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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 T to Z

Walter TAMLIN
Born c1863 in London, son of Alfred TAMLIN and his wife Elizabeth. Walter’s father managed a wholesale shoe shop at 234 High Street, St Pancras for some decades. Walter was a company shareholder and manager of the large Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 42 Corporation Street, Birmingham. He married Harriett HOLMES of Belper in 1889 at Birmingham and their children included Edward Alfred TAMLIN 1891. By 1911 Walter was a shop inspector for the Public Benefit Boot Co. He died in 1935 aged 72 and his widow Harriett died two years later.

Arthur David TAVINDER
Born 1852 at Burton Pidsea, Yorkshire, son of David TAVINDER, farmer, and his wife Elizabeth SUDDABY. He married Susannah WHITE in 1877 and their children included Alice TAVINDER 1879, Annie Elizabeth TAVINDER 1881, Edith Maud TAVINDER 1885, Ethel Maria TAVINDER 1887 and Harold Arthur TAVINDER 1892. By 1891 Arthur managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at The Metropole, Clifford Street, York, continuing in that role into the 1900's. His wife Susannah died at York 1906 and he secondly married Mary Annie CATTANEO in 1910. In 1911 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 15 Market Street, York, with his wife and four children assisting in the business. He died at York 11 February 1923 aged 70.

George TAYLOR
Born around 1873 at Beeches Burnham, Lincolnshire. In 1891 he was a Hull boot shop assistant and lived next door to 16-year-old Laura SNOWDEN, also a boot shop assistant. They married in 1897 at Hull and by 1900 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 38 Market Place, Gainsborough. His wife Laura died in 1902 aged 27 and in 1911 he was managing one of the company premises in Hull. In 1914 he married Ethel FOSTER.  She died at Hull in 1929 aged 45 and he died there in 1936 aged 63.

John Henry TAYLOR
Born 1864 at Nottingham, son of William TAYLOR, hosier, and his wife Jemima LOMAS. It is likely that, with his brother William James TAYLOR, he first worked at Jabez HARKER’s Public Benefit Boot Co establishment in Nottingham. He married Jabez’s daughter, Susannah HARKER in 1889 and their children included William Harker TAYLOR 1891, Nellie Ethel TAYLOR 1892, John Henry TAYLOR 1894 and Frank Jabez TAYLOR 1895. In the 1890's John and Susannah moved to Luton, Bedfordshire, where John managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 21 Park Square until his death in 1907. After John’s death, his widow Susannah managed the premises and following her retirement, lived at Bournemouth from around 1927 until at least 1938.

William Harker TAYLOR
Born 1891 at Manchester, son of John Henry TAYLOR, boot dealer and his wife Susannah HARKER. In 1911 he worked as a clerk for the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1917 at Lambeth he married Ellen Victoria PARKER and in the 1930’s he managed the London boot shop owned by his uncle William Herreden HARKER.

Harry TEAGUE
Born 1893 at Redruth, Cornwall, son of John TEAGUE, tin miner, and his wife Susan Ann PENGLASE. In 1911 he worked as a boot shop assistant at the company’s premises in Redruth. He served in WWI and died in Cornwall in 1933 aged 40.

Fred THISTLETHWAITE
Born 1873 at Burnley, Lancashire, son of John THISTLETHWAITE, currier and leather warehouseman, and his wife Alice WARD. At the turn of the century he lived in Bramley and worked as a boot shop assistant. He married Maud DRIVER in 1905 at Bradford and their children included John THISTLEWAITE c1906 and Dorothy THISTLEWAITE c1909. From at least 1911 to 1919 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co store on the corner of High Street and Gaunt Street, Lincoln.

Harry Alfred THORNTON
Born 1868 at Leicester, son of John Moore THORNTON, hosiery manufacturer, and his wife Sarah Ann BUTLER. He married Alice Maud OLIVER in 1893 at Leicester and their children included Henry Oliver THORNTON 1895, Charles Arnold THORNTON 1896 and Frank Kenneis THORNTON 1898. Harry worked in his father’s hosiery manufacturing business in Leicester and served on the board of Lennards Ltd of Bristol. His wife Alice died at Leicester in 1945 aged 75 and he died there in 1961 aged 92.

