Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family - Person Sheet
NameGilbert FRANKAU , 10504
FatherArthur FRANKAU , 10499 (1849-1904)
MotherJulia DAVIS , 10500 (1859-1916)
ChildrenPamela Sydney , 10506 (1908-1967)
Notes for Gilbert FRANKAU
Gilbert Frankau (21 April 1884 – 4 November 1952) was a popular British novelist. He was known also for verse (he was a war poet of World War I) including a number of verse novels, and short stories. He was born in London into a Jewish family, but was baptised as an Anglican at the age of 13. After education at Eton College, he went into the family cigar business.


He served in the British Army from the outbreak of war in 1914, first in the 9th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, and then with the rank of Captain as a gunner in the 107th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery – experiences that he later used in novels. He fought in major battles of the British Expeditionary Force in France, and wrote for the Wipers Times, before being invalided out and given a posting in Italy. The family business not having survived the war, he became a writer.

His novels, while having conventional romantic content, also contained material from his own conservative politics, and meditations on Jewish identity in the climate of the times. Some of them were filmed (see Christopher Strong; If I Marry Again was based on a short story). His political ambitions were frustrated by the fact that he was a divorcé (he married three times), not acceptable in the Conservative Party of the time. His outspoken criticism of Stanley Baldwin also did nothing to endear him to the Tory leadership. He notoriously wrote a 1933 article "As a Jew I am not Against Hitler" for the Daily Express, shortly after Adolf Hitler had come to power in Germany; he later retracted his position.

Few of his works have survived in reputation.


His mother Julia Frankau (1864–1916), sister of Owen Hall, wrote under the name Frank Danby (and is said[citation needed] to have collaborated with George Moore). His daughter Pamela Frankau from his first marriage was at least as successful as a writer. Another daughter also wrote, and Timothy D'Arch Smith, writer and bibliographer, is a grandson. His brother was comedian and musician Ronald Frankau. His sister was the Cambridge don Joan Bennett (1896–1986), one of many noted defence witnesses in the 1960 Lady Chatterley trial. His niece is the actress Rosemary Frankau.
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