postman, and his wife Rachel OTLEY of Tostock, Suffolk. In 1937 Joseph was based in Leeds when his wife Dorothea died. He worked for the chartered accountants Price Waterhouse and during the 1941-45 period, when the Benefit Footwear managing director was serving in the army abroad, Joseph took over the Benefit Footwear managing director’s role.

Caroline COLLINS
In 1889 she worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Bournemouth, Dorset, at which time her father or brother managed the store.

Herbert David COLLINS
Born 1881 at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, he married Florence Mabel GRIST in 1903 and they had a son Herbert E R COLLINS 1912. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Company’s premises at 142-143 Peascod Street, Windsor, Berkshire. He died in 1949 at Windsor aged 67 and his widow Florence died there in 1964 aged 81.

Mary Edith COLLINS
Born 1883 at Bristol, daughter of Walter William COLLINS, boot dealer, and his wife Mary Jane PROWSE. In 1901 she worked as a cashier at the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by her father at 19 Stall Street, Bristol.

Thomas William COLLINS
Born 1874 at Lambeth, London, he married Minnie SIER in 1900 and their children included William James K COLLINS 1902, Marguerite Dorothy COLLINS 1904, Barbara Mary COLLINS 1905 and a son (possibly David W J COLLINS) born 1911, at which time he managed the company’s premises at 90-92 Beckenham Road, Penge, Surrey. Thomas and Minnie divorced in 1919.

Walter William COLLINS
Born 1862 at Kelston, Somerset, son of William COLLINS, agricultural labourer, and his second wife Emma. At the age of 10 he worked as an agricultural labourer along with his brothers and father and by the age of 20 he was undertaking a boot making apprenticeship. He married Mary Jane PROWSE in 1882 and they had one daughter Mary Edith COLLINS born 1883 at Bristol. At the time of his marriage he was a boot salesman in Bristol. He was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and from 1901 to at least 1914 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 19 Stall Street, Bath, where his wife and daughter assisted in the business.

Wallace James COOKE
Born 1860 at Barnstaple, Devon, son of John COOKE, boot maker, and his wife Jane. He married Melinda Jane PHILLIPS in 1883 and their children included Edith Florence J COOKE 1884-1894 and Lilian Frances COOKE 1885-1903. In 1911 he, assisted by his wife Melinda, managed the company’s premises at 25a High Street, Barnstaple. His wife died at Barnstaple in 1921 aged 60 and he died there in 1942 aged 82.

Robert COSGROVE
Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Thornaby-On-Tees, Yorkshire, in 1900.

Robert Albert COSSEY
Born 1871 at Crossness, Kent, son of Robert COSSEY stoker at gas works, and his wife Sarah Maria HAMILTON. He married Edith Clara HEATH in 1886 and their children included Dorothy Annie COSSEY 1897, Spencer Robert COSSEY 1898 and Alma Gertrude COSSEY 1902. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 39 Queen Street, Oxford. He died in 1923 aged 52.

Tom COULSON
Born 1858 at Hull, Yorkshire, son of William COULSON and his wife Jane Elizabeth JACKSON. In 1880 he married Elizabeth ELLIS who at the time worked as a Hull boot shop assistant (possibly for the Public Benefit Boot Co). Around 1881-82 they moved to Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, where their son Frank COULSON was born in 1882. His wife Elizabeth died in 1890 and he married secondly to Hetty SCHWARTZ and they had four children: Lily COULSON 1893, Alfred COULSON 1896, Edith COULSON 1898 and Kathleen Hetty COULSON 1905. For around 16 years Tom managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at Gainsborough. He later became licensee of the 'Portland Arms' at Retford, Nottinghamshire, where he died in 1946 aged 88. His widow Hetty died there in 1964 aged 93.

George COWDRY
Born 1891 at Cardiff, Wales, son of George COWDRY and his wife Louisa YOUNG. He worked as a boot and shoe repairer for the Public Benefit Boot Co (Lennards Ltd), Queens Road, Bristol and at the age of 24 enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps. He served in Egypt and married Eliza EDDLESTON in 1923 at Cardiff where they had a daughter Jeane COWDRY 1926. He died at Bristol in 1940 aged 48.

William Henry CRISPE
Born 1875 at Ashford, Kent, son of William CRISPE, a boot maker, and his wife Emma Elizabeth HEMSLEY. He married Florence Ada HICKMOTT in 1905 at West Ashford and they had a daughter Norah Ruby CRISPE 1907. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 52 High Street, Ashford, the business having been run by his family since the 1870s. He died at Ashford in 1946 aged 70.

