V1.2 – Thomas Frederick Lloyd (unmarked)

The unmarked vault plots are fairly easy to both clearly identify and radically beautify. This one was a group effort and we hope its inhabitant likes what we’ve done.

Thomas Frederick Lloyd was born in March 1888 in Manordeifi, Pembrokeshire – a long way from Todmorden! His father Thomas was a gardener at Pentre Mansion House and the family – him, Martha, young Thomas, and siblings Daisy Isabella and Albert Emlyn – lived at Pentre Lodge on the property itself. By 1901 the family had moved to Nantwich and Thomas Lloyd was a gardener at Stapeley House working for the Kearsley family. By 1911 Thomas and Martha were alone, all their children grown up and moved out, and Thomas was working now at Yeaton Peverley Hall in Shrewsbury – the man got around!

So where was Thomas Frederick? He was working at Belmont Hall near Northwich and had gone into the same business as his father. On September 9th 1914 Thomas Frederick willingly enlisted to go fight in WW1 at Manchester and gave his occupation as “foreman gardener”. He had blue eyes and dark brown hair, was 5’3″, weighed 128lbs and had a ruddy complexion.

Thomas Frederick must have had an incredible time during the war as a private in the 16th Manchester Regiment; as his army records relate, his time serving was spent thusly:

  • 9/9/14 – posted
  • 10/7/16 – missing
  • same date – marked as a prisoner of war in Germany
  • 11/12/18 – repatriated, arrived Ripon

So, he was a busy chap. His records show that he was found to have no disability as a result of his service – in fact was described as “in perfect health” – and he received British War and Victory Medals.

A dapper Thomas Frederick. Courtesy of May Lloyd

Thomas Frederick ended up working at Willersley Castle near Matlock and that’s how he met his future wife, Lucy Bradshaw. In 1919 the two were married and the wedding notice in the newspaper shows that Thomas Frederick actually worked at far, far more places than public records would have made us think. From the Derbyshire Courier, March 8th 1919:

Not just Belmont Hall and Willersley Castle, but also Chatsworth! Not shabby.

In March 1924 he and Lucy moved to Todmorden so that he could become the Parks Superintendent at Centre Vale. He was also the head gardener for the Centre Vale Historical Rooms and is mentioned as being involved in displays and exhibits involving the identification of local plants. Thomas Frederick was not only a keen botanist for work’s purposes but was educated enough in horticulture to be a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. He was also involved with the British Legion. Thomas Frederick and Lucy had two children, Marjorie and May, born 11 years apart.

Todmorden District News, 15th March 1925

Thomas Frederick’s fingerprints are all over the town, if you know where to look. From the plantings in the Garden of Remembrance on the park, to the rockery near said Garden, to the line of trees between Burnley Road and what is now the bottom of Hare Court (once Mons Mill) that now overlook his Todmorden home, to the first few decades of preservation of the trees in Buckley Wood…his involvement was either supportive or crucial.

Todmorden Advertiser, 29th January 1926
Thomas Frederick in later life, sat on the rockery he designed. Courtesy of May Lloyd

He was also a passionate advocate for clean air and wrote many letters to the local newspapers about the dangers of smoke pollution to vegetation and humans; he pushed hard for gas to become the go-to heating and cooking solution, ironically not anticipating the environmental impact of oil and gas drilling in the future, but then who reading this knows the future themselves? He did his best.

North Lodge, Centre Vale Park

Thomas Frederick stayed living at the North Lodge at Centre Vale for the next 19 years with his family. In 1939 his sister Daisy Isabella joined them there, having never married herself. He died in February 1943, having survived one war as a soldier but not a second as a civilian. His entire estate was left to Lucy.

Halifax Evening Courier, 25th February 1943

As per the conventions of the time, his younger daughter May wasn’t even able to attend his funeral. She was later raised by Daisy Isabella (known to her as Isabella) after Lucy died. We’re very grateful to her for sharing the personal photos of Thomas Frederick and the additional obituary, below:

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