FARRANT, Frank William

No.7952, Private, Frank William FARRANT
Aged 32

1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Monday, 19th October 1914

An Old Contemptible

Frank William FARRANT was born in Haverhill (Risbridge Q2-1882 4A:553), son of Harry and Amelia FARRANT (née COLE).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at 15 Eden Road, Haverhill with his father Harry FARRANT [36] beamer in silk factory; his mother Amelia [39]; brother Harry [11];sisters Selina Flora [4] and Lilly Violet [1]. All were born in Haverhill.

1901 census... Aged 18, mat weaver, he was at 34 Burton End, Haverhill with his parents (father a mat weaver); sisters Cymbaline F (warehouse girl in clothing factory) and Lilly O; brother Cyril [8] born Haverhill

1911 census...Aged 28, hair weaver, he was at 34 Vine Cottages, Haverhill with his parents and brother Cyril (presser). His mother had lost two of her seven children.

His brother Harry was killed serving in Belgium in the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1917. see here

He enlisted on 5th January 1903 for 3 years in the colours, 9 on Reserve, in the Cheshire Regiment. He gave his age as 20 years 6 months, single, a mat weaver, next of kin, his father Harry at 34 Burton End, Haverhill. He was 5 feet 10.75 inches (179.8 cm)tall, weighed 149 lbs 67.8 kg), chest 35" to 37.5"(88.9 to 95.3 cm), blue eyes, light brown hair, Independent Methodist.
He reported to Depot in Chester on 5th January and was posted to 2nd Battalion on 12th February. On 18th August 1903 he stole 8/- (40p) and was sentenced by a civilian court to one months imprisonment on 20th. He returned to duty on 21st September and was posted to the 1st Battalion on 18th March 1904. Posted again on 1st October 1904 back to the 2nd Battalion. He was posted to India from 23rd April 1904 to 8th March 1906. Ending his three years he was transferred to the Reserves on 10th March 1906

Mobilised into the 1st Battalion in Chester on 5th August 1914 and posted to the 1st Battalion, he was in France by the 16th. His clasp to the 1914 Star was claimed and therefore he was a fully fledged Old Contemptible. He died at Violaines on the second day of the Battalion's attempt to take La Bassee. The battalion war diary has:-
"10 am - 19-10-14 - Violaines - Battalion attempted to occupy LA BASSÉE,and came under very heavy fire of each arm. Finally entrenched 450 yds in front of former positions. Casualties 3 officers wounded, 9 men killed, 20 wounded. Battalion on outposts

A report published in the South West Suffolk Echo on 21st November 1914 read:-
"Readers will regret to learn that the parents of Pte. Frank Farrant (7052) of the Cheshire Regiment., who reside at 34 Vine Cottages, received official intimation from the War Office late last Thursday night that their son had been killed in action."

The Cambridge Independent Press reported on 27th November 1914
Haverhill Man Killed in Action

Late on Thursday week official intimation from the War Office reached Mr. and Mrs. Farrant of 34 Vine Cottages, Haverhill, that their son Pte. Frank Farrant (7052), of the Cheshire Regt. had been killed in action
Pte. Farrant, who had many friends in the town, was employed as a lamplighter by the Urban District Council. On the memorable night of rumours of war between England and Germany, Farrant was out on his customary round, and after completing his duties he waited with a few others outside the Post Office until one o'clock in the morning of August 5th. On the posting of mobilisation notices he, being a Reservist, was heard to exclaim, "I suppose I'll have to get ready now", and by the first train that morning he had left to join his regiment.

His entry in Du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour reads:-
FARRANT, F., Private, No.7052, 1st Battn. The Cheshire Regt.; served with the Expeditionary Force in France; killed in action 19 Oct.1914.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Frank Farrant is commemorated on the Le Touret memorial, France panel 13
and in the Old Independent Church, Haverhill

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

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