Mr THROWER
Held a senior management position with the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1940’s.

Ernest William TOMLINE
Born 1875 at Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, son of John Thomas TOMLINE, Church of England school master and organist, and his wife Harriett. His mother died when he was an infant and Ernest grew up in places where his father taught, Springthorpe, Lincolnshire and Helmsley, Yorkshire. He married Jane Annie W ROBSON in 1905 and their children included William TOMLINE 1906 and Marjorie TOMLINE c1908. In 1901 he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 193 Linthorpe Road, Middlesborough, Yorkshire; 1904-05 he managed the company’s premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool and in 1911 he managed the premises in Sunderland, Co Durham. He died in 1951 aged 75 and his widow Jane died in 1971 aged 87.

John James TYLER
Born 1860 at Upham, Hampshire, son of George TYLER, victualler and farmer, and his wife Harriet Eliza PAGE. He married Agnes Minnie GREENAWAY in 1889 at Cirencester, Gloucestershire, and their children included Agnes Mabel TYLER 1890 and Arthur F TYLER 1893. At the age of 20 he worked for the Public Benefit Boot Co and from 1891 to at least 1901 he managed the company’s premises at 161 Cricklade Street, Cirencester.

Robert Children VANE
Born 1861 at Headcorn, Kent, the son of Caleb VANE, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Rachel CHILDREN. In 1891 he married Alice Matilda ASHMAN but she died the following year. In 1893 he married Sarah Banks PALLING and they had three daughters Hilda Adelaide VANE 1894, Ethel Florence VANE 1896 and Edith Nora VANE 1901. He managed a number of the Public Benefit Boot Co premises over many years including branches at Leeds and Barnsley. He died at Thanet, Kent in 1939 aged 78 and his widow Sarah died in 1951 aged 80.

Harold VAUGHAN
Born 1895 at Doncaster, Yorkshire, son of Isaac VAUGHAN, boot dealer, and his wife Emila SWANN. In 1911 he worked as a shop assistant in the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by his father at 41 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster. During WWI he served in the Yorkshire Light Infantry. In 1940 at Doncaster he married Mildred THEAKSTON. He died the following year aged 46 and his widow Mildred died in 1988 aged 86.

Isaac VAUGHAN
Born 1858 at Llansilin, Denbighshire, Wales, son of Martin VAUGHAN, carter, and his wife Maria ROBERTS. He married Emila SWANN in 1880 at Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, and their children included Martin Llewelyn  VAUGHAN 1881, Nellie VAUGHAN 1882, Florence Kate VAUGHAN 1885, Mabel VAUGHAN 1890, Trevor Williams VAUGHAN 1892, Harold VAUGHAN 1895 and Muriel Ivy V VAUGHAN 1900. Throughout the 1880's and early 1900's he was associated with Public Benefit Boot Co branches in Louth and Grimsby and for some years managed the company’s large premises at 41 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster. In 1911 his daughter Mable and son Harold were assisting in the business at Doncaster. Isaac died at Doncaster in 1929 aged 71 and his widow Emila died there in 1934 aged 75.

Mabel VAUGHAN
Born 1890 at Doncaster, Yorkshire, daughter of Isaac VAUGHAN, boot dealer, and his wife Emila SWANN. In 1911 she worked as a shop assistant in the Public Benefit Boot Co branch managed by her father at 41 Sepulchre Gate, Doncaster. In the 1940’s she ran a shop at Penmaenmawr near Conway, Wales with her widowed sister-in-law Mildred VAUGHAN. Mabel did not marry and died and died in Wales in 1949 aged 58.

George Herbert VICCARS
Born 1858 at Leicester, son of Thomas VICCARS, woollen merchant, and his wife Catherine. In 1890 at Leicester he married ‘the girl next door’ Alice Maud BAINES and their children included Catherine Mary VICCARS 1891, Reginald Baines VICCARS 1895 and Marjorie Warner VICCARS 1899. George worked as a commercial clerk and manager with Leicester manufacturers. He was a business colleague of the Lennard brothers and was a shareholder when Lennards Ltd was incorporated in 1896.

