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The Frosts of County Clare, Ireland by Janet Frost

The Children of Dr Edmond Frost

Austin was born at Corbally, the home of his mother, but brought up with all his siblings in Beechlawn. His secondary education was at Clongowes Wood College, Naas, the top Catholic school in Ireland, from 1893-96. He then went on to medical school at Queen’s College, Cork University, RUI and qualified in 1902. MB Bac Surg . He joined the RAMC. He was a Lieutenant in 1904, rising to Lt Colonel. He specialised in VD and Dermatology. He served in Hong Kong, India, England, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt He was awarded the OBE in 1919.

He wrote an account of a fascinating visit to Japan in 1907, which he visited when he was serving in Hong Kong.

In 1911 he was in Dublin for a course, and it was then that he met his future wife. On the 1911 census he is recorded as a lodger at 3 Cunningham Road Dublin.

Name Status Religion Age Occupation Where born
John Harri  Head Freethinker 39 Chemist Dublin city
Kathleen Harris Wife Freethinker 34 2 children living Dublin city
Adele Dillon Niece RC 18   USA
Edith Harris Dau RC  4   Dublin city
Augustine Frost Boarder RC 33 RAMC Co Clare
John Cardow Boarder C of E   23 RASC England
John Mellish Boarder C of E   20 RASC England
Bridget Corcoran Servant RC 25   King’s Co

The house was a private dwelling 2nd class. John and Kathleen Harris had been married 12 years. Their older daughter Alice known as Lola, must have been away from home on the day of the census.

Kathleen Harris’ maiden name was Dillon. She was the aunt of Adele Dillon, and Edith Harris was a cousin of Adele. Edith was the youngest of the Harris daughters and was always known as Wendy. Her sister was baptised Alice but always known as Lola! It is possible that Adele had also chosen to be known by a name other than that given by her parents. Adele is an unlikely name for an Irish girl. Her sister, in USA, was Kathleen.

Augustine (Austin) Frost was lodging in the home of the Harris family. Also living there was Adele Dillon, their niece, who was to marry Austin four years later!! He was posted to India in 1913, so their courtship was in Ireland. There are photographs of her with the Frost family. Their marriage took place in Poona Register Office, India in 1915. He was serving in India when both their sons were born.

During the first World War Austin served for a time in Mesopotamia or Iraq as it is now called. This was part of the Indian Division. The family remained in Poona. Austin was responsible for dealing with the soldiers who had VD. He tried out new treatments. It is further recorded in the War Diaries at the PRO that Major Frost gave a report on sanitary conditions of brothels in Baghdad. After the report ‘the brothels were now out of bounds’. How many people in recording their family history had an ancestor who visited all the brothels in Baghdad? In 1919, he was awarded the OBE in recognition of distinguished services rendered in India in connection with the war. His son Tom said that it was because he actually treated the men with VD before sending them home to their wives.

He later served in India then Egypt and then again in India. The family returned to England finally in 1933 and he and Adele built a house in Reading where their sons could return to from school. He was semi-retired but as soon as the war started he returned to the service and worked in English military hospitals. He finally retired in 1948 and died in 1949.

They had two sons:-.

  1. Austin Thomas Dillon 1916 - 1989
  2. Henry Edmund Dillon 1920 - 1943

3. HENRY FRANCIS FROST went to Dublin Agricultural College and then to London. He was a fine singer, and belonged to the Glee Singers. He first went to Canada and then to S Africa. He was an outstanding sportsman, saved the day for England while playing cricket. A cartoonist showed a cake ‘frosted’ over in victory celebration. At tennis he beat the current Australasian champion. After he had an eye removed he then concentrated on golf. He moved on to New Zealand and there married Rae. His sister Leonora (Lolo) described him as having the brains of the family but being mentally lazy. He died in New Zealand about 1938 of pneumonical meningitis. His wife died in 1959. There were no children.

All this information is from Kathleen Gibbons, his niece. Henry had asked his sister Lolo to join him in NZ saying it was a grand life. However when she arrived she discovered a rather different state of affairs!

4. ANN MARY (Aimee) FROST born 1880, became a nun. Her convent name was Edmond Joseph and the order was The Sisters of Nazareth, the same as her aunt, Henrietta Greene. She went to a convent either in France or Scotland first when she was only 16 or 17. She was ‘Superior’ in many houses two of which were in Lasswade and Bonnyrigg, Midlothian. From there she went to Lancaster in 1950. This order cared for destitute and abandoned children and for the aged in need.

