The Welney Website


 Frank Giles


Frank Giles died on Friday 6 April 2001 after a short illness. The funeral service and burial took place at St Mary's Church, Welney on Wednesday 18 April 2001 at 12 noon.

His son Roger Giles wrote this obituary for the Welney News, Issue No.21

"My father came to live in Welney some twenty-five years ago. He had visited Welney over a period of time going back to 1959 when I first arrived in this village. For several years until he retired at sixty five years old, once a month he and my mother would carry out a three hundred mile round trip. They would arrive at 7.30am to 8am having got up at unearthly hours and they would spend part of the day in Welney, setting off back about midday to visit my sister at Southend. Often Ron Padgett would have to doctor their car to get them back!

Having been born at Barnet, my father was brought up on the whole by (his own words) a wonderful couple who fostered some twenty-five boys at one time through their teenage years. This home he had was at Eastbourne. When he left them he headed to London to try and get a roof over his head.  He registered with an employment agency dealing with domestic appointments. They sent him round to several clients whom he duly visited and they asked him where he had come from, he said Eastbourne. They then asked if he came by train, he replied no, by push bike.

He began to like the big city and eventually got a job as a pageboy with a family called 'Lamerts'. He was to stay with them for several years graduating to footman and eventually to butler over a household that included some ten to twelve domestic staff, cooks, kitchen maids, lady's maids, etc. If you had seen the program on television 'Upstairs and Downstairs' you would understand!

He then met my mother who was a cook in similar circumstances next door, having worked her way up like my father, her mother having died when she was very young in Sheffield. He eventually married my mother. The Lamert family very generously gave them the run of their house and the use of their limousine for the wedding. His guardian from his original home was his best man.

He worked for many years for a Colonel Bulkley who was a Patron of Guys Hospital. He had a house in London and a house built off the cliffs overlooking the bay at Coverack in Cornwall with an ocean going yacht in bay where he entertained his friends and business associates.

His most famous employer was RAB Butler who was Chancellor, Foreign Secretary and Minister of Education during the period he worked for him. For my father, this meant functions at Number Eleven Downing Street, Stansted Hall Essex and also Gatcombe Park. He organised dinner parties for visitors including Heads of State, Presidents, Prime Ministers, King and Queen, etc. Once when delivering RAB's briefcase with very important notes for a speech in the Houses of Parliament, he was mistaken for a spy by a new security guard and was locked up in the basement for several hours!

He was always happy with his life and he never had much money but both him and my mother were determined to give myself and my sister a better start than they had and they certainly did that. They had a tremendous influence on my son, which has stood him in good stead in shaping his education and life career.

My father enjoyed listening to Radio Norfolk where he heard about the 'Best News Letter' competition, which resulted in Welney winning easily ahead of the other two hundred entrants.

One of his mottoes was "Most things are okay in moderation".


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