SHEFFIELD Chess History



Henry Clark

Yorkshire Home


Sheffield Home









Made in Sheffield




16/05/1913, Sheffield




02/03/1981, Sheffield


Cremated 26/03/1981, and remains

interred at Abbey Lane Cemetery


Identity of the Chess Player


This Henry Clark is not to be confused with the H. H. Clarke (with an extra “H.” and an “e”) who was Sheffield Champion in 1920 and 1921.  Whilst there will have been a number of people in Sheffield answering to “H. Clark”, the former Woodseats Friends player was very slightly known to the present writer, who delivered S&DCA bulletins by hand to Henry Clark’s home at 150 Meadow Head, resulting in the odd conversation about pre-war chess at Woodseats.


Non-Chess Life


Henry Clark’s family origins are considered on the page relating to his brother, J. R. Clark.


Tracking him down in directories is difficult due to the commonness of the name.  In early years he worked as a radio and furniture salesman, living at 12 Briarfield Avenue, Gleadless, Sheffield.  The 1939 Register places him there, recording him as married.


In 1957, in Sheffield, he married Rose Mary Smith, who was the widow of Eric Smith (born 1902/03, died 28/10/1954).


Latterly he and his wife lived at 150 Meadow Head, Sheffield.  Next door, at no. 152, lived Edwin and Betty Clark, though the connection, if any, is not apparent.




Around the late 1970s to 1980 he developed stomach problems.  He once told the present writer he didn’t understand why he wasn’t getting better.


Henry Clark died in Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, in March 1981, in Sheffield.  It transpired he’d had cancer, but at that time it was the practice not necessarily to tell the patient that they had cancer, and in this case Henry Clark had been left in the dark.


He was cremated at Hutcliffe crematorium and his remains interred at Abbey Lane Cemetery, Sheffield, on 26/03/1981.  (Click here for an image of the grave.)


His wife, Rose Mary Clark, died on 16/09/2006.




Of the Clark family, four brothers and one sister were interested in chess, learning chess in 1930, though it was only J. R. and Henry who went on to join chess clubs and play competitively.


In 1931 Henry entered the S&DCA Class “C” tournament for the first time, winning it.  Then in 1932 he won the Class “B”.


He won the Woodseats Friends club championship in 1931 and 1933, there being no contest in 1932.


In 1932 he won the individual championship of the Sheffield Social Clubs’ Chess League, at the first attempt.


The Clark brothers played for Woodseats Friends in the 1930s, at which time he was a contemporary at that club of Arnold Wistow Jenkinson, Charles Arthur Dixon, Thomas William Crabb and W. Loxley.  In time he became a Vice-President of the Sheffield & District Chess Association.


At some time the T. W. Crabb Shield, presented to the winner of an opening tournament at Woodseats Friends, passed into the custody of Henry Clark.  In 1980, Henry decided to donate the Shield to the Sheffield & District Chess Association.  Accordingly he attended the Association’s AGM of 1980 to formally hand over the Shield.  The present-day T. W. Crabb Shield competition was thereafter instituted as a competition for the Shield.



Sources include:

Yorkshire Telegraph & Star of 07/04/1934, re early chess careers of brothers J. R. Clark and H. Clark.





Copyright © 2014 Stephen John Mann

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