5. FRANCES FROST 1882-1945 never married, but stayed at home with her parents. She is buried in Kilnasoolagh churchyard with her parents.

6. EDMOND VINCENT FROST 1884-1931 Was educated at St Flannan’s College Ennis. His earlier studies were in Dublin and he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1901 aged 17. He took a BA degree in 1906 at Dublin University. His higher studies in philosophy were completed at Stoneyhurst College, England. In 1908 he returned to Ireland to teach classics at Clongowes Wood College, a famous catholic boys’ school, for five years. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1915. In 1922 he went to Australia and was appointed to the staff of Xavier College as First Prefect and sports master, as he had an especial interest in athletics and sports. In 1923 he became Rector (headmaster) of the College. He was a fine classical scholar, a man of learning and culture and a born teacher.

He died of septicaemia in 1931, when the above tributes were paid to him. The funeral was held in St Patrick’s Cathedral which seats 4000, and was filled with mourners. In the press report of his funeral it is stated that a cousin of his, Dr A J Frost was chief mourner at the funeral.
This information is from a press report of his funeral.

7. WILLIAM ARTHUR FROST 1880-1953 may have gone to the same school as Edmund, before going to university to study medicine. He qualified MB, BCh, BAO at RUI, (Royal University of Ireland) in 1909. He then joined the RAMC as Lieutenant in 1911 and rose to the rank of Colonel in 1938. In 1921 he became a specialist in pathology. He served in India, Hong Kong, Malaya, Catterick, China, Scotland, E Africa and England. During the war when he was stationed in Scotland he was called to medically examine Rudolph Hess. He was awarded the OBE in 1919. He inherited Beechlawn from his father and retired there after the war. He then sold Beechlawn and built the White House behind. He is buried with his parents and Fan, his sister in Kilnasoolagh churchyard. He married Joyce (Josephine Marion) Sterling from Sterling in Scotland, in Westminster Cathedral. They had one daughter Sheila, and one son Patrick Anthony Stirling (Paddy) Frost. Paddy was lost at sea in 1943, aged 21, when serving on HM Submarine Usurper as a Sub Lieutenant.

Sheila married Charles Lamb and they had one daughter Jane who was unmarried.

9. LEONORA MARY (LOLO) FROST. 1889-1936 was educated in England. She first went to Forest Gate convent school in London and then to Upton College in Liverpool to train as a teacher. She taught in Liverpool for a few years and then in Palmer’s Green school. She then went to New Zealand to join her brother Harry in about 1920. There she taught in Hikutaia in Warkworth. She married Gavin Hamilton, who farmed near Matmata, in 1924. They had two children Graeme, born 1925 and Kathleen, born 1928. Lolo died in 1936, while her children were still young. Both Graeme and Kathleen married and remained in New Zealand.

Graeme married Kathleen Crosbie and they had four sons. He was a farmer in Matmata, NZ.

Kathleen, a teacher, married Phil Gibbons, a farmer and plumber. They adopted four children.

This information is from Aunt Kit and Kathleen, Lolo’s daughter who had been left photographs and papers by her mother.

11. KATHLEEN MARY (Aunt Kit) 1892 died 1987 aged 94, joined Lolo at school and college in England. She also taught in Liverpool for a time. She was invited by the headmistress of Forest Gate School to return there to teach. In 1919 Kit entered the convent and became an Ursuline nun. She continued to teach, as the Ursulines are a teaching order. Her convent name was Sister Bernadette. It was she who provided so much information on her family both on their visits to her in the convent and correspondence.

13. CLARA FROST 1898-1924 followed her sisters to Forest Gate School in London. On returning to Newmarket she stayed at home and then married Donal Blake-Jennings. Prior to 1922, when Ulster was established, he was Commissioner of Police for Belfast. Clara died of meningitis when she was still in her twenties. She was the only one of this large family to marry from home. There were no children.

Aunt Kit stated that Clara was named after Lady Fitzgerald of Carrigoran. Mary Frost nee Greene was related to the Fitzgeralds.

Dr Edmond Frost's Family
Back Row Standing:
Harry (went to NZ), Austin RAMC, Uncle Robert Greene (Mary’s brother), William RAMC
Middle Row Sitting:
Leonora (went to NZ), Eddie (Melbourne), Mary Frost nee Greene, Dr Edmond Frost, Frances
Front Row:
Kathleen-Kit (nun) England, Clara Belfast

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The Sons of Augustine Thomas Frost