No.68366, Corporal, Frank FARRANT
Aged 41

121st Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in Action on Sunday, 22nd April 1917

Frank Farrant was born at The Street, Stoke by Clare on 18th April 1876 (Risbridge Q2-1876 4A:500), baptised in St John The Baptist, Stoke by Clare on 25th June 1876, son of Robert and Eliza FARRANT (née BAREHAM ).
He was admitted to Stoke by Clare National/Voluntary School in April 1879.

1881 census...Aged 3, he was at The Green, Stoke by Clare with his father Robert FARRANT [45] carpenter; his mother Eliza [43] born Clare; sisters Elizabeth [19] born Clare, Gerty [9] and Tryphena [2]; brothers William [18] (no occupation given), Robert [14] G.E.R.Clerk, Thomas [7] and Gerald [7 months]. All except his mother and sister Elizabeth were born in Stoke by Clare.

1891 census...Aged 14, he was at The Cottage, Stoke Green, Stoke by Clare with his parents (mother now recorded as born Chilton); sister Tryphena and brother Gerald.
His father died in 1892.

1901 census...Aged 24 he has not been found in this census but his enlistment forms in 1915 stated he has been in the 2nd Bn, Rifle Brigade previously, so maybe this is the explanation. His widowed mother was at School Green, Stoke by Clare with his brother Gerald C (printer/compositor). Brother Thomas Richard was at the Salvation Army hostel in Whitechapel.

On 3rd August 1904 he married Elizabeth DENTON in Bayswater, London. Their son Geoffrey John was born 13th May 1905. Elzabeth died on 1906.

1911 census...Aged 34, widower, a printer's warehouseman, he was boarding with the WORLEY family at 54 Raymond Road, Upton Park East, West Ham. His mother was alone "near the Vicarage", Stoke by Clare. His son Geoffrey was living with his aunt, Frank's sister Mrs Gertrude LING and her family in Stoke by Clare.

He married Annie Henrietta Blanche MEAD [17-10-1888] in 1911 (Romford Q4-1911). Their son Frank William was born 24th December 1912 and daughter Hazel Annie was born 198th December 1914. They lived at 96 Ripple Road, Barking. In 1922 the "Living Relatives" has his widow and all three children living at 96 Ripple Road and his mother still in Stoke by Clare

He enlisted in Barking on 10th December 1915 and was placed on the Reserves. He gave his age as 39 years 8 months, was 5 feet 7 inches (170.2 cm) tall, chest 33.5" to 38" (85.1 to 96.5 cm), Church of England, a printer's warehouseman from 96 Ripple Road, Barking. He had previously served in the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade. Mobilised in Dover on 29th February 1916 into the Royal Garrison Artillery. Posted to 121st Siege Battery on 26th April 1916, he was promoted to Corporal on 1st June 1916 and on 10th July 1917, via Folkestone-Boulogne, he joined the BEF in France where he was killed in action on 22nd April 1917.

The action then was around Arras and although Siege Batteries were back from the front line, they were of course usually within range of the enemy guns. The Battery consisted of six 60 pounder guns. That day Gunner Hewes from the Isle of Wight was killed alongside Frank and is buried beside him in Arras.

R.G.A. 60 pounder

photo: Rodney Gibson

Frank Farrant is buried in St Nicholas British Cemetery, grave 1:G:4

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

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