No.GS/80071, Private, Frank TURNER
Aged 23

23rd (Service) Battalion (1st Sportsman's) Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Killed in Action on Monday, 30th September 1918

This identification is on the strength of the make up of the family over the census, and the legatees named on this soldier's "Personal Effects" entry, and it does seem to be the most likely.

Arthur Frank TURNER was born at 16 The Butts, Bury St Edmunds on 1st November 1895 (Bury St Edmunds Q4-1895 4A:765), baptised in St Mary's, Bury St Edmunds on 2nd February 1896, son of iron moulder William TURNER and his wife Harriet Jane (née ELSEY).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at 16 The Butts, Bury St.Edmunds with his father William TURNER [49] iron moulder born Burnt Fe, Prickwillow, Cambs; his mother Harriett Jane [47]; sister Florence Kate [17] draper's assistant; brother Albert Edward [16] chemist shop porter. All except his father were born in Bury St.Edmunds.

From the previous census he had sisters:- Mabel Maud [1876] later Mrs Smith, Henrietta [1877] later Mrs Gilbert, Sophia Hannah [1881] later Mrs Bailey, Florence Kate [1886] later Mrs Smith, Nellie Elizabeth [1887], Ethel Maria [1890] and Bertha Jane [1891]. Those sisters in bold type, together with brothers Albert E and George are named as legatees.

1911 census...Aged 15, he was at the Railway Tavern, Stoke by Clare, with his parents, father now publican, and his widowed grandmother Maria Turner [87] born Burnt Fen. His mother, amazingly, had 20 children, but 13 had died by 1911.

It would seem his father died in 1913, but the death of his mother in not known, she is not his list of legatees.

He enlisted in East Croydon, whilst resident in Croydon.

War Diary has :- Advancing on Cambrai on 30th September, 2 battalions of the 23rd Londons, from east of the Proville-Mt St Oeuvre road (now the SW suburbs of Cambrai), were attacking against Mt. St.Oeuvre but due to heavy machine gun fire were unsuccessful.

CWGC records have 22 of the battalion killed, all bar 3 buried in Noyelles.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Frank Turner is buried in Noyelles-sur-L'Escaut Communal Cemetery Extension, grave 2:A:4

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

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