Frank Cundiff, Private 40635, 21st Battalion, Manchester Regiment
Killed in action 4th October 1917 in Belgium, aged 28
Frank Cundiff was born on 29 February and baptised on 3 June 1888 at St Thomas Church, Henbury, the son and only child of Jane and Thomas Cundiff, a labourer of Broken Cross, Macclesfield. In 1891, three-year-old Frank was living with his parents at 5 West Street, Macclesfield.
At the age of ten, Frank was enrolled at St George’s Church of England Primary School, Sutton in 1898; the school records show that he had previously attended Crompton Road School. In 1901 Frank was an inmate at Bradwall Reformatory School, Walnut Tree Lane, Sandbach, while his parents were at 38 Pool St, Macclesfield.
By 1911 the family was reunited, living at 5 Millstone Passage, Macclesfield, and Frank and his father were both employed as labourers by Macclesfield Borough Council.
In 1916, Frank married Nellie Nadin at St Peter’s Church, Windmill St, Macclesfield.
Frank enlisted in Macclesfield with the Cheshire Regiment in January 1915, receiving service number 3627. He was later transferred to the Manchester Regiment and given service number 40635.
Frank was reported wounded in February 1917, and was recommended for the Military Medal in the summer of 1917 but it seems he was not awarded the medal.
Frank’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 26 October 1917:
MEDALLIST KILLED – HERO OF MANY FIGHTS
Mrs Cundiff, 5 Millstone passage, Mill Green, Sutton Macclesfield, has been informed that her husband, Pte Frank Cundiff, Manchester Regt, was killed in the field in France between 4th and 7th October. Pte Cundiff was a native of Whirley and was educated at Broken Cross School. He was twenty-seven years of age and in civil life was employed as a bricklayer’s labourer. He volunteered for military service a short while after the outbreak of war, and had seen 14 months’ active campaigning, having been through several big engagements. About six weeks ago Pte Cundiff came home from France on ten days’ leave, at the expiration of which he returned to the firing line. He was awarded a medal for conspicuous bravery some three months back. Pte Cundiff was the son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Cundiff and was very well known in Macclesfield.
His death was also reported in the Macclesfield Advertiser on the same date:
PRIVATE F CUNDIFF
Mr T Cundiff, 5 Mill Lane, Macclesfield, has received the news that his son, Private Frank Cundiff, transport driver, was killed in action on October 4th. Deceased was 28 years of age, a native of Whirley and was educated at Broken Cross C.E. School. He was recommended for a Military Medal, and his Commanding Officer states on the card “that his gallant action on the field of battle was highly valued, and his bravery would never be forgotten.” Private Cundiff enlisted in January 1915 and was married 16 months previously.
Private Frank Cundiff has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 120 to 124 and 162 to 162A and 163A on the Tyne Cot Memorial, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Frank Cundiff, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Frank Cundiff is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and St Peter’s Church war memorials and the Ancient Order of Foresters roll of honour, and on the Henbury and Broken Cross war memorial at St Thomas Church, Henbury.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
Cheshire BMD: Marriages
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 26 October 1917
Macclesfield Advertiser: 26 October 1917