The HENTON family – Captain HENTON, Albert Ernest (1870-1933) and Captain HENTON, Frank Kenneth (1871-1929)

Charles John Henton (c1834-1921), a commercial traveller who eventually set up a successful business as a saddler, and Matilda Rebecca Leftwich (1842-1919) married at Holy Trinity, Lee, 1866.  They had children Charles Leftwich (1867-1868), Percy (1869-1870), Albert Ernest (1870-1933), Frank Kenneth (1871-1929) and Rose Matilda (1877-1964).  Charles and Matilda moved in with his parents at 268 Westminster Road, Lambeth.  In around 1875 they moved to a house of their own – Belvedere Lodge, Upper Richmond Road, Putney where they lived until 1885.  They then moved to Cumberland House, Richmond Road, Kew, keeping 5 servants.  At some point between 1901 and 1909 Charles and Matilda moved to Leicester, possibly to join Rose Matilda and her husband who settled in Knighton shortly after their marriage in 1904.

Charles and Matilda were members of the St Martin’s congregation in 1909 and in 1911 lived at Ragdale, Knighton Grange Road.

Albert Ernest Henton, the first surviving son of Charles and Matilda, was born on 7th January 1870 and baptised with his brother Frank .at St George the Martyr, Southwark, on 5th December 1875.  In September 1885 he was admitted to New College, Eastbourne, but ‘went on leave’ and did not return, having been kept at home by his parents.  This didn’t seem to affect his educational progress as by 1891 he was a student engineer but changed his mind and instead trained as a doctor, lodging at 89 Portland Road and attending St Mary’s College.

On 22 April 1897 Albert married doctor’s daughter Helena Louise Kent (1873-1937) by license at St John the Evangelist, Ladbroke Grove.  They moved to Morningside, Edinburgh, while Albert continued his training at the university, before returning to West Kensington and then Putney and eventually Steyning.  Albert worked for two months at St Mary’s Hospital, during which Helena lived with Albert’s parents.  When Albert returned, Helena refused to live with him and went to live at Barnes.  In July 1903 he qualified, and went on a voyage to China and Japan with a view to becoming a ship’s doctor.  On his return he discovered that Helena had been living with a man called Fiori Albert Colarossi at Steyning, near Brighton.  Fiori Albert Colarossi (1866-1946) was the brother of Angelo Colarossi, the model for the famous statue Eros.  They had been calling themselves Mr and Mrs Henton.

Albert filed for divorce on 26th February 1904, which was uncontested and granted on 16th January 1905.  Helena married Fiori later that year.

Albert did become Surgeon on the SS Glenshields (Glen Line) and resident casualty in-dresser at St Mary’s Hospital. LSA 1903.  He married fishmonger’s daughter Edith Alice Browne (1882-1954) at Bath Registry Office in 1905.  Together they had a son, Reginald Charles Leftwich (1910-), who was born at The Limes, 46 Geraldine Road, East Hill, Wandsworth.  By 1911 they had all moved to Ashford.  Albert worked as a general physician and surgeon.

Albert joined the RAMC at Leicester Town Hall on 15th May 1915, as temporary lieutenant.  On 1st April 1918 he joined the RAF at Hampstead as temporary Captain (medical).  He then served with the RAF in a variety of hospitals and depots until 8th July 1925, when he resigned his commission and was permitted to retain his rank.  During this time Albert and Edith lived at Ragdale, Clifford Grove, Ashford.  In 1930 they moved to The Old House, Naughton, Suffolk, where Albert died on 30th December 1933.  His estate was valued at just £175.  Edith lived on at Naughton until her death in 1954.

Younger brother Frank Kenneth Henton was born on 5th February 1871 and baptised at St George the Martyr, Southwark, on 5th December 1875 along with Albert.  Upon leaving school he became a student veterinary surgeon, living with parents.  In 1893 Frank took part in Hampton Court and Ditton annual regatta.  He came first in his heat for the Gentleman’s Double Sculls, with sister Rose Matilda as cox – they came third overall.

170 Brompton Road - Frank Henton (1)

Frank purchased a veterinary business from Mr H G Rogers, MRCVS, in 1898.  The premises, at 170 Brompton Road Kensington, also included a shoeing forge. In December 1899 Frank subscribed to the Telegraph Soldiers’ Widows and Orphans Fund.  He gave 42 shillings, his clerk Cecil Welbank Smith (1870-1951) gave a shilling and his cat Minnie gave half a shilling.  Welch, Harry and Bill (possibly Frank’s dogs) gave a shilling a piece.  Cecil also lived with Frank at 170 Brompton Road.  Frank had business premises in Lambeth (58a York Road) and at Howley Place, Belvedere Road, and another shoeing forge at 43 Chapel Place, Brompton.  By 1904 Frank had moved a short way away to 9 Beauchamp Place, where he lived until the start of the war.

9 Beauchamp Place - Frank Henton
9 Beauchamp Place, Kensington

He was a member of the Freemasons between 1899 and 1902. In 1899 Frank owned a pedigree Borzoi named Imperial Caesar, which he showed at Crufts in 1904.

On 11th August 1914 Frank was appointed temporary Lieutenant in the Army Veterinary Cops (which later became the Royal Army Veterinary Corps). The AVC cared for the many animals used by the army during the first world war, mostly horses but also mules and pigeons.  He arrived in France on 23rd September 1914 and would have treated a large number of sick and wounded animals, perhaps at the Front as part of a mobile unit evacuating animals or perhaps at one of the many veterinary hospitals.  August 1915 Frank was promoted to Captain.  At the end of the war the Quartermaster General wrote that the “high standard which [the Royal Army Veterinary Corps] has maintained at home and throughout all theatres has resulted in a reduction of animal wastage, an increased mobility of mounted units and a mitigation of animal suffering un-approached in any previous military operation.”  Frank relinquished his commission on 8th April 1919, retaining the rank of Captain.

After the war Frank changed professions.  There was reduced demand for vets as the transition from horse to motor transport was gathering pace, which may have influenced his decision to become a merchant.  During the early 1920s Frank visited Gibraltar, Morocco and Casablanca in this capacity.  In 1923 Frank was granted a patent for trouser stretchers.

Frank died on 29th April 1929 while living at 87 Cambridge Gardens North Kensington, leaving £765 to his brother Albert.  He is buried at Kensal Green cemetery.

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