Willenhall History Society

clock ceremony 1892


Inauguration of the Memorial Clock 1892

The Memorial Clock in the Market Place, Willenhall, was erected in 1892 to commemorate the life of Doctor Tonks, a popular local doctor.  Money was raised by public subscription and after a procession around the town the inauguration of the clock took place as shown in this picture.

. The clock was unveiled on May 10th 1892 in memory of Doctor Joseph Tonks, a local doctor who had died on April 2nd 1891 at the age of 35. Doctor Tonks was a local man, who was born at the Spring Bank Tavern on May 5th 1855, the son of Silas and Lucy Tonks. He spent the whole of his short life ministering to the poor of the town and thus earned him the reputation of the poor man's doctor. The clock was paid for by public subscription and was a token of the esteem in which he was held by the townsfolk of Willenhall. On May 30th 1883 he married Miss Clara Banks daughter of local industrialist Jonah Banks .She was 19 years of age at the time. The marriage took place at St.Annes church. After he qualified as a doctor he first set up in practice in Wolverhampton Street before moving to Walsall Street within a short time. He remained there until his death. Doctor Tonks is buried in Wood Street cemetery together with his wife and one of his two sons; Herbert Joe..

For more about his life and the clock see Doctor Tonks and the Memorial Clock or the booklet published by the Society.