Frederick Charles Dengate
Fred Dengate, c.1917
Born: 29 May 1892, Hastings, East Sussex
Baptism: 24 July 1892, St Andrew's Church, Hastings, East Sussex
Marriage: 30 January 1921, St Matthew's Church, St Leonards, East Sussex
Death: May 1982, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Cremation: 28 May 1982, Eastbourne Crematorium, East Sussex
Frederick Charles Dengate was born 29 May 1892 in Hastings, East Sussex to William and Elizabeth Dengate. He was baptised 24 July 1892 in St Andrew's Church, Hastings.
St Andrew's Church, Hastings, East Sussex
He spent his early years living at the family home of 59 Stonefield Road in Hastings. The 1901 census shows him as an 8 year-old scholar living with his parents, brothers and sisters. Fred left school at 14 years old and went to work at a general corner-shop in Western Road, Hastings. He lived at home until leaving to serve in the First World War.
Fred later recalled visiting family members in Peasmarsh and staying with one uncle (probably Jim Dengate due to his employment) and helping him to deliver bricks to Iden for the building of the Peace and Plenty pub.
In December 1915, aged 23 years, Fred Dengate joined the 14th Battalion London Regiment at the rank of Private, serving in India, South Africa and France. Fred suffered a gun-shot wound to his shoulder on 6 September 1916 whilst in combat in France and was sent back to England to recover. However, his injuries did not deter him and he was again promoted on 7 September 1917, to the rank of Corporal. On 26 March 1918 he was once again promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He suffered another injury on 8 November 1918 whilst fighting in Valenciennes, France. His Medical Report notes, 'patient states that whilst making an attack, he was wounded by a hostile shell...removed from left upper thigh January 15 1919.' He was demobbed on 4 March 1919 at London.
War wounded in England: Frederick Charles Dengate, seated wearing large white sling
Fred Dengate (left)
Fred (far right, back)
On 30 January 1921, aged 28 years old, Fred married Elsie May Burgess in St Matthew's Church, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex. The couple had one child, Derek Dengate who was born in Eastbourne in 1925.
Soon after their marriage in 1921, Fred and Elsie moved to Eastbourne, East Sussex, where Fred worked for Elliott Stores - a high-class grocers which supplied private schools and hotels. They lived for many years at 60 Brodrick Road, Eastbourne.
When Fred's brother Albert Henry Dengate returned from Australia to retire in Hastings, he met an old school friend and they married in 1966, with Fred acting as best man.
Perhaps as an indication of the closeness of the Dengate family, in 1965, Fred's cousin Ernest Henry Sellens travelled over to England from his home in New Zealand to revisit many of his Dengates whom he had not seen since he left England in 1911. Among those he visited was Elsie and Fred Dengate, who sent the following postcard to him some time after his trip.
Postcard sent to New Zealand sometime in the late 1960s / early 1970s
Elsie May and Frederick Charles Dengate, c.1975
Elsie May Dengate died aged 81 years at Eastbourne on 7 January 1976. She was cremated at Eastbourne Crematorium on 14 January 1976. Fred Dengate died just days before his 90th birthday in Eastbourne and was also cremated at Eastbourne Crematorium, on 28 May 1982.
Grateful thanks to Derek Dengate for the photographs and biographical information used in this biography and to Ernest Lionel Sellens for the postcard.
© Copyright N. Goodwin MMII