Francis Edward VICK
Born 1866 at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight, son of Charles Richard VICK, clerk, and his wife Mary SAYERS. He married Alice Clement CARD in 1896 at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and their children included Katherine Norah VICK 1897 and Eric Hubert VICK 1902. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 1 Wellington Street, Teignmouth, Devon with his wife Alice assisting in the business. She died at Bournemouth in 1947 aged 81 and he died there in 1949 aged 82.

W H WAINHOUSE
Manager of the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 18 Market Place, Barton-on-Humber, Lincolnshire, in 1879.

Basil WALKER
In the 1950's he managed the large Benefit Footwear premises on the corner of St Peter's Street and Ormaston Road, Derby. The company occupied this site for more than 70 years and there were three busy sales floors. Basil's daughter Jackie also worked at this branch. In the 1960's he opened up his own retail outlet in Derby and sold quality imported footwear.

Robert James WALKER
Born 1854 at Leicester, youngest son of Robert WALKER, a prominent hosiery manufacturer, and his wife Elizabeth ROBERTS. Robert Jr and his brothers Theodore WALKER and William Ralph WALKER continued in the family business under the name of Robert Walker & Sons. By the 1880’s this was the largest hosiery company in the Leicester region with goods exported worldwide. In 1897 the company name was change to Wolsey, after Cardinal Wolsey whose body was buried in Leicester Abbey, near to the site of their main office. In 1910, the company moved to new premises at Abbey Meadows (which are still the company's headquarters today) and in 1920 the company was incorporated. Robert James WALKER was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a director of both the Public Benefit Boot Co and Lennards Limited. He died 19 August 1939 aged 84.

William Henry WALKER
Born 1819 at Bradmore, Nottinghamshire, he married Anne Jane BREWIN in 1846 at Leicester. By 1871 he had built an extensive business manufacturing boots and hosiery in Leicester and at that time employed 1,200 people. He was a shareholder and director of Lennard Bros and died in 1905 aged 86.

Walter Bernard WAITE
Born 1884 at Upton Loval, Wiltshire, son of Herbert David WAITE, cloth weaver, and his wife Eliza MORTIMER. He married Mabel Beatrice GANE in 1908 and their children included Doris Mabel WAITE 1909, Walter R WAITE 1912, Joyce E WAITE 1914 and Gwendolen O WAITE 1917. In 1901 he was a boot shop assistant at Frome, Somerset and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 16 Catherine Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire. His wife died in Somerset in 1966 aged 83 and he died there in 1970 aged 84.

William Frederick WAPLES
Born 1877 at Marylebone, London, he married Florence Rebecca GRAIN in 1902 and they had a daughter Florence Irene WAPLES 1907 in Manchester, Lancashire. He worked initially as a boot shop assistant in Lincolnsire and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 109 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He died at Ilkeston in 1950 aged 72.

Alfred John WARD
Born abt 1879 at Leicester, son of Samuel Charles WARD, shoe warehouseman and boot factor, and his wife Caroline LENNARD. In 1911 he worked as a boot repairer and dealer with Lennard Bros in Leicester.

Florence Emma WARD
Born 1881 at Leicester, daughter of Samuel Charles WARD, shoe warehouseman and boot factor, and his wife Caroline LENNARD. At the age of 19 she worked as a machinist in the Lennard Bros shoe manufacturing business.

Frank Ernest WARD
Born 1890 at Knighton, Leicestershire, son of Samuel Charles WARD, shoe warehouseman and boot factor, and his wife Caroline LENNARD. In 1911 he worked as a boot repairer at Sheffield.

Fred WARD
Born 14 January1875 at Kendall, Westmorland, he married Phoebe GRIEVESON at Chester-le-Street, Co Durham, in 1901 and they had a daughter Doris WARD 1902. At the age of 16 he worked as a Kendal boot dealer’s assistant and from at least 1901 to 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 85-87 Front Street, Chester-le-Street.

Samuel Charles WARD
Born around 1850 at Leicester, son of Samuel WARD, hairdresser, and his wife Mary Ann PRESTON. In 1873 he married Caroline LENNARD, daughter of Frederick LENNARD and his wife Mary GANT. Their children included Harry WARD 1875, Alice Mary Ellen WARD 1878, Alfred John WARD c1879, Florence Emma WARD 1881, Margaret Ethel WARD 1883, Samuel Charles WARD 1885, Clara WARD 1889 and Frank Ernest WARD 1890. He worked in the Leicester shoe warehousing business of Lennard Bros and in 1911 he operated as a boot factor in Sheffield. Three of his sons, Alfred, Samuel and Frank, followed him into the boot trade, operating as boot repairers and dealers.

