Yorkshire Chess History



Frederick Bromley Akeroyd











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



02/05/1913, Batley




1995, Whitby




The Name


F. B. Akeroyd’s surname was not pronounced as in the tri-syllabic “Ackeroyd”, but with only two syllables, and sounding like “ache-royd”.  This was helpfully explained, albeit differently, by B.H. Wood on page 42 of the Illustrated London News of 30/09/1967, though Wood shied away from explaining the house name “Streonshalh”, which most residents of Whitby readily understand.


Non-Chess Life


F. B. Akeroyd’s paternal grandfather was Frederick William Akeroyd (born 02/02/1861, Batley; died 1946, N. E. Cheshire, aged 85).  He became in time the owner of an oil distillery and soap manufacturing concern.  He married Frances Elizabeth Tomlinson (born 1861/62, Batley) in 1885, in the registration district of Dewsbury, which included Batley.  (Hereafter “Dewsbury/Batley” means “registration district of Dewbury, and most probably Batley).  This couple had twin sons:


William Talbot Akeroyd

born 1886/87, Dewsbury/Batley

Percy Tomlinson Akeroyd


The 1891 census found parents and two boys living at 17 Field Hill, Batley.  Father was and oil distiller and merchant.  In time, William, and presumably also Percy, became scholars at Batley Grammar School, and William, at least, went in time to Harrogate College.  (Batley Grammar was the school attended by scientist Joseph Priestley.)


The family is elusive in the 1901 census.


Grandfather Frederick William Akeroyd was Mayor of Batley for two consecutive periods of office: 1907-08 and 1908-09.  He was also at some time ; director of Wilkinson and Akeroyd Ltd of Perseverance Works, Mirfield.


The 1911 census found the family at Oak Dene, Upper Batley, Batley.  The father and sons were running an oil-extraction and soap-making business.  This business was presumably the above Wilkinson and Akeroyd.


William Talbot Akeroyd married Carrie Bromley (born 1880/81, Bolton) in 1911, in Dewsbury/Batley, and the couple had at least two children:


Frederick Bromley Akeroyd

born 02/05/1913, Batley

Elizabeth Akeroyd

born 1921, Dewsbury/Batley


William Talbot Akeroyd served on the 8th King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry during the first world war, and was decorated.


Frederick Bromley Akeroyd followed his father in attending Batley Grammar School, where he will have started around 1924.  In due course, around 1931, he went to St. John’s College, Cambridge, ending up qualifying as a medical doctor.  While at school and/or Cambridge, he must have played rugby, as “F. B. Akeroyd (St. John’s)” was named as one member of the “Yorkshire Cantabs XV” due to play against “Leeds Medicals”, at Lawnswood, Leeds, on 04/01/1933 (according to the Yorkshire Post of that date).


F. B. Akeroyd’s paternal grandmother, Frances Elizabeth Akeroyd, died in Dewsbury/Batley in 1929, aged 69, and grandfather Frederick William Akeroyd took, as his second wife, Mary Harriet Brearley (née Maude 11/07/1859, Halifax), in 1931, at Ormskirk.  She had been married twice before, firstly in 1882 to Whiteley Horsfall, woollen manufacturer of West Vale, Dewsbury, secondly in 1913 to James Edward Brearley, stock and share-broker of Halifax.  The two sooner or later made their home in Southport.


Father William Talbot Akeroyd was a prominent Freemason, and among the numerous representatives of the Three Grand Principles Lodge of Freemason at the funeral, on 24/01/1938, of James Fitton, J.P., of Hall Cliff House, Horbury, former chairman of Extract Wool and Merino Co. Ltd, were William Talbot Akeroyd, Percy Tomlinson Akeroyd (always the second-named twin!), and Frederick Bromley Akeroyd, who were also said to be representing Frederick William Akeroyd of Southport.


The 1939 Register found grandfather Frederick William Akeroyd (recorded as a textile and soap manufacturer and oil distiller) and step-grandmother Mary Harriet Akeroyd living at Roseleigh, 7 Albany Road, Southport, where both resided to the end of their respective lives.  Father William Talbot Akeroyd and sister Elizabeth Akeroyd are elusive in the Register.  Brother Percy Tomlinson Akeroyd (recorded as a textile [manufacturer], oil distiller and soap manufacturer) and his wife (Florence A Akeroyd, born 16/07/1885) were living at Eversleigh, 77 Healey Lane, Batley.  As regards the war effort, Percy was a special constable.


Frederick Bromley Akeroyd himself was listed in the 1939 Register as a medical practitioner living at 4 Birkdale Road, Dewsbury.  His contribution to the war effort was to become a member of the Royal Army Medical Corp, which seems to have shortly resulted in him moving to Dover.  He may has been working in a military hospital.  (There was a military hospital in Dover in World War I.)  He gave a cheque as a wedding present to a couple who married in Dover on 30/03/1940 in Dover, suggesting he was living in Dover at the time.  His own marriage, to Olive Hopper, was registered in Dover in the second quarter of 1940.  The couple had at least one child:


Frederick M Akeroyd

birth reg. Q4 1941, at Canterbury


Like his father, Frederick M Akeroyd became a chess-player.


Back in Batley, father William Talbot Akeroyd had acquired the rank of Colonel (which may have been honorary) and was commander of the Dewsbury and District group of the Home Guard.


Grandfather, Frederick William Akeroyd, seems to have died in 1945/46, aged 85.


Widowed step-grandmother, Mary Harriet Brearley, died 21/08/1953, in Southport, aged 94.  She left £27,697 19s 10d net.  She left certain items of furniture to to the Corporation of the Borough of Batley, in memory of her third husband.  After various specific bequests, of the residue, a third went to the son of a cousin, a third to F. B. Akeroyd’s uncle Percy, and a third to be shared between F. B. Akeroyd and his sister Elizabeth.  The father of the latter two was not a beneficiary, and his “share” was so given directly to his children, probably because he died within a month of his step-mother.


Father, William Talbot Akeroyd, died on 15/09/1953, when his residence was Grosvenor Villa, Batley.


Uncle Percy died in 1959, in Leeds, aged 75.


At some time from 1940 to 1960, Frederick Bromley Akeroyd moved to live in Whitby, where he was an active chess-player and organiser, and also a town councillor.  His residence there was “Streonshalh”, Khyber Pass, Whitby.  “Khyber Pass” is a steep unpavemented road, with a hair-pin bend in it, thereby climbing, in effect vertically, from the harbour area at the bottom, up to the top of North Cliff, in front of the whalebones and statue of James Cook.  At the top is an asymmetrically designed house (now divided into 8 flats) with the name “Streonshalh”, which is the most modern version of the Anglo-Saxon name for or Whitby, the earliest recorded form of which is said to have been Streanæshealh.




Frederick Bromley Akeroyd died in Whitby in 1996.




Frederick Bromley Akeroyd and son Frederick M Akeroyd both played at the Hastings Congress of 1958.  Son Frederick M Akeroyd played in the One Week Open “A” section, finishing 1st.  Father Frederick Bromley Akeroyd played in the One Week Open “E” section, finishing last!  (Hastings & St Leonards Observer of18/01/1958)  Earlier reports had confused the two.


When B.H. Wood moved the “Chess” Festival away from Whitby, the locals set about instituting a follow-on series of Whitby Congresses of which the secretary was Frederick Bromley Akeroyd.






Copyright © 2020 Stephen John Mann

Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information

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