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Celebrating 100 years of history

PKF Francis Clark is named after its founder Francis S Clark. After practicing as a certified accountant in Salisbury, Rhodesia – now Harare, Zimbabwe – he returned to England and opened an office in Newton Abbot in November 1919.

Francis Sidney Clark was one of seven children born to Sampson Clark, a butcher of South Petherton Somerset and his wife Elizabeth. Frank as he was known was born on 11 March 1886 at 6.30am at the family home, he had a twin sister Elsie.

After leaving school Frank started his working life as an office boy in the firm of a local solicitor, Mr Poole (Hugh R Poole and Son). Many years later Tom Poole from the same family was articled in Bath to Frank’s son – in – law, Robert M Rutherford.

Frank subsequently changed professions to accountancy and became a certified accountant. On a visit to South Africa around 1912 to see his sister Rhoda he met Alice Lilian Wellington. They were married in Johannesburg, entering into an Ante Nuptial Contract dated 19 May 1913.

Frank practised as an Accountant and Agent a Law, living at Umtali, Bulawayo and Selukwie, Rhodesia. He obtained a Certificate of Law achievement and also acted as an insurance broker. He held the office of Deputy Sheriff and served with the Mounted Police from 1914 to 1917.

His elder daughter Hilary was born in Selukwie and was the first white child registered there. Frank suffered greatly from Malaria and or Blackwater fever (for which he always wore a flannel tummy belt) and because of this he returned to England in 1917 where his second daughter, Alison was born at 7 Victoria Place, Truro Cornwall. Later he moved to Saltash in Cornwall and then to Devon.

In Devon he purchased Keyberry Mount, 2 Keyberry Park, Newton Abbot. He practised as an Accountant in Newton Abbot, founding the firm of Francis S Clark and Co, one of the first accountancy practises in Newton Abbot.

Frank was a keen salmon fisherman and later purchased three – quarter mile stretch of the river Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes called Wortley Copse.

He held the posts of Chairman of the South Devon River Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Angling Co- operative Association and Chairman of the Joint Fishery Association.

A keen gardener, he grew a nearly black carnation and from selected pollens an apple tree which he called ‘Alice’s Pippen’ after his wife.

He died on 23 August 1962 leaving a widow, two daughters and five Grandchildren.

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