MUTUM, Francis Augustus

No.13279, Private, Francis Augustus MUTUM
Aged 19

8th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916

Francis Augustus Mutum was born in 1897 (Thetford Q1-1897 4B:369) son of Alfred and Matilda MUTUM (née SNARE).
There is another birth registration for Francis Augustus Mutum (Thetford Q1-1893 4B:377), which together with his stated birth date to the Army (5th December 1894) gives three alternatives

1901 census...Aged 4, Frank was at George Street, Brandon with his father Alfred MUTUM [44] a cooper; his mother Matilda [44]; sisters Ada [23] and Lizzie [19]; brothers Harry [15] labourer in woodyard, Harry [15], Bertie [12], Walter [10] and Willie [1]. All were born in Brandon.

1911 census...Aged 14, a furrier's labourer, he was at George Street, Brandon with his parents; sisters Ada and Lizzie; brothers Harry and Berite, both furrier's labourers, and brother Willie. 4 of the 13 siblings had died. In May 1919 on the "living relatives" form, his brother Walter entered himself [29] and parents at 6 George Street, Brandon, brothers Bert [31] at 54 London Road Brandon, Alfred [36] at 57 London Road, Brandon, Harry [33] at No 3 Rest Camp, Folkestone, Frederick [39] at 45 London Road, Brandon and Will [19] No.39653, East Surrey Regiment and sister F [38], now Mrs Wharf, at 93 Thetford Road, Brandon.

His brother Bertie was twice wounded, serving in the Inniskillings. The Bury Free Press of 2rd June 1917 reported that;
"BRANDON MAN WOUNDED SECOND TIME - A hospital postcard has been recieved by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Mutum of George Street, which informs them that their son Prvt Bert Mutum. of the Inniskilling Regiment has been wounded in the forehead in France. He is in the Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington. This is the second time he has been wounded

Brother Bert, happily, survived the war.

click here to go to the Brandon at War website for more information

He attested in Brandon on 10th May 1912 for 4 years in the Territorials (4th Norfolks). He gave his age as 17 years 5 months, a farm labourer employed by W Rought-Rought of Brandon. Born and living in Brandon, he was 5 feet 5 inches (165.1 cm)tall, chest 31.5" to 34" (81 to 86.4 cm). As his next of kin, all at George Street, Brandon he had father Alfred, mother Matilda and brothers Fred and Harry. He was discharged on 7th August 1914 as no longer being medically fit for Military Service, but does not say why.

He then enlisted in the 8th Norfolks (No.13279) at Norwich on 2nd September. He put his age now as 19 years 271 days, date of birth, 5th December 1894 and he 'forgot' his time with the Territorials. He was now 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 138 lbs, chest 34" to 36", blue eyes, light brown hair, Church of England. He was at Shornecliffe from 4th Sept.1914 to 2nd Oct. 1914, then Colchester from 2nd Oct 1914 to 30th April 1915, then to Codford (nr Salisbury) on 1st May 1915. He went to the Expeditionary Force on 25th July 1915.

The 8th Norfolk attacked from just north of Carnoy towards SW of Montauban on the 1st day of the Somme. Two companies "C" and "D" took MINE TRENCH, MINE SUPPORT and BUND SUPPORT by 08:40 but then the advance became "not so easy". Leaving BUND SUPPORT they came under very heavy enfilade machine gunfire from BRESLAU SUPPORT and BACK TRENCH and suffered heavy casualties, leaving no officer with the left leading company and just two subalterns in the right, and down to 90 and 100 men respectively. They still managed to take POMMIERS TRENCH, THE LOOP and after repeated attempts, MONTAUBAN ALLEY. Total casualties were put at the time as 11 Officers and 334 other ranks.

CWGC records 106 killed, of which only 18 have identified graves, the rest being named on the Thiepval memorial.

His personal effects, sent to his father, consisted of a purse, letter, prayer book and disc.

Frederick TALBOT was killed in the same action see here

Frank Mutum is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier and face 1C/1D

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