CFHS code : MG211

Parish : St Mary the Great

Inscription : In Loving Memory of WALTER MEEKS BENTLEY d Jan 30th 1936 aged 72 also his beloved wife CLARA ANNE d Sep 24th 1943 aged 80

Monument : Open Book/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Lat Lon : 52.202107, 0.1378131 – click here for location

Bentley grave
Bentley monument



Walter Meeks Bentley (1863 – 30 January 1936)

Walter was born in Gamlingay and was the son of William and Bertha Bentley.  The family moved to Potton in Bedfordshire, where William worked as a bootmaker.  Walter was baptised in Potton on 13 June 1875 when he was 11 years old.  By the age of 17 (1881) he was working as a bootmaker along side his father.  He married Clara Annie Tomlinson in Bigglewade on 25 December 1892.  They had four children: Lily Clara May (1894-1942), Violet Constance (1895-1964), Florence Dorothy (1899-1982) and Walter Austin Spencer (1905-1987).

By 1901 Walter was running the George and Dragon Inn in Potton, and also working as a shoemaker.  In 1911 he had taken over the running of the Duke of Wellington, Blackbird Road, Potton and was combining the role of landlord with a bootmaker.  He ran the Duke of Wellington from 1908-1913, after which he ran The Shannon pub, on Biggleswade Road Potton until it closed in 1915.

Walter and Clara’s eldest daughter Lily had married William Arnott in 1925 and moved to Cambridge. Perhaps it was that that brought them to Cambridge also.  Walter died at his home in Thoday Street in 1936 aged 72 years old.


Clara Annie Bentley (née Tomlinson) (20 April 1863 – 24 September 1943)

Clara was born in Biggleswade and baptised there on 4 October 1863.  She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Tomlinson, although her father had died by the time she was 8 years old.  She grew up with her widowed mother who worked as a dressmaker in Biggleswade.  By the age of 17 (1891) she was working as a dressmaker also.  She married Walter Bentley when she was 29 years old.

After being widowed she continued to live at 50 Thoday Street and died aged 80 years old, having outlived both her husband and eldest child.






Newspaper archives



by Claire Martinsen

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Clara Anne Bentley; Walter Meeks Bentley