Yorkshire Chess History
Victor Leonard Wahltuch
This player is named “Victor Lionel Wahltuch” in Gaige’s Chess Personalia, but close scrutiny reveals that his middle name was “Leonard”, as given in his birth registration, and the report of his marriage given the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser of 27/08/1915, which confirms the groom’s identity by describing him as the second son of Dr. Wahltuch.
Though bearing a foreign-looking surname, Victor Leonard Wahltuch was born in Chorlton-on Medlock, Manchester, Lancashire. He was prominent in Lancashire chess for some years before moving to the London area. His older brother Julius also played chess, but at a weaker level, as did his father Dr. Adolphe Wahltuch.
The Wahltuch brothers’ father, Adolphe Wahltuch, had more-exotic origins than his sons. He was born at the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa, on 19/05/1837. He obtained medical qualifications at Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, and after moving to England became a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians in London. (One wonders whether the move to England was precipitated by the Crimean War.)
Adolph arrived in Manchester in 1863 [The Chess Amateur, Jan. 1908, p.100]. At some stage he became a naturalised British citizen.
By 1868, Adolphe Waltuch had taken a wife called Anna, who was born in 1841/42 at Frankfort-am-Maine, Germany. The couple had ten children, or whom three died young. The surviving seven were the following, all born in Manchester:
Victor’s birth on 24/05/1875 was registered at Chorlton-on-Medlock.
The 1881 census found father Adolphe, mother Anna and the first five of the above children living at 8 Acomb Street, Chorlon-on-Medlock, Manchester. Adolphe was a physician while the four eldest children were scholars.
The 1891 census recorded the addition of Hetty and Henry to the family, which was now living at 374 Moss Lane, Moss Side, Manchester. Father Adolphe was still a physician, while Julius was a shipping clerk and Victor was a junior clerk.
The family is elusive in the 1901 census, but the two sons were clearly still living at their parental home.
Slater’s Manchester directory dated 1903 listed Adolphe Wahltuch, MD, LRCP London, consulting physician, Hulme Dispensary, Dale Street, Manchester, with his residence (and therefore presumably that of Julius and Victor) at 4 Moon Grove, Dickenson Road, Rusholme, Manchester.
Father Adolphe died on 25/11/1907, in Manchester, and consequently the 1911 census listed widowed Anna living with unmarried Victor and Henrietta, and married daughter Alice Flora Ineson and her 11-year-old daughter Dorothy Anna Ineson. Julius had thus seemingly flown from the nest. Victor was now director of a wholesale photographic goods supplier.
On 26/08/1915, our Victor married Alice Maude Howorth, eldest daughter of at St. Anne’s, Blackburn. The couple appear to have had at least three children born in the Bucklow district:
Mother Anna died in 1925, in Manchester, aged 83.
In time Victor seemingly moved to London, where Margaret apparently married Bernard Chronnell, in 1945, in Hampstead.
Victor Leonard Wahltuch died on 27/08/1953, the death being registered at St. Pancras, London.
Brother Julius died on 18/09/1955, in Manchester. He was buried at Chorlton-cum-Hardy’s Southern Cemetery on 22/09/1955.
Sister Hetty died 1965/66, in Manchester.
Sister Tina died 1971, in St Asaph.
Sister Maude died 1981, in Preston.
By the age of 30, Victor was playing on board one for Lancashire in county matches. In the Lancaster-Yorkshire match at Manchester on 24/03/1906, he lost to G. E. Wainwright of Redcar on board one. In the Yorkshire-Lancashire match at the Grand Central Hotel, Leeds, on 26/01/1907, he was down on board four, where he drew with C. W. Jeffery of Leeds, who was Yorkshire Champion at the time. In the Lancashire-Yorkshire match played 21/03/1908, at the New Shades Restaurant, Manchester (meeting place of the North Manchester Chess Club), he drew on board one with Sheffield’s E. Dale.
All three Wahltuchs played in the 1898 Lancashire v Yorkshire, Victor on board 3, Julius on board 21, and Adolphe on board 24.
On 24/02/1908, following the death of his father, Victor Leonard Wahltuch presented to the Northern Counties Chess Union, to his father’s memory, the “Dr. Wahltuch Trophy”, for tenure by successive winners of the NCCU’s Individual Championship.
He was for some time chess editor of the Manchester Weekly Times.
Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 Stephen John Mann
Census information is copyright of The National Archive, see UK Census Information