Anderson CROSSGROVE
Born 1874 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson CROSSGROVE, a Prudential Assurance agent, and Jane BROWN. He married Ada SIMPSON of Newcastle in 1896 the following year he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street and 113 Musgrave Street, West Hartlepool. From 1901 until at least 1911 he managed company premises at Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. He died at Middlesbrough 22 February 1937 aged 62 and his widow Ada died there in 1950 aged 74.

John Thomas CROSSGROVE
Born 1872 at West Auckland, Co Durham, son of Thomas Anderson CROSSGROVE, a Prudential Assurance Agent, and his wife Jane BROWN. In 1893 he married at Middlesborough where he was employed as an assistant manager in the boot trade.

David CROW
Born 1876 at Liverpool, the son of Scottish immigrants David CROW, brass finisher, and his wife Margaret. He married Martha Ann ODDY in 1902 and their children included Norman CROW 1904, Margaret Alice CROW 1905 and Frank CROW 1911. By the age of 25 he worked as a boot salesman and he went on to manage the Public Benefit Boot Co branch in Eccleston Street, Prescot, for some three decades. He died at Prescot in 1944 aged 67 and his widow Martha died there in 1954 aged 78.

William Henry CRUTE
Born 1891 at Winchester, Hampshire, son of Emily Kate CRUTE, laundress. In 1911 he worked in the company’s Winchester premises as a boot shop assistant. In WWI he served as a private in the Hampshire Regiment and was killed in action in Belgium on 4 September 1918 aged 27.

Cornelius CURRINS
Born 1865 in Northumberland, son of William CURRINS, labourer, and his wife Bridget McINTYRE. He married Sarah Ann STYLES in 1886 and they had a son William CURRINS the following year. At the age of 14 Cornelius worked as a shoemaker at Belford, Northumberland where he grew up. In the 1890s he operated as a boot shop manager and dealer in Leeds and Harrogate and by the turn of the century he managed a boot shop in Prospect Street, Hull. He was a Public Benefit Boot Co shareholder and lived in Hull until at least 1913. His wife died at Hull in 1924 aged 57 and he died at Withernsea, Yorkshire in 1929 aged 64.

Thomas CURTIS
Born 1873 at Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, son of John CURTIS, plumber, and his wife Emma. He married Edith Mary SMITH in 1898 at South Shields and their children included John Henry CURTIS 1903. Thomas worked initially as a boot maker’s apprentice and 1901-11 he managed the boot shop at 107-109 Grange Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

William John CURTIS
Born 1864 at Docking, Norfolk, son of William CURTS, builder and bricklayer, and his wife Rose Ann WICKS. He married Mildred Jane KNIGHT in 1888 at Derby and their children included Dorice Hilda CURTIS 1891, Claude William CURTIS 1892 and Cyril George CURTIS 1894. At the age of 16 he worked as a shop assistant in Derby. Following the 1889 death of the Public Benefit shop manager in Grantham, Richard FRANKLIN, William CURTIS took over the management of the premises at 7 London Road, continuing there for more than a decade.

David DAVIES
Born c1873 at Llangendeirne, Carmarthenshire, Wales, c1902 he married Mary (surname unknown) and their children included Eva Wym DAVIES c1903, Doris Valmai DAVIES 1905, John Daniel DAVIES c1908 and David Lionel G DAVIES 1909. In 1911 he managed the boot shop at 3 Hall Street, Carmathen and his wife Mary assisted in the business.

Alfred DAVIS
Born 1880 at Appleby, Westmorland, son of John Coulthard DAVIS, carter, and his wife Margaret ROBINSON. He worked initially as a grocer’s assistant and in 1906 he married Elizabeth Louisa COUPE. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Company branch at 118-120 Stretford Road, Hulme, Lancashire.

John Harris DEAN
Born 1860 at Blackburn, Lancashire, son of James DEAN, shoemaker, and his wife Esther HARRIS. He married Emily Jane TRAYFORD in 1883 and their children included Emily Alice DEAN c1884, Edith Eleanor DEAN c1885, James DEAN c1888, William Edward DEAN 1890 and John Edgar DEAN 1892. For many years he managed the company’s premises at 29 Albert Road, Barnoldswick via Colne, West Yorkshire. His wife Emily Jane died in 1932 aged 69 and he died in 1940 aged 79.

