Frederick Thomas Sainsbury was born on 22nd January 1883, the son of Joseph and Mary Sainsbury. Read about Joseph and Mary Sainsbury
Frederick was a house decorator like his father. He married Elsie Gladys Tucker in Thornbury in 1910. Elsie or Gladys (various records show that she used each name at different times) was the daughter of Frank Tucker, who with his brother ran one of Thornbury’s largest building firms, the Tucker Brothers. Read about Frank Tucker and his family
The 1911 Census shows that Frederick and Elsie had been married for less than one year. Frederick was aged 28 and was a house painter. Elsie was 25 years old. At that time they were living in “John Street” which we believe was the house that became 19 Pullins Green. It is possible that Frederick and Elsie lived at that property for most of the first half of their marriage. They were shown as living there in the 1910 Rate Book, the 1911 Census and Electoral Register for John Street or Pullins Green from 1913 to 1935.
In the First World War, Frederick applied for exemption from military service on 16th September 1916. The documents show he was a house decorator living in ‘John Street’ which we know also included Pullins Green. He was aged 33, working for his father who was living in Castle Street. The grounds for exemption were based on the need for Frederick to help his father. He was described as his 63 year old father’s only employee and the only ‘grainer’ in the town. His father relied almost entirely on him and was responsible for keeping his father’s books, a job he couldn’t do for himself. It was noted that Frederick had only been ‘passed for Garrison duty only’. Frederick was granted temporary exemption until 30th December 1916. We don’t what happened after that date.
We note in the list of soldiers sent Christmas presents from the Town in December 1917 there was a F. Sainsbury serving as a 2nd A. M. in Edinburgh. Frederick’s name also appears in the Royal Air Force records which give Elsie Gladys as his next of kin.
We note that when Fred married he was a member of the Apollo Quartet, but we don’t know yet any more about this group.
At some time after 1935, Fred Sainsbury moved to 34 High Street which then had a double door to the side of the house giving access to a yard from where Fred ran his business.
In 1939 Frederick was listed in the trade directory as a painter in Castle Street. This was obviously his business address as the special register compiled in the advent of World War II which was also taken in 1939 shows that he and Elsie were living in the High Street. During the War Frederick was noted to be ‘ARP Service Deputy’.
Frederick died on 12th July 1956 aged about 75 years. Probate was granted to his widow Elsie Gladys Sainsbury. His obituary in the Gazette says that he was a member of the choir in the Congregational Church and of the Thornbury Gleemen. The obituary also mentioned that in his youth he was a ‘brilliant footballer’ playing outside left for Thornbury Town and later a member of the Bowls Club. He also had an interest in local history as he was a member of The Society of Thornbury Folk.
Elsie carried on living in 34 High Street until she died in June 1976 aged 90 years.
Frederick and Elsie had at least four children: Betty on 28th March 1913, Ben on 15th May 1914, Barbara Jean on 30th June 1920 and Patricia May on 23rd February 1922. All four children attended the Council School and went on to the Thornbury Grammar School.
Of their children
Ben Stewart Sainsbury died in 1992 in Rochdale.
Betty Sainsbury married John Saunders at the Congregational Church in August 1936. John was the son of Mr and Mrs H. Saunders of London.
Barbara Jean Sainsbury married John Douglas Cook in Paris on 9th November 1945. John was from Kentucky USA and their children were born in the USA. Barbara Cook died in Ithaca, New York in 2012.
Patricia May Sainsbury married Arthur Donald Pearce of Springfield Farm on 17th September 1951 at what is now the United Reformed Church in Thornbury.
Pat Pearce (nee Sainsbury) has written an interesting account of her wartime memories when she was working at the Food Office in Oriel house, Castle Street. She posted the account on the BBC ‘WW2 The Peoples’ War’ website which has now been archived. Pat died 23rd July 2012 aged 90. We have a copy of this account of her experiences. Read more
Thornbury Museum has been lucky enough to receive a collection of photographs of the Sainsbury family . Click here to see them