Samuel Charles WARD
Born 1885 at Leicester, son of Samuel Charles WARD, shoe warehouseman and boot factor, and his wife Caroline LENNARD. In 1911 he worked as a boot repairer and dealer with Lennard Bros in Leicester.

Florence WARDLE
Born 1874 at Hull, Yorkshire, daughter of James Whitworth WARDLE, yeast merchant, and his wife Margaret SUTTON. In 1901 she worked as a boot shop assistant in Hull and she married in 1904.

Alfred William WARRY
Born 1876 at London, the son of George Augustus WARRY, carpenter and joiner, and his wife Emily WORTHINGTON. At the age of 13 he worked as a shop assistant and ten years later managed the Public Benefit Boot Co branch at 110 High Road, Chiswick. He married Edith Eleanor SMITH in 1897 and their children were Dorothy Eleanor May WARRY 1898, Sydney Alfred WARRY 1901 and John William WARRY 1904. The familly immigrated to Canada in 1906. His wife Edith died in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1946 aged 69 and he died there in 1950 aged 73.

Arthur Pratt WASS
Born 1875 at Sudbury, Suffolk, son of Alfred WASS, labourer and painter, and his wife Maria BROWN. He married Alice Maud PALMER in 1900 and their children included Arol Charles Pratt WASS 1902, Eva Maude WASS c1906 and Alice Muriel WASS 1909. From the age of 16 and for at least 10 years he worked as a boot shop assistant in Sudbury. In 1911 he worked as a boot and shoe salesman at the company’s premises at 5 York Road, Battersea, London. He died at Wandsworth, London in 1919 aged 44.

Mr F WATLEY
Worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co manufacturing facility at St Paul’s Street, Leeds until it closed in the 1930’s.

William Richard WEBB
Born 1862 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, son of John WEBB, machinist, and his wife Ann JONES. He married Harriett Jane BOWDEN in 1887 and their children included Ronald Spencer Glanvil WEBB 1888 and Ida Beatrice Annie WEBB 1889. From 1881 to 1891 he worked as a clerk and manager in a Kingswood shoe factory, and from 1901 to 1911 he managed the company’s retail premises at 46 Regent Street, Kingswood, Bristol.

George Edmund WEDGE
Born 1877 at Dudley, Staffordshire, son of George WEDGE, iron furnace worker, and his wife Ann MASON. At the turn of the century he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 78 Lynn Street, West Hartlepool. In the early 1900's he was a district inspector for the company and in 1920 he was appointed a director of the Public Benefit Boot Co. In 1924 he acted as best man at the wedding of the company's managing director, Brow DICKINSON.

Alfred Edward WELLER
orn 1886 at Bramshott, Hampshire, son of William WELLER, domestic gardener, and his wife Sarah Ann JUPP. He married Florence Caroline GOODWIN in 1907 and their children included Eva Marion Laura WELLER 1908 and Eric Plato WELLER 1914. In 1911 at the age of 24 he managed the company’s boot shop at 65 East Street, Chichester, Sussex and in 1916, their new premises at 1 East Street, Chichester. He served in the RAMC during WWI and died at Chichester in 1971 aged 84.

John Paice WESTMUCKETT
Born 1877 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, son of John Paice WESTMUCKETT, naval officer, and his wife Mary. He married Martha Elizabeth BACON in 1902 and their children included Kathleen Elizabeth WESTMUCKETT 1907 and Phyllis May WESTMUCKETT 1910. He worked firstly as a boot shop assistant in Bournemouth and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 106 High Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire. He died at Portsmouth in 1954 aged 77.