John George DENNIS
Born 1867 at Leicester, son of George DENNIS, warehouseman, and his wife Mary Ann CASHMORE. He married Ada Hannah HARRIMAN in 1889 and they had the following children: Doris May DENNIS 1890, George Leslie DENNIS 1892 and Ida Nellie DENNIS 1896. For several decades at least he lived at Loughborough, Leicestershire, where, assisted by his wife Ada, he managed the company’s premises at 30 Swan Street, Loughborough. He died at Kettering in 1947 aged 80 and his widow Ada died there in 1953 aged 90.

Ethel May DEWS
Born 27 Dec 1897 at Goole, Yorkshire, daughter of Samuel DEWS, dock labourer, and his wife Lydia Realea LISTER. For more than 35 years she worked as first sales lady at several of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Goole, Yorkshire. She did not marry and died at Goole in 1984 aged 86.

Brow Dickinson portraitBrow DICKINSON
Born 1857 at Bramley near Leeds, son of John DICKINSON, quarryman, and his wife Ann Smith BROW. By the age of 14 years Brow and his brother George DICKINSON aged 15 years, were working as shoe riveters. Brow, George and a younger brother John DICKINSON, commenced making boots in the front room of their house. This was the beginning of the ‘Benefit Boot’, a vast manufacturing empire and a long association with the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1897 Brow was appointed managing director of the Public Benefit Boot Co – a position he held at his death on 4 November 1931 aged 74. In 1882 Brow married Jane Isabella ASHWORTH originally from Bury, Lancashire, who at the time was a Bramley schoolmistress. Their children included Ethel Ann DICKINSON 1883, Evelyn May DICKINSON 1885 and Dorothy DICKINSON 1891. He was elected a member of Leeds City Council in 1911. Following the death of his first wife in 1915, he married secondly in 1924 to Winifred GILL at Goole and they had a son John Brow DICKINSON 1926.

George Brow DICKINSON
Born 1855 at Bramley near Leeds, son of John DICKINSON, quarryman, and his wife Ann. He married Tamar Alice BERRY in 1883 at Leeds and their children included Annie DICKINSON 1883, Hilda DICKINSON 1885, John DICKINSON 1888, Fred DICKINSON 1890, Mabel DICKINSON 1891, George Brow DICKINSON 1893 and Stella DICKINSON 1899. Along with his brothers he devoted his working life to boot manufacturing and maintained strong links with the Public Benefit Boot Co. His wife Tamar died at Bramley 5 December 1903 aged 48 and he died there 11 May 1922 aged 66.

John DICKINSON
Born 1860 at Bramley near Leeds, son of John DICKINSON, quarryman, and his wife Ann. He and his wife Hannah had a daughter Emma G L DICKINSON in 1883. Along with his brothers, he managed major boot manufacturing operations in Bramley and was a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co in the 1920's.

William Walter DICKSON
Born 1869 at Leicester, son of Thomas DICKSON, a tea dealer and commercial traveller, and his wife Harriett Yates TAYLOR.  He worked initially as a Leicester boot & shoe warehouseman. He married Kate Elizabeth SMITH in 1891 at Leicester and their children included Douglas Gordon DICKSON born 1895 at Leicester and Irene Lilian DICKSON born 1901 at Bristol. From 1901 to at least 1914 he managed a boot warehouse for Lennards Ltd in Bristol. He died in 1934 aged 65 and his widow Kate died in 1946 aged 78.

James Henry DINGLE
Born c1834 at Liskeard, Cornwall, son of Henry DINGLE shoemaker, and his wife Peggy. He married Rebecca DAVEY in 1857 and their children included James H DINGLE c1858, Alfred DINGLE c1859, John Samuel DINGLE 1861, Herbert DINGLE 1863, Edwin DINGLE c1863 and William DINGLE c1866. With his son John he managed the company’s premises at 20 Fore Street, Liskeard, trading as James Henry Dingle & Son, Boot Makers. He died at Liskeard in 4 April 1915 aged 81 and his wiidow Rebecca died there 24 January 1919 aged 85.

John Samuel DINGLE
Born 1861 at Liskeard, Cornwall, son of James Henry DINGLE, boot maker, and his wife Rebecca DAVEY. He married Mary EVELY in 1890 at Liskeard and they had one surviving son Percival James DINGLE c1892. With his father he carried on the boot dealership at 20 Fore Street, Liskeard.

