Avery, Frank

Frank Avery, Private 291310, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 25th October 1918 in Belgium
, aged 24 

 

EARLY LIFE

Frank Avery was born in Macclesfield in 1884, the son of Elizabeth Ann (nee Mottershead) and Thomas Avery, a silk weaver.

Frank’s mother died in 1896 and in 1902 his father married Hannah Longden at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church.

In 1901, six-year-old Frank was living at 140 Park Lane with his widowed father and sisters Sarah Jane (14), Annie Lathom (12), Emma (9) and Alice (8). By 1911 the family had moved to 16 Chapel Street, Sutton (south Macclesfield) and included three more children: George (7), Thomas (5) and Minnie (2); Frank had left school and was employed as a clog maker.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

It is not known when or where Private Avery was wounded, but he died of his wounds at the 103rd Field Ambulance Station.

The death of Private Frank Avery was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 8 November 1918:

PTE FRANK AVERY, Ches Regt, who three weeks ago spent a fortnight’s leave with his parents at 23 Mill Lane, Macclesfield, died on October 25th from wounds sustained in France. Pte Avery, who was 24 years of age, enlisted in August 1915 and had served in Egypt and Palestine, being transferred to France a few months ago. He was educated at Duke Street School and attended Newtown Primitive Methodist Sunday School and Chapel.

 

Wooden cross marking Frank Avery’s original grave at Bellegem.

COMMEMORATION

Private Frank Avery was originally buried in Bellegem Churchyard, Belgium (see photo, left), but after the war his body was exhumed and laid to rest with his fellow servicemen at Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension, Hainaut, Belgium, in Grave Ref. II. J. 39. His stepmother asked for the inscription “HIS MEMORY / OUR GREATEST TREASURE / ONE OF THE BEST” to be added to his headstone.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Frank Avery, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Private Frank Avery is commemorated on the Park Green, Town HallSt Michael’s Church and St George’s Church war memorials, and Macclesfield Ancient Order of Foresters roll of honour.

 

NOTES

Cousin of Thomas Avery, who served as Sergeant 80125 with the 31st Battalion, Canadian Infantry and was killed in action in France on 24th September 1916; Wilfred Avery, who served as Private 79246 with the 31st Canadian Infantry and was awarded the Military Medal; and John Avery, who served as Gunner 131635 with the Royal Garrison Artillery. All three were from Langley, near Macclesfield.

 

SOURCES

Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 8 and 22 November 1918

With grateful thanks to Mr David Avery for the photograph and family information.


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