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Old 06-10-14, 06:24
Jill Jill is online now
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Default (27) Frank Downer, Private 4294 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

27th of the Old Boys of St Wilfrid's school, Haywards Heath to die in WW1

Born 1894 to George and Rhoda Downer, the family lived in New England Road where George was a gardener. Next door was another boy, Edmund Awcock, who was also to lose his life in the war.

The Downers had more than their fair share of tragedy, two of his three sisters had died in their teens in 1900 and 1905 and Frank’s father was knocked down and killed by a traction engine in 1907, for which his mother received £60 damages.

In 1911 by the age of 17 Frank was an apprentice to a cycle maker. He had enlisted on 10th Nov 1914 by which time he was a “Motor Engineer” and his army record says he was 5’ 7” with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.

He left for France on the 31st May 1915 and was sent to the front lines on 27 July 1915, returning to England in November of that year, then re-embarking to the front on 9 Jan 1916. On the 13th March 1916 his records say that he was found to have a dirty rifle whilst on parade and was confined to barracks for 3 days punishment. He was killed in action in France on 12 Apr 1916 aged 21 and is buried at St Patrick’s Cemetery, Loos, grave III. G. 4. His mother was named as his next of kin and he was also survived by his remaining sister, Mary.

On 17th Jul 1916 his mother was sent his effects of £8 11s 6d and a War Gratuity of £6 on 2nd December 1919.

Last edited by Jill; 19-01-15 at 16:38. Reason: effects/gratuity
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