Arthur WESTON
Born 1867 at Derby, son of Henry WESTON, foundry worker, and his wife Emma JACKSON. He married Annie BARKER in 1896 and their children included Ida WESTON 1898 and Joseph Henry WESTON 1900. He first worked at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises in Derby before going on to manage a branch in Warwickshire and in 1911 the company’s premises at 95 High Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Sir Arthur Frederick Pullman Wheeler portrait

Sir Arthur Frederick Pullman WHEELER
Born 1900 at Leicester, son of Arthur WHEELER (later Sir Arthur WHEELER), stockbroker, and his wife Mary PULLMAN. He was a highly regarded director of a number of public companies. In 1929 he joined the Benefit Footwear board (as Mr A F P Wheeler) at the time when Gresham Trust Ltd, of which we was then managing director, first acquired a financial interest in Benefit Footwear. He continued on the Benefit Footwear board until at least 1947 and died at his home in Ulverscroft, Leicestershire 16 December 1964 aged 64.

Samuel Slater WHITFIELD
Born 1853 at Wetherby, Yorkshire, son of Thomas WHITFIELD, joiner and builder. He first worked as a grocer and draper before becoming a boot maker and dealer in Wetherby. He was a shareholder in the Public Benefit Boot Co and continued as a boot dealer in Wetherby into the 1900's.

Tennyson WHITEHEAD
Born 1870 at Saddleworth, Yorkshire, the son of Samuel WHITEHEAD, woollen finisher, and his wife Jane ROBERTS. In 1890 at Saddleworth he married Mary Jane BOTTOMLEY and their children included Sam WHITEHEAD 1890 and Arnold Sydney WHITEHEAD, 1895. From 1891 until his death in 1905 at the age of 35 he worked as a nightwatchman, warehouseman and packer for Lennards Brothers, boot manufacturers, Leicester, trading as the Public Benefit Boot Co.

W J WHITING
Mr Whiting joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1926 and managed one of the company shops before he was appointed inspector of the of the midlands and southern district in 1935. His primary responsibility in this role was to ensure that the company’s policies were carried out consistently throughout his region. He joined the Army in September 1941 and served with the Middle East Forces.  He returned to the company in January 1946. Further information is being sought on Mr Whiting.

Leonard Wilfred WHYBROW
Born 1895 at West Ham, Essex, son of Frederick William WHYBROW, compositor, and his second wife. At the age of 16 he worked as a shop assistant at one of the company’s premises in London. He served in WWI and married Violet E DICKSON in 1928. Their children included Peter J L WHYBROW 1932 and Jean S M WHYBROW 1936. He died in 1957 aged 62 and his widow Violet died in 1983 aged 88.

John William WILKES
Born 1867 at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, son of Amos WILKES, gardener and domestic servant, and his wife Eleanor MITCHELL. He married Julia May ELWELL in 1893 at Wolverhampton and their children included Geoffrey William WILKES 1894, Florence May WILKES 1898, Olive Constance WILKES 1899, Ethel Margaret WILKES 1901 Edith Mary WILKES 1903, Allan Hubert WILKES 1905 and Arthur Donald WILKES 1906. In the early 1890's he managed the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at 55 Church Street, Bilston, Staffordshire. He died at Leicester 25 October 1932 aged 65 and his widow Julia died there 25 July 1936 aged 66.

Edward Arthur WILLETT
Born 1878 at Nantwich, Cheshire, son of Arthur WILLETT, clothing factory foreman, and his wife Harriet BLACKEMORE. He married Selina Grace GIBSON in 1905 and their children included James WILLETT c1909 and Olive WILLETT 1911. In 1901 he worked as a boot salesman on Peascod Street, Windsor and in 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 21 Bridge Street, Spalding, Lincolnshire. His wife died in Lancashire in 1939 and he died there the following year aged 62.

Mary WILLIAMS
Born c1857 at St Ives, Cornwall, daughter of William WILLIAMS, master shipwright, and his wife Harriet James Couch ROBERTS. In 1911 she was unmarried at the age of 54 and acted as an agent and manageress for Lennards Ltd premises at Fore Street, Cornwall, as she had done for at least the previous 15 years.

Thomas WILLSTEAD
Born 1861 at Drybrook, Gloucestershire, son of William WILLSTEAD, collier, and his wife Mary Ann SHIN. He married Fanny SAVEGAR in 1881 and their children included George WILLSTEAD 1883, William James WILLSTEAD 1885, Florence WILLSTEAD 1890, Albert Thomas WILLSTEAD 1894, Bertha WILLSTEAD 1896 and Edith Louisa WILLSTEAD 1901. He operated an outfitter’s shop on High Street, Cinderford, Gloucestershire, and became an agent for the Public Benefit Boot Co. He died at Cinderford 23 January 1929 aged 67 and his widow Fanny died 21 September 1931 aged 68.

