Private TR/578258 Frank Poole

Poole Frank 96 410x600

Died Home on Saturday, 23rd September 1916, age 34.
Buried in Grave C. "C." 70. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

3rd Bn., Training Reserve.
Formerly 28836 10th Bn., North Staffordshire Regiment.

Son of Mrs Mercy Poole; husband of Elizabeth Burrows (formerly Poole), of 5, Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs. Born at Tipton.
Born: Christchurch, Enlisted: Lichfield, Resident: Tipton.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/395356/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Francis Henry Poole registered December quarter 1881 at Christchurch.

1891 Census
13 Eagle Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Francis Poole (71, Widower, Scrap Iron Dealer, born Dudley), amongst others, his daughter Mercy Poole (31, Single, born Tipton), and her son Francis Henry Poole (9, Scholar, born Christchurch, Hampshire).

Marriage of Frank Poole and Elizabeth Downing took place on March 24th 1901, in Tipton.

1901 Census
Cannot trace.

1911 Census
26 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Frank Poole (31, Scrap Dealer, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (28, born Tipton), and John Chambers (1, Adopted Son, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Although Frank's family seem to have been long-term Tipton residents, he was born in Bournemouth. This was possibly due to his mother's marital situation as she married Benjamin Basford in 1894, some 13 years after Frank's birth.

Frank was 'called-up' on 14th July 1916. It is not recorded if this was as a result of his attestation in the Derby Scheme, or conscripted under the Military Service Act of 1916. He was originally Private 28836 Frank Poole of the 10th (Reserve) Battalion, North Staffs, but after a reorganisation of the Reserve infantry battalions on 1st September 1916, he became Private TR/5/78258 Frank Poole, 3rd Battalion Training Reserve.

He is recorded as being a General Dealer aged 34 years and 245 days, and also as a Metal Dealer aged 34 years and 316 days. This could be the difference between attesting under the Derby Scheme and his call-up, or it could be just an error. He was 5 feet 9½ inches tall with a 35-inch chest, and weighed 129 pounds. His Physical Development was recorded as 'good', but he was also said to be slightly underweight.

After Frank's death, in November 1916 the War Office wrote to the Infantry Records Office saying "as the disease which caused the death was neither contracted nor aggravated by active service, his widow is not eligible for a pension". This was, however, subject to review and in February 1917 it was decided that his widow "may be regarded as eligible for grant of a temporary pension".

Frank's widow Elizabeth received his outstanding army pay and allowances of £2/19/11d (2 pounds, 19 shillings and 11 pence) in March 1917. He was not eligible for a post-war War Grant as he had insufficient service at the time of his death. As Frank had not served abroad he was not entitled to the Victory or British War medals, but Elizabeth did receive his 'Death Plaque'.

Action resulting in his death

Frank was in training at Rugeley Camp when he was taken ill and admitted to hospital on 21st September 1916. He complained of vomiting, gastric pains, and a general weakness; he had suffered with a stomach complaint over many years. The disease progressed despite treatment, and he died at 10.45 am on 24th September 1916.

A post-mortem was carried out, and he was said to be very thin with no subcutaneous fat, and malnourished. His stomach and stomach cavity were in poor condition due to previous ulceration, and there was a narrowing of the junction between the stomach and small bowel probably due to the ulceration. This was one of the causes of the stomach being dilated which was likely to have affected the mechanical operation of the heart.

Frank's body was returned to Tipton, and he was buried in Tipton Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission record Frank's age as 46 years; this is incorrect as it is almost certain that he was 34 years old.

Newspaper Cuttings