Yorkshire Chess History



Charles Derek Simpson Paffley











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



07/07/1925, Wakefield


1958, Wakefield, age 32


Non-Chess Life


Charles Derek Simpson Paffley’s was generally known merely as Derek Paffley.  “Charles” was his father’s name; “Derek” was his own name; where “Simpson” came from isn’t immediately clear.  “Paffley” is said to be an anglicised form of the German surname “Pfaeffle”.  Derek’s paternal grandparents were indeed born in Germany, so maybe the family name had been Pfaeffle three generations back.


Derek’s paternal grandparents were Christopher Paffley (born 1860/61, Hesselbrow (?), Germany) and Kate Paffley (born 1863/64, Dorringzimenon (?), Germany).  They appear to have been married in Germany, but had arrived in England by 1890.  They had at least one child, Derek Paffley’s father:


Charles William Paffley

born 26/10/1889, Wakefield


The 1891 census found the family of parents and one son living at 106 Kirkgate (probably shop and living premises), Wakefield, which was next door to the Volunteer Inn.  Father Christopher was a pork butcher.  There was also a German-born pork butcher’s assistant living with them.  Interestingly, the family surname was recorded as “Plaffley”, which may have been the nearest the enumerator could get to “Pfaffle” as an Anglicised form of the above “Pfaeffle”.  If this is so, then Christopher in time saw the wisdom of dropping the “f” in future years.


Derek’s maternal grandparents were George Nelson Nutt (born 1859, Leek) and Agnes Nutt (née Adamson, 1864/65, Withernsea) who had married in 1885 in Hull, and had at least the following two daughters, both of whom were to give birth to future chess-players (so maybe it was in the Nutt “blood”):


Vera Muriel Nutt

born 1887/88, Hull

Jessie Nutt

born 15/06/1890, Hull


The Nutt family moved in time to Wakefield.  The 1911 census found George Nutt working as manager of a wines & spirits department in Wakefield.  23-year-old daughter Vera was not apparently in employment, but daughter Jessie was an elementary-school teacher.


On 25/10/1920, Charles William Paffley married Jessie Nutt in Wakefield, and they went on to have apparently only one child:


Charles Derek Simpson Paffley

born 07/07/1925, Wakefield


In 1927, the other Nutt daughter, Vera Muriel Nutt, married Oswald Midgley, in Wakefied.  This couple went on to have at least one child:


Anthony George Midgley

born 22/05/1929 Huddersfield; died 030/4/2007, Huddersfield


This Anthony George Midgley was the future Huddersfield chess-player Tony Midgley.  Thus Derek Paffley and Tony Midgley were cousins through their mothers.


The 1939 Register found the Paffley family living at 48 First Avenue, Newton Hill, Stanley, now a part of Wakefield to the ESE of the centre.  Father Charles was a biscuit baker.  14-year-old Derek was a schoolboy.


Derek Paffley appears not to have married.





The following is an incomplete list of his chess activities.


He played for Wakefield in the I M Brown Shield in 1945-46.


In 1946-47 he represented Yorkshire at correspondence chess, on board 20 in the Ward Higgs.


In 1949 he was playing for Wakefield in the Woodhouse Cup, yet he is conspicuous by his absence from any individual events of the Yorkshire Chess Association or any of Yorkshire’s county matches in the season 1948-49, despite being 21 years of age.


He played in the British Championship of 1950, at Buxton, finishing 17-22= on 5½ out of 11, but that seemingly was his only appearance in the “British”, be it the Championship proper or, say, the Major Open.


He won the Yorkshire Championship in 1951/52, 1955/56 and 1956/57.


He played in the 1953 Devon Open Chess Congress at Paignton (07-12/11/1953) finishing last of 8 players with 2 points out of 7.


He played in a 6-player all-play-all event at the Yorkshire Easter Congress in Harrogate, finishing 4th-5th= scoring 5 draws!


On 21/11/1953 he played on board 1 for Yorkshire away to Cumberland & Westmorland (who actually fielded only Westmorland players), though it was hardly a “full” Yorkshire team.


On 19/06/1954 he represented Yorkshire in a rather disastrous match v Surrey.


On 18/06/1955 he represented Yorkshire against Middlesex in the English Counties’ final in Sheffield.


He played in the British Correspondence Chess Championship at least in 1954-55.


In 1955, at Leeds, he drew with Keres in a simultaneous display.




Derek Paffley died in unclear circumstances in 1958, aged only 32.  His body was found in the River Calder.


A death notice or obituary (unseen) appeared in the British Chess Magazine of 1958 page 129.






Copyright © 2018 Stephen John Mann

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

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