Albert William DOBINSON
Born 1877 at Stockton-on-Tees, son of John Robert DOBINSON, agent for sewing machines, pianos and organs, and his wife Isabell Douglass STAINSBY. In 1902 he married Alice GRUNDY who died five years later. He secondly married Elizabeth Wright CAIRNES in 1908 and they had a daughter Vera Douglas DOBINSON 1909. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 260-261 High Street, Sunderland. He died at Hull in 1950 aged 72 and his widow Elizabeth died at Leeds in 1980 aged 91.

Walter DOBINSON
Born 1878 at Stockton-on-Tees, son of John Robert DOBINSON, agent for sewing machines, pianos and organs, and his wife Isabell Douglass STAINSBY. At the age of 23 he was a messenger for a Stockton-on-Tees boot shop. He married Annie Ethel ATKINSON on 5 September 1905 and their children included Dennis Kay DOBINSON 14 June 1906 and Francis Geoffrey DOBINSON 28 February 1910. He managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises on the corner of Hessle Road and Coltman Street, Hull, 1911-13 and was managing a boot shop in Sunderland in 1917 when he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Both Walter and his wife Annie died in 1950 aged in their 70’s.

George Abraham DOUGAN
Born 1893 at Spalding, Lincolnshire, son of Jacob DOUGAN, licensed victualler, and his wife Fanny Smith BOOTHBY. In 1911 he worked in the company’s Spalding premises as a boot shop assistant. In 1915 he enlisted and served in WWI. He died at Hull, Yorkshire, in 1968 aged 74.

William North DRIVER
Born 1863 at Wakefield, the youngest of three children born to Joseph DRIVER and his wife Emma NORTH. By early 1871 at the age of seven, William, and his sister Jane North DRIVER aged 11, worked as boot closers with their father Joseph, a Wakefield boot maker. William worked as a boot maker for some years but by the age of 27 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch in Wakefield. He married Lily WADDINGTON of Castleford in 1895. From the 1890's until the 1920's he managed Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 24 Carlton Street, Castleford, Yorkshire. William was civic minded and well-known in Castleford where he helped establish the town’s free library. His wife Lily died in 1950 aged 75 and he died in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1953 aged 89.

George Thornell DUDLEY
Born 1859 at Willenhall, Staffordshire, son of Christopher DUDLEY, an agent and grocer, and his wife Hannah NEESHAM. George’s father died when he was young and by 1881 he was operating as a boot factor in Leicester. In 1890 he married Annie HEWISON and he died at Leicester in 1901 aged 41.

Henry DUFFIELD
Born 1869 at Kilburn, Yorkshire, son of Thomas DUFFIELD, farm worker, and his wife Elizabeth. At the age of 21, when he was working as a shoemaker, Henry married Annie HARLAND at Leeds. They had two children: Thomas Henry DUFFIELD 1891 (referred to as Henry) and Ethel DUFFIELD 1893. Around 1892 he became the resident manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co shop at Market Weighton and his wife and son assisted in the business. He died at Market Weighton 22 February 1938 aged 68.

Frank DUNN
Born 1878 at Sturry, Kent, son of John DUNN, tea dealer, and his wife Harriet BUSS. In 1901 he worked as a boot salesman assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises on Peascod Street, New Windsor, Berkshire.

Henry Leopold DURHAM
Born 1885 at Bredenbury, Herefordshire, son of William DURHAM, grocer and farm foreman, and his wife Margaret WILLIAMS. In 1901 he worked as an apprentice to John James TYLER, manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 161 Cricklade Street, Cirencester. In 1911 he worked as a boot trade manager in Rochford, Essex. He married Mary Isobel JAMES in 1916 and their children included twins Raymond J DURHAM and Bernard H DURHAM 1922, Geoffrey W DURHAM 1925, and possibly two daughters. He died in 1960 aged 74 and his widow Mary died in 1971 aged 85.

Andrew DYER or Andrew DWYER
Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 50 Mandale Road, Thornaby on Tees, Yorkshire, in 1897.

Francis Walter DYCER
Born 1872 at Milborne Port, Somerset, the son of William John DYCER, glover, and his wife Hannah Jane CROCKER. He married Florence MARTIN in 1895 at Yeovil and from 1901 until at least 1911 he managed the company premises at 26 King Street, Hammersmith. He died at Hammersmith in 1941 aged 69 years and his widow Forence died there several years later.

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