Captain Frank Stockdale

Stockdale Frank 96 392x600Stockdale Frank 96 500x385

Stockdale Frank KES 96 700x253
Frank's entry on the WW1 memorial at King Edward's School, Edgbaston.

Died of Wounds on Thursday, 19th September 1918, age 25.
Buried in Grave C. 461. at Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston, Greece.

11th Bn., Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 67th Brigade of 22nd Division.

Son of John and Lizzie Stockdale, of 8, Horseley Rd., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Wednesbury, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, before 1st January 1916.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

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/332156/

Genealogical Data

1881 Census
Richardson Street, York.
Nathan Stockdale (40, School Attendance Officer, born Filey), his wife Mary A. (37, born York), and their son: John H. (15, Scholar, born York), and John A Shaftoe (Boarder, unmarried, 24, Solicitor, born York).
John Stockdale was to become articled to Shaftoe.

1891 Census
33 Church Hill, Wednesbury, Staffs.
Samuel Henry Grove (54, Gas Tube Finisher, born Darlaston), plus his family, also
John H. Stockdale (Boarder, Single, 25, Solicitor, born York).

Marriage of John Henry Stockdale and Sarah Elizabeth R. Wells registered December 1892 in West Bromwich.
Birth of Frank Stockdale registered September 1893 in West Bromwich.

1901 Census
Walsall Street, Wednesbury, Staffs.
John Henry Stockdale (35, Solicitor, born York), his wife Sarah Elizabeth (29, born Darlaston), and their 2 children: Frank (7, born Wednesbury), and Nellie (4, born Wednesbury).

1911 Census
215 Horseley Heath, Tipton, Staffs.
John Henry Stockdale (45, Solicitor, born York), his wife Sarah Elizabeth Rachel (39, born Darlaston), and 3 of their 4 children: Frank (17, Solicitor's Articled Clerk, born Wednesbury), Frances Margaret (7, born Wednesbury), and Kathleen (5, born Wednesbury).
Their other child, Nellie aged 14, was at Boarding School.

Personal Data

Frank was the eldest child of John and Sarah Stockdale, John was the Tipton Town Clerk and Solicitor. Frank was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham from 1908 to 1910, and was an articled to his father as a trainee Solicitor. In September 1914 he enlisted as a Private with the 16th Battalion (3rd Birmingham Pals), Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in February 1915 and to temporary Lieutenant on 26th January 1916 after being in France for just a few months. He was Acting Adjutant with the 16th Royal Warwicks when wounded in action on 2nd September 1916 during the attack on Falfemont Farm, receiving a "nasty injury to the chin from a piece of bursting shell". He was treated at the 2nd Red Cross Hospital, Rouen, and then in Osborne, Isle of Wight.

Frank transferred to the 11th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Salonika where he was promoted Temporary Captain on 23rd October 1917. He commanded 'B' Company in the Battle of Doiran, which took place on the 18th and 19th September 1918. He was wounded in the advance on '06.B' on the 18th September, and died of wounds (blood loss) the following day on the 19th September 1918.

Family legend has it that he was only at the Battle of Doiran because he swapped places with his best friend so that his best friend could go back to England to get married. He is buried in Sarigol Military Cemetery, and as well as being commemorated in Tipton, is on the Memorial Board of King Edward's School and is recorded in their WW1 Service Record.

After Frank's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £216/15/5d (216 pounds, 15 shillings and 5 pence) ; this was paid to his father and administrator, John Henry Stockdale, between September 1918 and March 1919. This approximates to £11,500 at 2018 values.

Mr JH Stockdale applied for Frank Stockdale's medals in 1919 giving his address as Victoria Chambers Wednesbury (55 Lower High St), and 8 Horseley Road, Tipton.

