Author Topic: Frank Smitherman M.B.E.  (Read 112 times)

Offline castle261

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Re: Frank Smitherman M.B.E.
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2021, 06:54:18 PM »
It has grown smaller. I was talking to my daughter - about that vacant land at Castle / Luton Road.
She said ` they are building on it now - maybe a block of flats `.

Offline johnfilmer

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Re: Frank Smitherman M.B.E.
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2021, 06:05:23 PM »
I’ll do a proper piece under a different heading, but Filmer Francis Smitherman, gate and hurdle maker, worked for his father in the woodyard. He was Harold’s elder brother, and my grandfather.


He and his wife Ada had a greengrocers shop at 168 Luton Road between about 1905 and 1922. They then moved to 205 Castle Road, using the ground floor of 207 as a small general shop, and letting the upstairs flat.


Filmer died in an accident in 1932. Ada kept the shop until her death in 1944.


Small world.

Offline castle261

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Re: Frank Smitherman M.B.E.
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 11:01:53 AM »
Interesting - a Filmer owned the wood yard - I remember the wood yard well - as a boy.
Living at the top of Castle Road - I used to walk sometimes into Chatham that way.
I have often wondered why the wood yard site - has never been built on - any ideas ?
On one of my journeys Mr. Augers cows were driven from his farm at Snodhust Bottom,
to the slaughter house behind Luton Road, to the now fish shop. (along the broad alley
between Luton Road & Henry Street - its still there) - Now Smitherman - there was a shop
of that name in castle Road - opposite the STEPS -  ? - any relation ?

I left Castle Road in June 1940 - for Wales - never to return to that area.

Offline johnfilmer

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Frank Smitherman M.B.E.
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2021, 06:26:55 PM »
 From Luton Road to H.M. Abassador

 
Frank Smitherman (1913-1993) was, I'm told, my mother's favourite cousin.

 
His father was Harold Clifton Smitherman (1891-1981), one of the seven children of Francis Thomas and Jane Smitherman, who lived at 152 Luton Road, Chatham. This house is the one next to the empty space on the corner of Castle Road, that was the family's woodyard at the time of his birth and for many years after.

 
Harold went into the army, and in the 1911 Census was a Sapper (electrician) stationed on Malta.

 
He married in 1912, and Frank was born in Bombay in 1913.

 
During his service in WW1 Harold went first to Mesopotamia and then India, being promoted through the ranks and then being commisioned as a second Lieutenant in 1917.

 
He and his wife and two younger children went back to India in 1924, leaving Frank living with his Grandparents. On the passenger list they gave their home address as 152 Luton Road. Frank attended the Math School – the fees a perk of Harold's Indian Army posting?

 
In 1933 Frank left for Rangoon to join the Indian Police. He married Frances Calvert.

 
As yet it is unclear to me what his movements were after the war, but his wife and two children returned from Bombay in 1945, and then travelled to Hong Kong in 1949 probably to meet him, as he was appointed The King's Vice Consul to Amoy in early 1949.

 
His MBE is mentioned in the Confirmation by the Queen of his 1949 posting taken from the London Gazette of 1953.

 
Another gap in my knowledge is when and why he was awarded the MBE – any help out there?

 
His subsequent postings include Rome (1955), Khartoum as Consul to the Republic of Sudan (1958), Consul-General for parts of France, based at Bourdeaux (1967), a spell of Admin at the Embassy to USSR (1969), and finally Ambassador to Togo and Dahomy (West Africa) in 1970.

 
His daughter Ann Frances married in Sudan in 1960 to Sir Jocelyn Charles Roden Buxton. They went on to have three daughters.

 
Harold retired from the Indian Army as a Lt-Colonel.