Prestatyn grave of Sidney James Wells Clark

Grave of Sidney James Wells Clark (d.1930)

Photo of grave of Sidney James Wells ClarkSidney was born in London in 1863. By the age of 15 he was an assistant to William Bradley, who had opened a pawnbroking business at Brook Street, Chester, in 1878. The following year a 13-year-old boy called Joseph Banks started working at the shop. Both teenagers slept in the shop and worked 65 to 70 hours a week. Working long hours and sleeping in the shop was an accepted practice in Victorian times.

At the age of 21, Sidney Clark was promoted to manager of Bradley’s new shop on Foregate Street in Chester, colloquially known as Bradley’s Corner. By this time, the company had started to sell clothes and Joseph Banks was Sidney’s junior manager.

After three years William Bradley gave up the business to his brother Anthony in order to pursue missionary work. Anthony encouraged his proteges Sidney and Joseph to be bold in business and made them partners. The business expanded rapidly and by 1907 there were 89 Bradley’s stores across the country. Anthony died in 1908 and is buried in this churchyard.

Sidney then decided to change direction and, perhaps influenced by his mentor William Bradley, left the business and took up missionary work. Joseph Banks assumed complete control of the business, which continued into the late 20th century.

Sidney travelled extensively as a missionary and wrote books and papers on his work in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the East Indies, Australia, New Zealand, North America and China, where he spent two years travelling and helping with famine relief. After returning to Britain, he and his wife Ann (Anthony Bradley’s sister) adopted and raised five children.

At time of his death in August 1930, Sidney was living at Kingston-upon-Thames but had formerly resided at a Prestatyn property called Terfyn (Anthony’s former home). It was to Prestatyn his body was brought and laid to rest.

Return to Prestatyn churchyard page