No.13816, Private, Frank HEMPSTEAD
Aged 23

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Friday, 22nd March 1918

Frank Hempstead was born in Stradishall (Risbridge Q1-1895 4A:759), son of Harry and Eliza Emily HEMPSTEAD (née HAILSTONE).

1901 census... Aged 6, he was at The Street, Stradishall with his father Harry HEMPSTEAD [40] gardener; his mother Eliza Emily [32] born Pakenham; brother Morris [7]. All except his mother were born in Stradishall.

His mother died in 1909 (Cambridge Q3-1909 3B:235).

1911 census... Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was "near the Church" Stradishall with his widowed grandmother Mary Ann HEMPSTEAD [74] born Stradishall. His widower father was at The Street, Stradishall with his brother Morris, a shepherd and sister Winifed [9] born Stradishall. Also there was a housekeeper, Jessie RANNS [26] and her son Thomas RANNS [2] both born in Kennett. His father married Jessie RANNS in 1912.

He appears to be the cousin of Sidney Hempstead (both grandsons of Thomas Hempstead). Click here

He enlisted in Stradishall.
It was the second day of the German Spring Offensive, the Kaiserschlacht and practically all along the Somme front the Allies were in retreat. The actual war diary has not been found but Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment says that the 11th Suffolks were struggling from dawn to defend Henin Hill. All day they battled and held off the Germans but at 7 pm one company began to give way. During the retreat "C" company HQ came across 8 Germans with 5 prisoners. They killed the Germans and brought back the released prisoners. An hour later HQ and 2 platoons moved to the 3rd system in front of BOYELLES,one party remaining near the CRUCIFIX covering the withdrawal to HENIN of 9th Brigade. The remainder of the battalion rejoined battalion HQ at Hamelincourt by the morning of the 23rd.

CWGC have recorded 50 of the 11th Suffolk killed, none have an identified grave.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Frank Hemptead is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens bay 4

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

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