Winterbourne Family History Online...        

Return to Biographies

Henry John Wadlow - Frenchay Schoolmaster from 1894 to 1923

Seen here giving gardening instruction to the boys of Frenchay National School

Henry John Wadlow came to Frenchay, at the age of 31, with his wife Laura.

His first entry in the school diary reads... April 1894, I took charge of the school this morning.

He commenced his duties at the Frenchay National School at £100 per annum.



In July 1901 there was an outbreak of Scarlet Fever and the school was closed for a fortnight. Laura contracted the disease and died in her home at the schoolhouse.

A plaque can still be seen on the classroom wall and reads... In Memorium. LL Wadlow 1901.

Their son, Harry, born 26 February 1895, was a pupil at the Frenchay school until December 1908 and went on the Bristol Grammer School, where he made a name for himself as a fine sportsman.


At the outbreak of the Great War, Harry enlisted in the ASC and was promoted to Lieutenant and awarded the Victoria Cross, the 14/154 Star and the British War Medal, in Galipoli.

  Harry's British War Medal

Later, he joined the Royal Flying Corps and was with 10 Reserve Squadron, training to fly a DH2 Scout, serial No 2602, at Joyce Airfield in Kent, when he was killed in a flying accident on 1 May 1917.

Hilda Adams, a pupil at the Frenchay School recalls... Mr Wadlow was in a terrible state when he got the news and he fell to the ground.

Henry John Wadlow eventually retired from the school and his last entry in the school diary reads... September 27, 1923. I leave this school after 29 years service. The teachers, children, managers, parents and many old friends present me with a gold watch on leaving. HJ Wadlow

He died at Bournemouth in 1950.

A book about Mr Wadlow is available on sale at the Frenchay Village Museum

A visitor to this site, in October 2006, who is researching the family of Henry John's wife, Laura Louise,

has sent in further details of Laura's family...

Laura Louise Wadlow, neé Hancock, was one of 14 children of Mary Goddard (11 by her first husband Joseph Hancock, and 3 by her second husband Peter John Hallam). One of Laura's sisters, Zalinda Hancock, came to Frenchay to help look after young Harry, and ended up marrying her Yorkshire fiancé RE Milner at Frenchay Parish Church in 1903.

Henry John had sisters Annie, Harriett, Lizzie and Caroline Rose, who all stayed in the Shifnal area near their widowed mother, Harriett.

Before coming to Frenchay, Henry John had taught in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire, where he met and married Laura, who's family all came from that area.

We are grateful to Dr Glenn R Trezza, of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, for this additional information.