Action resulting in his death

British troops arrived in Salonika from October 1915, their involvement was intended to deter Bulgaria from joining Germany and Austria-Hungary, in attacking Serbia. The war in Salonika was regarded by the British as a 'side show' as Britain had no political, commercial or strategic interests in the region apart from seeing the First World War to a favourable conclusion. Conditions in Salonika were appalling. Many men had arrived in light summer khaki, but in November 1915 they faced blizzards and dense fog. There was a lack of roads so the state of the ground meant terrain was impassable in parts with army vehicles sinking into the mud. When summer arrived in 1916, they were faced with soaring temperatures. Consequently disease set in and spread like wildfire. In Salonika, for every casualty in battle, three died of malaria, influenza or other diseases.

The Battle of Doiran took place on the 18th and 19th September 1918 in the area of Dora Tepe-Doiran-Karasuli Railway and the river Vardar. The 22nd Division (which included the 11th Battalion RWF) was ordered to take Doiran Hill, Teton Hill and the Petite Couronne. This would be no easy task. The enemy was tactically at an advantage with a good network of well dug in trenches, the terrain was difficult to cross and the wire entanglements were exceptionally good. Also, due to an extremely hot summer the Battalion was struck by an epidemic of influenza, malaria and dysentery. Facing the gloomy prospect of no reinforcements, the troops were exhausted.

The Battle of Doiran was a disaster for the British. In attack after attack the British lost many lives due to an enemy which had a far superior vantage point and prior knowledge of the terrain. The British attempted to take various enemy lines but were met with heavy counter-attacks and gas. During the 18th September 1918 the 11th Battalion RWF was ordered to leave Senelle and move to take enemy trenches near Dagger and Sabre Ravines. After meeting heavy counter attacks it then moved on with remaining troops to the Hilt where it faced even heavier opposition. A few men managed to secure The Hilt but were later pushed back. It was impossible to re-take The Hilt due to a lack of sufficient manpower. Instead they chose to consolidate the line crossing Jumeaux Ravine and Root Ravine. They beat off a weak counter attack by the enemy and dug in for a quiet night. Sadly, they had experienced huge losses throughout the day.

'Soldiers Died in the Great War' shows 9 officers and 88 Other Ranks killed in action or dying of wounds on the 18th September and during the following week. Captain Frank Stockdale was one of those 9 Officers who did not survive the Battle of Doiran, according to family legend dying from blood loss. He is buried in Sarigol Military Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald September 5th 1914
The only son of Mr Stockdale has also offered himself for enlistment.

Tipton Herald October 24th 1914
Mr Frank Stockdale, son of Mr J.H. Stockdale, has just passed his intermediate LLB. This young man has joined the Birmingham non-manual active service battalions and is now quartered in Moseley barracks.

Tipton Herald February 20th 1915
Mr Frank Stockdale, son of Mr J.H. Stockdale, solicitor and clerk to Tipton Urban District Council, has received an appointment of 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd City of Birmingham Battalion. Lieut Stockdale was articled to his father, and was in the Officers' Training Corps connected with King Edward's School. He joined the Battalion as a private in September last, and has now received a commission as stated. The battalion, which forms one of Lord Kitchener's Army for active service during the war, is being trained at Moseley.

Tipton Herald September 9th 1916
The only son of Mr J.H. Stockdale, clerk to the Tipton Urban District Council, Lieut. Frank Stockdale of the 16th Royal Warwicks - was wounded in action on September 2nd. He received a nasty injury to the chin from a piece of bursting shell. He was removed to the 2nd Red Cross Hospital, Rouen, and then transferred to Osborne, Isle of Wight. Lieut. Stockdale has been in France for a year, and for some time has been Acting Adjutant of his battalion. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham. He was articled to his father, and was qualifying as a solicitor, having passed his intermediate law examination when the war broke out. He sat for his intermediate L.L.B. (Bachelor of Law and Letters) after he had enlisted, and was successful in getting through.

London Gazette 4th January 1917 (published 2nd January) page 221
General Headquarters,
13th November, 1916.
I have the honour to submit a list of names of those officers, ladies, non-commissioned officers and men, serving, or who have served, under my command, whose distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty I consider deserving of special mention.

- Stockdale, Temp. Lt. F.

