Here is a brief biography of Frank Arthur Brettingham (7 November 1866 – 25 December 1925) taken from local newspaper reports of his death and funeral:
“Brettingham – We regret to record the death of Mr. F.A. Brettingham at 1.30 a.m. on Christmas morning. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon.
Frank Arthur Brettingham was born sixty-seven years ago in London, the youngest son of a family of nine. His father was Richard Freston Brettingham, member of an old Norfolk family, of Mendham Abbey and Brettingham Hall in that county, properties which came to the family through a maternal ancestor to whom they were bequeathed by the Duke of Suffolk.
He was educated at the City of London School, at Clifton College, Bristol and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was a keen oarsman and all his life was deeply interested in literature, being quite an authority on old books. In 1915 he contributed to The Leader “The Lament of the Hills,” a poem dedicated to Cowichan’s fallen.
After being associated in business in England, Mr. Brettingham and his wife came to North Saanich in 1907 and farmed there for a year. Then he moved to Chemainus, where he had acquired a property on the Island Highway, opposite to Mr. Anketell Jones. There he engaged in fruit and poultry farming.
Early in 1910 he assumed the editorship of The Cowichan Leader, from March to August, and, on being offered the position permanently, in October of that year he again undertook the duties, moving to Duncan and building a home on Buena Vista (or Holmes) Heights.
Resigning from the editorial chair, Mr. Brettingham later on became collector of customs at Duncan, a post he held for 13 years and up to his death. During that time he never missed a day off duty until three weeks ago, when ill health forced him to give up.
He was taken from his home (which was burned down the same night) to the King’s Daughters’ Hospital and there passed away ten days later.
For several years, while the district was represented by Mr. W.H. Hayward, M.L.A., Mr. Brettingham was secretary of the Cowichan Conservative Association. He was a member of the Cowichan Country Club and of Temple Lodge, No. 33, A.F. & A.M. He was married forty-one years ago and leaves, besides his widow, an only child, Mrs. A.A. Mutter, Somenos. To them the deepest sympathy is extended.
The funeral took place on Monday afternoon from the home of Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Mutter to St. Mary’s church, Somenos where the service was conducted by the Rev. Arthur Biachlager, the committal service being read by the Rev. F.G. Christmas in the adjoining cemetery.
The Worshipful Master of Temple Lodge, officers and brethren, numbering about thirty, attended and, at the graveside, the impressive Masonic ritual was carried out by W.B. Stanley Gordon, W.M., and Bro. H.T.S. Horsfall, C.
The pallbearers were W. Bro. Geo. H. Savage, Bros. J. Islay Mutter, F.H. Price, J. Maitland-Dougall, H.A. Patterson and R.S.A. Jackson. The honorary pallbearers were Messrs. H.E. Donald and R.B. Halhed, Chemainus; M.M. White, Maple Bay; Fred. Sherman, Cowichan Bay; and W.H. Mahon, Duncan. Mr. R.H. Whidden made the funeral arrangements.”
Frank Brettingham is buried in St. Mary’s Somenos Anglican Cemetery, North Cowichan
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