W M WISEMAN
He worked for Benefit Footwear in the 1960's and was admitted to the company's life assurance scheme in April 1967.

Thomas Cole WONNACOTT
Born 1878 at Tavistock, Devon, son of Thomas WONNACOTT, draper, and his wife Eliza TOMES. He married Florence Gertrude TREBLE 1906 and they had a son Norman Thomas Percival WONNACOTT 1908 at Bristol. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 4 Long Wyre Street, Colchester, Essex. He later worked for a Bristol clothing company and served with the Royal Engineers in WWI.

Sir Edward WOOD
Born 16 January 1839 at Derby, son of William WOOD, engine smith, and his wife Emma PARKES. Edward’s family moved to Leicester around 1850 and in 1861 he married Ann SEWELL of Uppingham. Their children included Annie Eliza WOOD 1863, Catherine Sewell WOOD 1865 and Louisa Emma WOOD 1866. In the 1860's he worked briefly in the footwear trade with Pickering & Stratham before establishing his own business. In 1878 he sold his boot and shoe business (E Wood & Co) to three colleagues – Messrs Freeman, Hardy and Willis and he continued on as chairman and managing director of the new limited company. Under his guidance, Freeman, Hardy and Willis grew significantly over the following 40 years and by the 1920’s there were more than 800 retail outlets around the country. Edward was the Mayor of Leicester on four occasions and was knighted in 1906. He died 22 September 1917 aged 78.

Thomas Edward WOOD
Born c1882 at St Helens, Lancashire, son of Thomas Aloycious WOOD, schoolmaster, and his wife Ellen NUGENT. He married Ethel BARKER in 1906 at Stoke upon Trent and their children included Thomas Bernard WOOD 1906 and Harold Byron WOOD 1908. In 1911 he managed the company’s premises at 97 Eastbank Street, Southport.

Sir James Thomas Woodhouse portraitSir James Thomas WOODHOUSE MP (Lord Terrington)
Born 16 July 1852 at Flamborough, Yorkshire, the eldest son of James Thomas WOODHOUSE, fisherman, and his wife Dorothy MARTON. He studied law at the University of London and in 1876 he married Jessie REED of Hull. Their children included Harold James Selbourne WOODHOUSE 1877 (later Sir Harold), Walter Herbert WOODHOUSE 1878, Arthur Montague WOODHOUSE 1880, Gladys WOODHOUSE 1882, Kathleen Jessie WOODHOUSE 1884 and Horace Martin WOODHOUSE 1887 (later Sir Horace). He was appointed Mayor of Hull in 1891 and sat in Parliament 1895-1966 as Liberal member for Huddersfield. Sir James was appointed chairman of the first board of directors of the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1897. He died at his London residence in Regent’s Park 8 February 1921 aged 68.

Daniel Thomas WOODMAN
Born 1856 at Oldham, Gloucestershire, son of Thomas WOODMAN, coal miner, and his wife Ann WEEKS. He married Harriet BALL in 1878 and their children included Florence WOODMAN 1879, Martha Elizabeth WOODMAN 1880, Sarah Ella WOODMAN 1881, William Ewart Thomas WOODMAN 1886 and Annie Lavinia WOODMAN 1891. For many years Daniel managed a boot dealership on High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire, with assistance from his son William and his daughters Florence and Sarah. He died in 1923 and the Public Benefit Boot Co and Benefit Footwear continued to trade at that address until around 1960.

Florence WOODMAN
Born 1879 at Altofts, Yorkshire, daughter of Daniel Thomas WOODMAN, boot dealer, and his wife Harriet BALL. In 1901 she worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises managed by her father at 38 High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire.

Sarah Ella WOODMAN
Born 1881 at Normanton, Yorkshire, daughter of Daniel Thomas WOODMAN, boot dealer, and his wife Harriet BALL. In 1911 she worked as a shop assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises managed by her father at 38 High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire.

