Yorkshire Chess History



Ernest Frank Gardner











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1870/71, Dalston, Middlesex



19/02/1937, Sheffield


23/02/1937, Crookes Cemetery, Sheffield


Non-Chess Life


The parents of Ernest Frank Gardner were Frank Gardner (born 1843/44, Coggeshall, Essex) and Emma Gardner (née Green, 1849/50, Dalston, Middlesex), who had at least six children:


Ernest Frank Gardner

born Jun/Jul 1870, Dalston, Middlesex

Florence Louisa Gardner

born 1871/72, Barnsbury, Middlesex

Percy Matthias Gardner

born 1876/77, Holloway, Middlesex

Ethel Mary Gardner

born 1877/78, Holloway, Middlesex

Marion Ruth Gardner

born 1879/80, Sheffield

George A Gardner

born 1883/84, Sheffield


Ernest Frank Gardner was 9 months old at the time of the 1871 census, implying he was born from 03/06/1970 to 02/07/1970.  His place of birth was Dalston, Middlesex.


His family appears to have moved to Sheffield around 1879.


The 1881 census found the parents and five children living at 42 Duncombe Street in the Walkley area of Sheffield.  Father Frank was recorded as an unemployed bookkeeper.  Ernest, Florence and Percy were listed as scholars.  The youngest daughter was named Marion Ruth.


Around 1883 he started employment at Easterbrook, Allcard and Co., Ltd., Albert Tool Works, Penistone Road, Sheffield, who made engineers’ small tools.  In time he became office manager, then, around 1925, he became a director. [1]


The 1891 census found widowed mother Emma living with all six children at 12 Thorsby Road, Sheffield.  Mother emma was living on her own means.  20 year-old Ernest was a pay clerk at an engineers’ tool manufacturer.  The youngest daughter was named Ruth M. Gardner.  Percy was a pupil teacher.  Ruth and George were scholars.


The marriage of Ernest Frank Gardner to Lily Hoyland (born 1874/75, Sheffield) was registered in the third quarter of 1896 at Ecclesall Bierlow, Sheffield.  The couple had at least four children, including the following two:


George Percy Gardner

born 1897, Sheffield

Frank Matthias Gardner

born 1907/08, Sheffield


The couple had at least two other sons, probably born after 1911, as when Ernest died he left a wife and four sons.


The 1901 census accordingly found Ernest and Lily Gardner living at 2 Kirkstone Road, Sheffield.  Quite where first-born George Percy Gardner was is unclear.  Ernest’s brother, Percy Matthias Gardner, and his wife Hannah were living at 6 Kirkstone Road with their first-born, 1-year-old Sheffield-born Edward.


Around 1907/08 Ernest became a director of Easterbrook, Allcard & Co., Ltd, remaining so until his death. [1]


The 1911 census found the family of four living at 165 Springvale Road, Sheffield, still in the Walkley area.  This remained his home for the rest of his life.  Ernest was now described as a director and departmental manager.


Outside chess, he was a “prominent conservative” in the Hallam Ward, and in his youth had been a cricketer and a billiards player. [3]




Ernest Frank Gardner died suddenly, at 165 Springvale Road, Sheffield, on 19/02/1937, at the age of 66.  He left a widow and four sons.  [3]


The funeral took place at the place of interment, Crookes Cemetery, on Tuesday 23/02/1937.  The Sheffield and District Chess Association was represented by W. Knowles and W. Batley. [2]  There is no headstone or other above-ground structure at the grave plot.


Administration of his estate was granted to Lily Gardner, widow.  He left £1,243 19s 7d.




He was a member of Walkley Chess Club and one of the first members of the Sheffield Chess Club formed in 1905.


He was a player of “good strength”, playing in Woodhouse Cup matches and in the Sheffield league. [1]


He represented Sheffield in the Woodhouse Cup as far back at 1911-12, if not earlier.


He was secretary of the combined Sheffield Chess Club and Sheffield & District Chess Association from 1914 to 1917, and vice-president from 1920 to 1923.



1  Article by W. Batley in the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star of 20/02/1937.

2  Note by W. Batley in the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star of 27/02/1937.

3  Obituary in the Sheffield Telegraph of 20/02/1937.





Copyright © 2013 Stephen John Mann

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

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