Yorkshire Chess History



Donald Melville Andrew











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



18/10/1923, Wetherby


2005, Doncaster


Non-Chess Life


The origins of Donald Andrew before the Second World War are unclear.  His address at death is known from personal memory.  The death registration provides the date of birth, which in turn identifies a birth registration providing his mother’s maiden name.


Donald Melville Andrew was born on 18/10/1923 in the Wetherby district.  His mother’s maiden name was recorded as Barton.  Only one Andrew(s)-Barton marriage registration is evident, that for bank clerk Ronald T Andrew and Josephine A E Barton, who married in 1917 in Worcester.  The couple were shown as still resident in Worcester in the 1939 Register, so they are unlikely to have been the couple who had a baby born in 1923 in Wetherby.


There was a schoolmaster called Melville Andrew (born 17/06/1887, Sheffield) who moved about a lot from job to job.  He looks a very likely candidate to be father of Donald Melville Andrew, but the only evident record which might refer to this Melville’s marriage involved a bride called Evelyn M Birt (born 1886/87, Leeds) and took place at Southwell, Notts., where Melville could well have been teaching at the time.  It seems likely Melville Andrew was in fact the father of Donald Andrew, but that the relevant Andrew-Barton marriage registration has escaped detection, and possibly some confusion between Barton and Birt has occurred.


Enigmatically, Donald Andrew doesn’t seem to appear in the 1939 Register, but nor does Melville Andrew’s wife, though Melville is listed as a married schoolteacher living in Ilkley.  Melville could have gone home at weekends to his wife and child in Leeds, but that is pure speculation.


Whatever Donald Andrew’s origins, he appears as a chess-player in Leeds after the war.


The idea that the above Melville was Donald’s father is supported by the fact that Melville died in 1946, in Leeds.  Coincidence?  Further, the Yorkshire section of the BCF Year Book dated 1946-47 recorded the death of “Mr. Andrews, the late Captain of Leeds Woodhouse team.”  (There was an “s” at the end, but that would be an easy mistake.)


In 1951, Donald M Andrew married Sylvia Hardy (born 1928/29) in Sheffield.  They appear to have had no children.


At some stage (by the 1990s and possibly well before) Donald moved to Doncaster, ending his days living at 5 The Sycamores, a new-build cul de sac off the York Road on the way to Woodlands.




He played in the 1946 Lancashire v Yorkshire match.  He was on board 27, and was perhaps being fielded for the first time.


In 1946-47 county matches, he played in the 1946 Yorkshire v Northumberland match, the 1947 Yorkshire v Cheshire match, and the 1947 Lancashire v Yorkshire match.


He won the Yorkshire Championship once, in 1948-49, beating in successive knock-out rounds N Hustler, P N Wallis (Bradford), K Beaumont (Huddersfield), J E Povey (Leeds), and, in the final, C R Gurnhill (Sheffield) after 51 moves.  (N. Hustler might have been H. Hustler.)


Though resident in Leeds in 1949, he was at that time Bradford champion, having briefly been a member of that club.


In the 1949 British Championships at Felixstowe, he came 2nd-3rd equal in the Major Open Section B.


In the 1990s at least, while in Doncaster, he played correspondence chess for Yorkshire.


His subsequent activity was later than the present scope of this site, but he was known as a chess-player in Doncaster.




Wife Sylvia died in 2002, in Doncaster.  Donald died in 2005, in Doncaster.






Copyright © 2018 Stephen John Mann

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

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