The family of Lt. Col Frank Page DSO

It’s not often that I receive two messages in my inbox within the space of half an hour relating to the same family, but that’s what happened on Friday with a request firstly for information on Lt. Col. Frank Page DSO (1877-1917) and then his elder son, Anthony Frank Page (1908-1988), both of whom appear in my extended family tree, but with little attached detail. Clearly there was a rush on for info on these people! My curiosity thus aroused, I spent the weekend looking in more depth at Frank and his family, and this is what I found.

Frank Page was born in Hertford in 1877, the second son of Alfred George Page, a grocer from Besthorpe in Norfolk who founded a game food manufacturing company which still exists as Gilbertson and Page, dog food manufacturers since 1873, and by Royal Warrant since 1884 according to their website here. Despite a lack of information in his Who’s Who entry, a Google search reveals a great deal about Frank’s education, career and death, perhaps the best source of information being the webpage about him on the Richard Hale School website here.

As for his family, on 22nd March 1905 at St.Andrews in Hertford Frank married Margaret Payne Farley (1884-1941), the daughter of architect and building contractor James Farley by his wife Mary Jane Payne. They had two sons and a daughter :

The eldest child was daughter Joyce Margaret Page, born in Hertford in 1905. In 1933 she became the second wife of Tom Edward Tunnicliffe Mattocks (b. 1904), son of a jeweller from Parkstone in Dorset. He served as a Temporary Lieutenant in the RNVR during World War 2 and died in Bournemouth in 1952. They had a son and a daughter.

The second child and elder son was Anthony Frank Page, who was born in Hertford on 17th November 1908. He became an advertising executive residing in London, where he probably met illustrator and fashion stylist Betty Kathleen Pyke (1903-?), first wife of my distant cousin Terence Sladen Justyne Combe Prentis (1903-1946) who was also working in advertising around that time. Betty and Prentis divorced and she was living with Anthony in Seamore Place, Mayfair at the time of the 1939 register and they married the following year. There were no children. However, it may be of interest to note that Betty was a first cousin of the eccentric food scientist and television personality Dr Magnus Pyke (1908-1992) who graced our screens in the 1970s. Anthony died in West Sussex in 1988.

The youngest child was Rodney Graham Page, born in Hertford on 30th Jun 1911. Educated at Oxford and London universities, he became a solicitor, served in World War 2, and was elected Conservative M.P. for Crosby in 1953. He was appointed a Privy Councillor in 1972 and was Knighted in 1980. He died the following year and in the resulting high profile by-election was replaced in Parliament by Shirley Williams who became the first M.P. for the Social Democrats. In 1934 Graham had married Hilda Agatha Dixon, daughter of schoolmaster Edgar John Dixon by his wife Annie Emily Mace. According to Who’s Who they had a son and a daughter. The daughter married in London in 1968 and has several children, but the name of the son I have so far been unable to identify.

I hope the above observations are of use to anyone researching this family.


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