Lance Corporal Frank Ainger French

Frank French
Image © Royston Williamson 2015

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for this research.
Although Frank French appears on the South Street Memorial – we can find no link to Dorking.

© Ancestry.com
© Ancestry.com

Family History

Frank French Birth Registration © findmypast.co.uk
Frank French Birth Registration © findmypast.co.uk

Frank Ainger French was born in the 2nd quarter of 1895 in Paddington, London to Charles William French born about 1862 in Marylebone, Middlesex and Ellen French nee Whatling born abt 1860 in Denham, Suffolk. The couple married in the 3rd quarter of 1890 in Marylebone, Middlesex.

Frank had five siblings but one had died by the time of the 1911 Census: Nellie Constance born about 1892 in Paddington, London; Albert Edward born about 1893 in Paddington, London; Charles Leonard Ingram born about 1902 in Sevenoaks, Kent and Florence Norah born about 1907 in Sevenoaks, Kent.

Frank French 1901 Census © Ancestry.com
Frank French 1901 Census © Ancestry.com

During the 1901 Census the family lived at 2 Catherine Villa, Hartslands Rd, Sevenoaks and Frank’s father Charles was working as a building managing clerk.

Frank French Census 1911 © Ancestry.com
Frank French Census 1911 © Ancestry.com

At the time of the 1911 Census the family still lived at 2 Catherine Villa, Hartslands Rd, St Johns, Sevenoaks. Frank’s father was working as a builder’s clerk and his brother Albert as a correspondence clerk in the motor trade. Frank himself was working as a grocer’s apprentice. The villa had six rooms.

Military History

Frank enlisted in Bedford, Bedfordshire. He was the part of the 4th Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs). He became a Lance Corporal with a regimental number 2474. Frank disembarked in France on the 20th of Feb 1915.

Frank French missing notice
Frank French Missing Lists © findmypast.co.uk
Frank French Missing in Action Notice © findmypast.co.uk
Frank French Missing in Action Notice © findmypast.co.uk

He was killed in action in France. The exact day of his death is not known. Frank went missing and is presumed to have died on or since the 11th of Mar 1915. He was likely killed during the battle of Neuve Chapelle (10 to 12 Mar 1915) which was a village in France where the 4th Seaforth Highlanders suffered great losses.

He is commemorated at Le Touret Memorial, France on panels 38-39.

Frank French Soldiers Effects © Ancestry.com
Frank French Soldiers Effects © Ancestry.com

Frank left to his father Charles William soldiers effects of £3, 15s, 9d on the 20th of Jun 1916 and his father received a further £3 on a later date.

Frank French Soldiers Medal Roll ©Ancestry.com
Frank French Soldiers Medal Roll ©Ancestry.com

Frank’s name is engraved on the South Street Memorial, St. Martin’s Church Memorial and he received the British, Victory and the 1915 Star.

Born                           Paddington, London

Enlisted                       Bedford, Bedfordshire

Regiment                     4th Battalion, Seaford Highlanders
Number                       2474

Date of Death              11th March 1915 (approx)
Place of Death             France
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Memorial                      Le Touret Memorial