No.6146, Private, Frank COLEMAN
Aged 29

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 26th August 1914

Frank Coleman was born in Rushbrooke (4th qtr 1884 Thingoe 4a:662) son of George and Elizabeth COLEMAN (née COOK)

1891 census...Aged 6, he was at Rushbrooke Village with his father George COLMAN [50] farm labourer; his mother Elizabeth [45]; sisters Alice [11], Jessie [4], and Mary [1 month]; niece Mabel [3]; brother John [8]. All were born in Rushbrooke.

His mother died later in 1891.

1901 census...Aged 17, a domestic footman, he was lodging at The Avenue, Aspley Guise with the BOWGEN family. His widower father, sisters Alice and Mary, and brother James were still in Rushbrooke. Sister Jessie was with his sister Mrs Eva STURGEON at the Royal Oak, Rougham

His father died in 1903.

1911 census...Aged 26, a butler, he was at Spencer Grange, Great Yeldham,, a servant of Sir Peile THOMPSON (Baronet/Clergyman). His brother John was boarding at Water Cottages, Rougham with the CLARKE family.

The only connection with Rougham appears to be his brother living there in 1911.

He enlisted in Bury St. Edmunds.
He was mobilised immediately war broke out, so must still have been a Regular or on the Reserves. The 2nd Suffolks were at Le Cateau during the retreat from Mons.
Having reached Le Cateau the Suffolks received an order to stand and fight, which they did, despite being in the most unsuitable defensive position. They, and the Argyll Highlanders, fought for around nine hours before being overwhelmed by the Germans. No-one seems to admit to issuing the first order for them not to retreat, but their heroic endeavours held the Germans long enough for much of the British Division to escape. The battalion suffered over 720 casualties, killed, wounded or missing.

CWGC records show that they had 74 killed on 26th, only 7 having known graves.

Photo CWGC

Frank Coleman is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre memorial, France

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