No.14259, Private Frank MURKIN
Aged 24

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday 1st July 1916

Frank Murkin was born in Dalham ( Newmarket Q301892 3B:519), son of George and Hannah MURKIN (née ASHMAN).

1901 census...Aged 8, he was at Park Farm Cottages, Stetchworth with his father George MURKIN [39] a horse keeper on farm, born Dalham; his mother Hannah [43] born Wickhambrook; brother Harry E. [14] a stockman on farm, born Dalham and sister Agnes M.[11] born in Lackford.

1911 census...Aged 18, a farm labourer, he was at Park Farm, Stetchworth with his parents and brother Harry.

He enlisted in Newmarket.
Frank died on the 1st day of the Somme, one of nearly 20,000 British soldiers to die in that one terrible day, the worst in British military history.

The 11th Suffolks (sometime referred to as the Cambridgeshires) were formed when the numbers of volunteers for the Suffolks overcame the facilities at Bury St Edmunds. A camp was set up in Cambridge to accept attest and accept into the Suffolk Regiment the many men from the edge of the Fens. After a brief time with no official title, they became the 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
From Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" and Ray Westlake's "Tracing British battalions on the Somme", we learn that :-
The 11th Suffolks were part of the 101st Brigade, 34th Division which were part of a terrible casualty list.They were mostly very inexperienced troops. Moving up from Becourt Wood early in the morning, they positioned themselves just behind the 10th Lincolnshires. Just in front of them the enormous Lochnagar mine was blown at La Boiselle at 7.28. The Germans, pre warned by the British artillery barrage had simply gone deep into their bunkers, and apart from those actually caught by the mine, were ready and waiting the moment the barrage stopped. The advancing British were cut to pieces by machine fire, it was virtually over for them within half an hour.
On that one day the 11th Suffolks suffered 187 killed, of which no less than 146 have no known grave. At the end of July 4th the battalion (around 1,000 men ) had suffered 691 of all ranks either killed or wounded, the highest of any battalion in the 34th Division.

Frank Murkin is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial - pier & face 1C & 2A

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