William Ewart Thomas WOODMAN
Born 1881 at Normanton, Yorkshire, son of Daniel Thomas WOODMAN, boot dealer, and his wife Harriet BALL. He worked as a boot dealer’s assistant at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises managed by his father at 38 High Street, Normanton, Yorkshire. In 1920 at Normanton he married Jessie COPLEY. He died in 1970 aged 84.

John WOOLLEY
Born 1877 at Sheffield, Yorkshire, he married Gertrude WOOLLEN in 1902 at Sheffield. They had a son Clifford WOOLLEY 1904 at Chesterfield, Derbyshire where John managed the company’s premises at 21 Stephenson Place from at least 1911 until 1925.

Walter WORSNOP
Born 1882 at Armley, Yorkshire, son of John Pickard WORSNOP, boot and shoemaker, and his wife Mary Elizabeth LEE. He married Mary Hannah HIGGINS in 1906 at Pontefract, Yorkshire. He was a Lennards Ltd shareholder and managed a boot and shoe business at Pontefract.

Arthur G WRIGHT
Mr Wright joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1932 and managed one of the company shops before he was appointed inspector of the of the Leeds district in 1937. His primary responsibility as an inspector was to ensure that the company’s policies were carried out consistently throughout his region. He joined the RAF in October 1941, was mentioned in despatches and attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant.  He returned to the company in March 1946. Further information is being sought on Mr Wright.

Harry C WRIGHT
Born 1907 at Hull, son of Robert WRIGHT, hotel porter, and his wife Mary. He joined the Public Benefit Boot Co in 1919 and first managed the Public Benefit premises at 83 Newland Avenue, Hull and then the branch at The Moorhead, Sheffield. He likely married Lillian A SUDDABY in 1934 at Hull. In 1937 he was appointed inspector of the western district (encompassing Lancashire and Northern Wales). His primary role was to ensure that the company’s policies were carried out consistently throughout his region. He served the company for 55 years.

Harry Edgar WRIGHT
Born 1897 at Crewe, Cheshire, the youngest of three sons of Frank WRIGHT, linotype print operator, and his wife Florence STAWPERT. His mother died when he was an infant and in 1900 his father married Ann SIMISTER. In 1932 he joined Benefit Footwear and energetically built up the extensive shoe repairing operations of the company in Leeds. He was affectionately known as H.E.W. and in 1941 was a founding member of the National Association of Shoe Repair Factories (NASRF). In 1945 he was elected president of this organization that was formed to work with the wartime government to obtain ongoing supplies of leather, necessary for the repair of army boots. Under his management the Benefit Central Repairs Factory was responsible for the repair of more than 1,000 pairs of army boots per week during wartime. He died in April 1960.

Herbert WRIGHT
Born 21 May 1910 at Hull, son of Robert WRIGHT, hotel porter, and his wife Mary. From 1919 to 1923 he worked as an errand boy at the Public Benefit Boot Co premises at Prospect Street, Hull. In 1931 at Hull he married Hilda ABBEY and their children include Kenneth WRIGHT 1931, Norman WRIGHT 1935, Joan WRIGHT 1937 and Gordon WRIGHT 1942. He died at Hull aged 81.

Benjamin YEATES
Born 1833 at Monmouth, son of Benjamin YEATES, agricultural labourer, and his wife Elizabeth ELIAS. He married Fanny NELMES in 1866 and their children included Alfred B YEATES 1866, Clara Elizabeth YEATES 1868, Emily Louisa YEATES 1869, Frances Millicent YEATES 1872, Edith Helen YEATES 1874, Francis Harold YEATES 1876, Sidney Charles YEATES 1879, Florence Helena YEATES 1881 and Ella May YEATES 1885. Benjamin managed a boot dealership on Monnow Street, Monmouth, and following his death 15 January 1890 aged 56, his widow and children carried on the business. His widow Fanny died 12 February 1917 aged 74.

James YOUNG
Born 1878 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, son of James YOUNG, tanner’s labourer, and his wife Clara Ann HICKS. He married Elizabeth Maud BLAKE in 1904 at Bristol. In 1911 he worked as a boot and shoe salesman at the company’s premises at 22 Market Street. Frome, Somerset. He was still living at this address when he died 7 March 1929 aged 51.