I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
The British Armies in France

London Gazette 20th October 1917 page 10826
R.W. Fus.
Temp. Lt. F. Stockdale, from R. War. R., to be temp. Lt. 12 June 1917, with seniority 26 Jan. 1916.

London Gazette 25th May 1918 page 6158
R.W. Fus.
The undermentioned temp. Lts. to be temp. Capts.: -
F. Stockdale. 23 Oct, 1917

Tipton Herald May 18th 1918
Mr Frank Stockdale, son of Mr J.H. Stockdale of Tipton, has been gazetted to the rank Captain. He is now in Salonika with his regiment, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Tipton Herald September 28th 1918
Death of Captain Stockdale
The sad intelligence came to hand on Tuesday morning that Captain Frank Stockdale, only son of Mr and Mrs J.H.Stockdale, of Horseley Heath, had on the 19th inst died of wounds received in action in the campaign around Salonica. At the outbreak of war, the gallant young man was about to sit for his final examinations in order to qualify as a solicitor, but he at once joined the City Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He afterwards went in for a commission, and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant by his assiduity and enthusiasm for his military duties, he was later promoted to Lieutenant, and then to a Captain. Some time ago he was wounded in the face. As an officer he was attached to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was a young man of ability, and as a lawyer had every promise of a successful career. His father is well known as clerk and solicitor in the Tipton Urban Council, and clerk to the Tribunal. Beside his parents, his death is mourned by three sisters.
Mr Stockdale's loss (Council Report)
The Chairman said before commencing the ordinary business of the Council he would refer to the sad news which, doubtless, had reached most of them, which came to hand only that morning, of the death of Captain Frank Stockdale. Their clerk, Mr Stockdale, was blessed with one son, and he was a particularly honourable and smart young man and when he joined the army, it was his (the Chairman's) privilege to recommend him for a commission, which in due time he had received, and little did he (Mr Doughty) think, when filling up the paper, that the recipient would be called on to surrender his life for his country. Captain Stockdale had every prospect of succeeding in life, and his father had made special arrangements for his future welfare. The news that had come through that morning had been a severe blow to the parents, and to his sisters and many friends in Tipton. They could only hope that his father would take it in the right light, that he had given his son for his country. He (the Chairman) therefore asked them to stand in memory of the dear lad, and to convey to Mr Stockdale, his wife and family, their sincere condolences hoping that they would suffer their affliction in as calm a manner as possible knowing that they had the sympathy of everyone in the parish who had come into contact with them and their son.
The Council carried the resolution standing after which Mr. J. Powell added some eulogistic words concerning the deceased young officer.
Captain F Stockdale's death. (Court Report)
The Chairman said that they understood that the news had reached Mr J.H. Stockdale that morning that his only son, Captain Frank Stockdale, had been killed in action in Salonica, on the 19th inst. He felt sure that every member of the Court would join with him in the deepest possible sympathy with Mr Stockdale, his wife and children. In these strenuous times they knew that lives had to be surrendered in doing their duty. Captain Stockdale was one of the most promising young officers it had been his pleasure to meet. Inasmuch as Mr Stockdale was then Town Clerk as well as frequently attending that court, he proposed that the Justice Clerk forward a letter of condolence to him and his family in the great loss they had sustained. They hoped he would bear his affliction with dignity, thanking God that he had other children left behind.
Mr W.A. Foster associated himself on behalf of solicitors practicing in that Court with the remarks that had been made.
Mr and Mrs J.H. Stockdale and family, of Tipton and Wednesbury, wish to tender their thanks for the very many expressions of sympathy received, in the bereavement caused through the death of Captain Frank Stockdale, on September 19th, from wounds.

Tipton Herald November 2nd 1918
Mr J.H. Stockdale said he took the earliest opportunity on behalf of his wife and daughter to thanks the Chairman for the very generous words he offered not only at the Council meeting but in another place, and for the kindly way the Council received the resolution which the Chairman proposed. The expression of sympathy which had been extended towards them during their bereavement had helped greatly to bear the trouble which had come upon them. They realised that their boy had given his life for his country and died doing his duty, as he would have wished to have died.