Yorkshire Chess History



Moses (“Morris”) Sendak











Made in Yorkshire



Sheffield Sub-Site



1904, Whitechapel, London




1994, Australia




Non-Chess Life


The parents of Moses Sendak were Leizar Jonas Sendak (born March 1861, Zambrov, in the Lomza province of Poland – then part of Russia, son of Barnet and Yetta Hinda Sendak [all per nationalisation application]), known in England as Lazarus Sendak, and Sarah Miriam Sendak (born 1860/61, Poland).  These two were from Polish-Jewish families.  They married in 1878/79 and by 1911 had had 12 children, 9 of whom were still alive in 1911:


Emma Sendak

born 1885/86, Poland, Russia

Philip Sendak

born 1887/88, Poland, Russia

Samuel Sendak

born 1891/92/93, Poland, Russia

Jacob Sendak

born 1892/93, Poland, Russia

Amy Sendak

born 1897/98, Poland, Russia

Alice Sendak

born 1898/99, Poland, Russia

Bessie Sendak

born 1900/01, Poland, Russia

Moses Sendak

born 1904, Whitechapel, London

Hyman Sendak

born 1906, Whitechapel, London


The family seems to have come to England in 1902, give or take one or two years.


In early 1904, in the Whitechapel area of London, Emma Sendak married Barnet Golombek (born 1877/78, Zambrov, Russia), a member of another Polish-Jewish family, and the two went on to have at least the following three children, all born at Herne Hill, Lambeth, London:


Abraham Golombek

born 1905/06

Rosy Golombek

born 1907/08

Harry Golombek

born 01/03/1911


Of the above three children, Harry, having learnt chess from his mother (it is reported), went on to become a much more famous English chess-player than his uncle, Moses Sendak.


Later in 1904 Moses Sendak was born.


In February 1911, Leizar Jonas Sendak received naturalisation as a British citizen, which included his wife and under-age children.  In the application, the six under-age children were named (with ages) as Samuel (20), Jacob (18), Alice (12), Bessie (10), Moses (6) and Hyman (4).  The families address at the time was 22 Osborne Street, Whitechapel, London.  Lazarus was described as an incandescent [gas] mantle dealer.  The secretary of state in whose name the application was received was a certain Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, who went on to become more famous than Moses Sendak or Harry Golombek, though not as a chess-player.


The 1911 census found the Sendak family, parents and six children, living at 22 & 24 Osborne Street, Whitechapel.  On this occasion, father Lazarus Sendak named the six children living with him (with ages, somewhat illegible) as Philip (23), Samuel (19), Amy (13), Bessie (10), Morris (7) and Hyman (4).  Father Lazarus was a dealer in “illuminants” i.e. gas mantles.  Philip and Samuel were travelling salesmen working, seemingly, for their father, and Amy, Bessie and Morris were scholars.


The telling aspect of the 1911 census return, as compared with his naturalisation application, was that Lazarus named the second youngest son differently as Moses in one and Morris in the other.  It becomes apparent that Moses was this son’s “official” name, but that less formally he was known as “Morris” (but not “Maurice”).


The 1925 and 1927 electoral registers listed Lazarus, Sarah and “Morris” Sendak living at 5 St Mark Street, Stepney, London.


In 1937, Moses Sendak (using his official name) married Mary Llewelyn (born 1904/05 or 1906/07), in the Paddington area of London.


It seems that at some time Moses Sendak acquired medical qualifications of some sort, and he serves during the Second World War in the medical service in India.  He arrived back at Liverpool on 10/09/1945.  The passenger list recorded 41-year-old Moses Sendak as having been working for the Indian Medical Service, and as intending to settle not in the British Isles, but in some other part of the British Empire.  It seems he had decided to move to Australia.


The final move to Australia seems not to have occurred until 1948.  In January 1948 the Asturias arrived at Freemantle, Western Australia, with both Mr. Moses Sendak and Mrs. Mary Sendak on board.  Both were listed as 43 years of age.  Moses was described as a medical officer (not specifically “doctor” or equivalent).  Their address was given as McDonald Hamilton, 4 Martin Place, Sydney, Australia.


Moses Sendak, medical officer, and Mary Sendak, housewife, are found in 1949 living at Myilly Point, Darwin, Australia.


On 12/09/1950 wife Mary Sendak arrived alone in Plymouth aboard the Wairangi.  In the passenger list she was listed as still 43 years of age, with her intended future address as Gwynfyn maenclochogo, Pembrokeshire, and her intended country of future permanent residence as England (though perhaps that should have been Wales).  Was she perhaps returning to look after aged relatives?


“Moses Sendak”, “medical practitioner”, is found in 1963 living, seemingly alone, at Flat 1, 86 Memorial Drive, Newcastle, New South Wales.  The term “practitioner” rather than “officer” suggests he was qualified as a doctor rather than just an administrator.


It seems that at some stage from 1963 to 1972, Moses Sendak took a second wife.


By 1972 “Moses Sendak”, medical practitioner, was living at 9/12 Anzac Parade, Newcastle 2300, New South Wales. Significantly, at the same address was listed Betsey Jane Ann Sendak, whose occupation was given as “sister”, which presumably meant some medical occupation.  This domestic situation remained the same in 1972 and 1980.




Moses aka Morris Sendak died, seemingly, in 1994.




It seems that chess may have featured fairly prominently in the Sendak family, as not only did Moses/Morris play chess, but his sister Emma is the person who reportedly taught her son, Harry Golombek, how to play the game.


“M. Sendak” played in the Minor tournament of the 1928 Scarborough Whit Congress.  This was presumably Moses (“Morris”) Sendak.  He presumably would be evident, albeit in the lower strata, in chess in the London area between the World Wars.


He was evidently not particularly strong as an over-the-board player.  It appears, however, that in Australia, after his (first) wife had returned to Britain, he developed an interest in correspondence chess, becoming active as a player and organiser in the Correspondence Chess Association of Australia.  This aspect of his chess and his year of death are reported at http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=142440, where his first name is given as “Maurice”.





Copyright © 2015 Stephen John Mann

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

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