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Frank Mitchenall.jpg

Frank Douglas

1912 to 1979

Frank Douglas was born on the 19th February 1912 at the Horseshoes, Bough Beech - just outside Chiddingstone Causeway. His father Percy was described as a Grocers Assistant by his mother, who completed the registration. Frank would have had little chance to know his father, who died in March two years later.


From his birth to his first marriage in 1946, the official record says little. We know he was baptised, with his brother Raymond, in Colchester in 1915. His mother was working in Colchester at this time, but her sons Ray and Frank continued to live at the Horseshoes for at least most of their childhoods, attending school elsewhere.

We know that in December 1935 Frank was living at the Horseshoes. His Service papers say his mother was at 31 Culverden Road, Tunbridge Wells. HIs Civil Occupation was as a flaresman at Penshurst Aerodrome. .

Penshurst Aerodrome was a reserve landing field for Croydon Airport, then London's main airport. HIs RAF papers record his marriage to Nora Wheeler on 18th April 1946, and his discharge on the 16th December 1947, after nearly 12 years service. Frank had served as ground crew in the RAF during WWII - he saw service in the Far East -first in Burma and then India.


Shortly after the war he married Nora Olive Wheeler (1921 - 2013), a first cousin of his sister-in-law, brother Ray's wife Hilda. Frank and Nora had a child Neil David in 1948, but the marriage ended in 1949. 

Frank then remarried in September 1951, to Edna Ena Cushway (1914 - 2008). He had no further children and had no further contact with his son Neil. Frank and Ena (as she was known) lived in Reading, Berkshire where he worked for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) which he referred to as Arthur Wilkins Radio Emporium. Later, he retired to Leigh on Sea, Essex, where he died in 1979. His widow Ena survived him by almost 30 years, staying in their home in Leigh on Sea until her death in 2008.

Frank is survived by his single child, and has 2 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

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