Private 260128 Frank Hollingsworth

Hollingsworth Frank 96 400x600

Died of Wounds on Thursday, 9th August 1917, age 20.
Buried in Grave III. D. 2. at Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Westvleteren, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

10th Bn., South Wales Borderers. 115th Brigade of 38th Division.
Formerly 267686 Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Brother of R. Hollingsworth, of 8, School Rd., Tettenhall Wood, Compton, Wolverhampton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wellington, Salop, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Oakengates Memorial, and St. Mary & St. Leonard's Church Memorial, Wombridge, Shropshire.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/621032/

Genealogical Data

Marion Amelia Tomkys had married Frank Hollingsworth in 1892, he was a butcher from Wednesbury and she was a dress-maker from Owen Street, Tipton. Frank died in 1896 aged 29 whilst Marion was still pregnant with their son Frank who was born in June quarter 1897.

1901 Census
22 Owen Street, Tipton
Marion Amelia Hollingsworth (32, Widow, Pork Butcher, born Tipton), and her 2 sons: Reginald (7, born Tipton), and Frank (3, born Tipton).

Marion was remarried in Dudley in September quarter 1904 to Richard Stevenson. Within a year she died, as the death of Marion Amelia Stevenson was registered in Dudley in March quarter 1905. Marion's orphaned son Frank went to live with her sister Maud in Oakengates where he appears on the 1911 census. This seems to have been a permanent arrangement as Frank is commemorated on the Wombridge memorial.

1911 Census
1 Slaney Street, Oakengates, Shropshire
John Crowther (41, Grocer - Manager, born Claverley), his wife Maud (34, born Tipton), their 2 surviving children of 3: Edgar (11, School, born Oakengates) and Dennis (4, born Oakengates), and their nephew Frank Hollingsworth (13, School, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Frank Hollingsworth was born 3rd April 1897 in Owen Street, Tipton, Staffordshire and baptized 23rd May 1897 at Saint Matthew's Church in Tipton. He never met his father, Frank, who died towards the end of 1896 before Frank was born. His mother, Marion Amelia nee Tomkys, died just before his 8th birthday. After the death of his mother he lived with his maternal aunt Maud Crowther and uncle John Crowther in Oakengates, where he appeared on the 1911 census.

Frank, a grocer's assistant, attested at Wellington under the Derby Scheme on the 10th December 1915, aged 18 years 8 months and was posted to army reserve. His next of kin was given as his aunt and adopted mother, Maud Crowther, of Oakengates, Shropshire. At his regular army medical on 18th April 1916 at Shrewsbury, his height is given as 5 feet 1¼ inches, weight 105 pounds, chest 32½ inches with a 2½ inch expansion, physical development fair, and 2 vaccination marks on left arm from infancy.

He was mobilized on 13th October 1916 with the 2nd/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers for his training. It was 8 months later on 10th June 1917 when he embarked from Southampton, disembarking at Rouen the next day and then on 30th June 1917 he was transferred to the 1st (T.F.) Monmouth Regiment. Frank was part of new drafts sent to the 10th South Wales Borderers in July 1917 to bring the Battalion up to strength of 32 Officers and 719 men, many of the draft were men like Frank who were attached from the Monmouthshire Regiment.

After Frank's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/18/6d (3 pounds, 18 shillings and 6 pence); this was paid to his aunt, Mrs Maud Crowther in March and July 1918. Frank had requested that his estate was split 50/50 between his aunt and his brother Reginald, Reginald requested that his aunt receive all the outstanding money. Franks's War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was paid to his aunt Mrs Maud Crowther, and to his brother Reginald Hollingsworth in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Frank had enlisted within the previous 12 months.

Thanks to Frank's distant relative Gordon for assistance here.

Action resulting in his death

The 38th (Welsh) Division had suffered severe casualties in the 1916 Somme campaign during the capture of Mametz Wood, and had taken part in no major attack in the next year. The Third Battle of Ypres was to start on 31st July 1917, and the 38th Division was again to be involved. Their objective was to capture the Pilckem Ridge and Pilckem village itself using 113th and 114th Brigades, with 115th Brigade including the 10th South Wales Borderers (10/SWB) in reserve. Once the ridge and village were taken, the 115th Brigade was advance through and continue to the Steenbeck.

Although the 10/SWB started the 31st of July in Support to the main attack they suffered casualties early on whilst moving up to the old German Front Line at Kiel Cottage. Later that afternoon they were moved up again, this time to Iron Cross Ridge. Shelling was quite intensive as the Battalion moved up, suffering a dozen casualties. The Diary records: "the men at this point deserve the highest commendation, especially when it is remembered that about 150 of them were recent drafts of reinforcements and were for the first time under serious fire". This was the case for Frank Hollingsworth who had been with the Battalion for just 3 weeks.

Between 3pm and 4pm, ''D Company were pushed up to the front line along the Steenbeek river to support the 11/SWB who had been forced to retire under counter-attack at "Au Bon Gite". The other three Companies remained in close support. Over the next four days both Battalions were involved in almost continuous fighting until being relieved by 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry. The objectives had been taken and the first day of Third Ypres had achieved success in this area, and the gains were held.

Although their War Diary often named individual soldiers wounded or killed, the 10/SWB participation in the Battles for Pilckem and Langemarck between 31st July and 5th August saw casualties too numerous to list individually. On the 6th August, the day after they are relieved, the War Diary records 22 Killed, 159 Wounded, 2 Missing and 3 Died of Wounds.

It is likely that Frank was wounded at some stage in this action. He died from his wounds on 9th August at No. 4 Casualty Clearing Stations at Dozinghem, and he is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery.

Thanks to GwentPal for assistance with the 10/SWB action.

Newspaper Cuttings