BROYD, Frank Bennet
For some reason not named on the war memorial or, as died, on the Roll of Honour
he has though a CWGC headstone, by the boundary wall behind the memorial

30590, Private, Frank BROYD
Aged 19

13th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died at home on Saturday, 6th December 1919

Frank Bennet BROYD was born on 8th January 1897 in Steeple Bumpstead (Risbridge Q1-1897 4A:769), son of John and Sarah Ann BROYD (née PLAYLE).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Spring Hall, West Wratting with his father John BROYD [30] blacksmith, born Finchingfield; his mother Sarah [30] born Stanbourne, brothers Arthur [17] (horse man) and William [15](stable lad), together with Frederick [13] (cow boy on farm) all born in Finchingfield, Percy and John [8] both born Cornish Hall End, Finchingfield, and Frank [4], born Steeple Bumpstead; sisters Nellie [6] born Steeple Bumpstead and sister Gladys [9 months] born Great Wratting.

1911 census...Aged 14, a farm labourer, he was at Dungate Cottages, West Wratting with his parents; brothers Arthur (horse man), Fred (farm labourer), Percy (shepherd), John (groom), these with Fred all recorded now as born Finchingfield, Frank and George [6] born Great Wratting and a boarder,0590 Winifred Annie [4] born Great Bradley. Two of the 10 siblings had died.

His parents must have then moved to Balsham, since that is their address on CWGC and also father John died and was buried in Balsham in 1916. Frank is on the electoral roll for 1918 at Dungate Cottages, Balsham.
Brother John married Rose Elizabeth RAWLINSON in 1912, and enlisted in the West Riding Regiment in 1916, surviving the war having had 3 months in hospital in 1918 with multiple wounds to left shoulder, legs and face.

His elder brother Frederick died of his wounds in France in the Suffolk Regiment in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds. Captured (unwounded) at Fleurbaix on 9th April 1918, he was held in Hameln prisoner of war camp in Germany. There are actually two conflicting cards held by the International Red Cross, both definitely refer to Frank, but one has him born in Steeple Bumpstead and captured at Armentieres, the other he is Balsham born and captured at Fleurbaix. The Germans recorded him in the 13th battalion. Fleurbaix or Armentieres is understandable as they are close to each other. Census returns have him born in Steeple Bumpstead.

The battalion war diary is as usual for this regiment, quite informative. They had relieved the 14th Highland Light Infantry in the Fleurbaix sector on 6th April
"1918 April 9th- At 4:15 am enemy opened intense bombardment on our front and support lines. He also heavily shelled back areas. The battalion immediately "stood to" but the enemy broke through the Portuguese on our right flank and the battalion was surrounded. The men who fought their way out formed a line on the south side of the river LYS, and later took up a position on a reserve line at LA PETITE MORTIER coming under the command of Lt Col W E Brown MC 18th (S) Bn, Welsh Regiment. At 9 am QM Stores moved with details from Nouveau Monde and joined transport at TROU BAYARD. At mid day HQ of brigade transport was established at DOULIEU and subsequently at NEUF BERQWUIN. This place was heavily bombarded and at 5 pm transport moved to LA COURANNE at which place all availbe men in Details (numbering 150) left to join the battalion undr 2/Lieut CF Wilks and RH Rowland. Casualties 1 officer killed, 2 wounded, 18 missing - OR 7 killed, 80 wounded, 437 missing

Frank was of course one of the missing.

Without his death certificate we cannot say what caused his death, but to have a CWGC headstone signifies that it was caused by or aggravated by his military service. For some unfathomable reason he is not included on any roll of honour or memorial in Balsham

photo: Rodney Gibson

Frank Broyd is buried in Holy Trinity churchyard, Balsham, grave south boundary

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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