Warrington, Frank

Frank Warrington, Gunner 80278, 228th Siege Bty., Royal Garrison Artillery
Killed in action 17th October 1917 in Belgium, aged 22

 

EARLY LIFE

Frank Warrington was born on 20 October and baptised on 21 November 1894 at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Susan Ann (nee Frost) and William Warrington, a farmer of Higher Sutton, Macclesfield. In 1901, six-year-old Frank was living at Barley Field Farm, Hollin Lane, Sutton with his parents and siblings John Frost (8), Elsie (4), and Agnes (3).

Frank began his education at St James’ Church of England School and later attended the Macclesfield Modern School on Great King Street (part of Macclesfield Grammar School).

By 1911, the family had moved to Brundred Farm, Prestbury. Frank, his brother John and sister Elsie all assisted on the farm, Frank working as a cowman.

Frank’s parents later moved to Lane Head, Whiteley Green, Bollington, Macclesfield.

 

WW1 SERVICE

On 8 December 1915, Frank attested in Macclesfield with the Royal Garrison Artillery and was mobilised on 17 May the following year. He was described as being 5 ft 9 in tall, with a 36 inch chest. Frank named his father as his next of kin, initially with the address of Brundred Farm; this was later changed to Bollin View, Prestbury.

Frank was posted to Sheerness for training on 28 October 1916, and moved to Stowlangtoft on 27 June 1917. One month later he was drafted overseas.

Frank’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 2 November 1917:

PRESTBURY FARMER’S SON – OLD BOY OF MACCLESFIELD GRAMMAR SCHOOL

Information has reached Mr and Mrs Warrington, Brundred Farm, Prestbury, that their son, Gunner Frank Warrington, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in action on October 17th. The sad tidings were conveyed in letters from the Chaplain, an officer and a bombardier… The officer’s letter read: “A shell hit the dug-out your son was in and his death was instantaneous. He was buried the next day in a military cemetery, most of the men of his gun team being present at the service. Your son was in my sub-section and although… he had not been with the battery very long, he had already made himself liked by his comrades…”

Gunner Warrington was twenty-two years of age. As a boy he was educated at St James’ School, Sutton, under Mr B F Moffatt, finishing up at the Macclesfield Grammar School. He was connected with Prestbury Church and Sunday School, and in civil life assisted his father in the management of the farm. Gunner Warrington joined the Army seventeen months ago, and had been at the front since last July.

His death was also reported in the Macclesfield Advertiser on the same date:

PRESTBURY: MORE LOCAL SACRIFICE – GUNNER WARRINGTON

Mr and Mrs Warrington, Brundred Farm, Prestbury, have received official news of the loss of their son, Gunner Frank Warrington (22), RGA, who was killed in action on October 17th. He was his father’s right hand on the farm previous to joining the colours on 17th May 1916, and received his primary education at St James’ C.E. School, Sutton, after which he attended the Macclesfield Modern Grammar School. He was a young man of steady and commendable purpose, and to use the words of his pastor, “A good lad who will be much missed.” …Second Lieut. Percy C Petrie writes: “A shell hit the dug out he was in, and hes death was instantaneous…” Bombardier G S Chilvers writes: “Being the NCO in charge of the gun team, and on behalf of all his other chums, I take the opportunity of expressing our deepest sympathy…”

A memorial service for Gunners Warrington, Bailey and Thompson was held at Prestbury Church the following week.

Frank’s personal effects were sent to his mother at 123 Chester Road, Macclesfield on 23 March, 1918. These were listed as “letters, cards, photos, pipe (broken), pocket book, handkerchief, cigarette case, 3 pencils, wrist watch (broken) & strap, wallet, knife, belt, purse, coin, stamps (11½d).”

 

COMMEMORATION

Gunner Frank Warrington is buried in grave ref. XIII. B. 6. of The Huts Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. His father asked for the inscription “GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS” to be added to his headstone. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Gunner Frank Warrington, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, Frank Warrington is commemorated on the Sutton St James School, Macclesfield Grammar School and Prestbury St Peter’s Church war memorials.

Frank’s death was commemorated by ‘In Memoriam’ notices published in the Macclesfield Courier on 19 October 1918:

WARRINGTON – In fond and loving memory of Gunner Frank Warrington, RGA, killed in France on October 17th, 1917, aged 22 years.
“Sleep on dear Frank in a far-off grave,
A grave we may never see;
But as long as life and memory last
We shall always think of thee.
No one knows the parting,
Or what the parting cost;
But God, in His great mercy,
Has gained what we have lost.”
– Ever remembered by his sorrowing Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother.

WARRINGTON – In proud and loving memory of Gunner Frank Warrington, RGA, killed in France on October 17th, 1917, aged 22 years.
– Ever remembered by Brother and Sister-in-law.
“Fondly we loved him, he is dear to us still,
But in grief we must bend to God’s holy will;
Our sorrow is great, our loss hard to bear,
But the angels, dear brother, will guard you with care.”

 

NOTES

Note there were two men named Frank Warrington in the Macclesfield area at the time of the Great War; the other Frank Warrington lived in Macclesfield and died of wounds 16th June 1917; he is the man named on the Macclesfield war memorials.

 

SOURCES
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
WW1 British Army Service Records 1914-1920 (Find My Past)

Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website

Macclesfield Times: 2 November 1917, 23 September 1921 (Photo supplement)
Macclesfield Advertiser: 2 and 9 November 1917
Macclesfield Courier: 19 October 1918


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