1921  -  2011






1923  -  2013







Although I always called my father-in-law “Dad” he is referred to as Frank here. My mother-in-law is referred to as Nellie (not “Mum”).


I have compiled this website as a tribute to both my father-in-law Frank Thomas and my mother-in-law Nellie Thomas. Barbara, my wife, Nellie's daughter has helped enormously. Since starting this website Nellie has joined Frank. Although this site was initially conceived to celebrate Frank's life, their lives were inextricably entwined and as a consequence "Frank's" site contained much about his Nellie. That is why there appear to be less pages about Nellie than Frank. 


There are photos of Nellie and her life and something about her war experiences. Like many service wives and fiances and other women they took an active role in the community to help the war effort. Nellie served with the Red Cross and undertook Fire Watch at night.  Nellie seems to have been active as a Bridesmaid also! Have a look on the photo page.


During his 90 years of life Frank contributed greatly to the spreading of Christianity around East Sussex. He spent many hours preaching in Chapels in the area. Religion was not the main part of his life but it was his whole life, during which time he incorporated it into his everyday living. His father did not alow him to stay on at school for further study after he was 14 so all of his knowledge was self taught. He spent a vast amount of time studying the bible.


Some of the contents of this life story were dictated by Frank, the facts as told were written down by Chris and Barbara and presented to Frank, this was then discussed and amended. Some material already prepared by Frank, (diaries and letters) was also incorporated. Additional information was added by family members when details were not comprehensive. Frank’s text was re-presented to him on at least two subsequent occasions and then discussed and agreed as being correct. Photos were scanned and included in a chronological timescale. Richard spent much time copying out Frank’s brief notes. David supplied Family Tree information. Additions made after 4th July 2011 were as told by Nellie and other material was verified by her. Rachael Savage re-typed the Bentley Farm House document.


This record of Frank’s life started out as an account of his war history. Chapter Four (as it was called) was mostly completed in the few years before 4th July 2011 as a separate entity. The amalgamation of the story Frank told me and the one he had written before but forgotten about took place during the last half of 2011 after it had been found in some of his papers. Each document provided very useful extra detail augmenting the other, producing a more comprehensive end result. 


The title of  “Life of the Boy Frank Thomas” has been kept as Frank originally wrote it. “Growing up with Grand Parents” has been separated out from the original but the text remains largely the same.


Frank obviously intended writing his life story. He had completed up to his war history and had also compiled some brief notes about his post war life.  These notes consist of headings only consequently providing limited information. Barbara (Frank's and Nellie's daughter) and I (Chris Timms, Nellie’s son-in-law) have discussed these notes with Nellie filling in the gaps with as much detail as she can recall. I can be contacted via chris(at) replace (at) with @. There are a number of Photo Gallery pages to view, these contain photos not included in other "text" pages. There is also a gallery page of "Old Halland photos" There is also a page of Sussex Village views. A gallery pages of Wartime Postcards and Extended family photos are now ready to view.


Very sadly Frank's beloved wife Nellie died peacefully on the 2nd January 2013 only a few days after her 89th birthday. They are together again.  



Website last updated 2/7/2020


 Last entry in Guestbook 10/01/2022


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