Private (Guardsman) Frank LOMAS


Regiment/Service:
Scots Guards
Unit:
1st Battalion
Service Number:
12793
Date of Death:
17 June 1916  - Killed in Action
Age:
22
Cemetery / Memorial:
Memorial Reference:
Panel 11

Personal History:
Frank was born in the March quarter 1894, the son of Allen (Railway Platelayer) and Marian (née Mansbridge) Lomas of Blackwell Mill, Buxton. He had seven older sisters, Martha E., Sarah, Beatrice, Mabel, Florence, Rose and Gertrude, and one older brother, Benjamin. (1891 Census RG 12/2781).

In 1901 all but Gertrude and Benjamin had left home. (RG 13/3273) and in 1911 (Census RG 14/21264) just Frank and Benjamin were living with their parents as Blackwell Mill. Frank was employed as a "Lime Picker".

Military History:
Frank enlisted into the Scots Guards at Buxton. His Service papers have not survived but his Medal Index Card indicates that he was posted to France on the 4th October 1915. When War began in August 1914 the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, were in Aldershot, part of the 1st (Guards) Brigade, 1st Division. On the 14th August 1914 it landed at Le Havre. On the 25th August 1915 the Battalion transferred to the 2nd Guards Brigade, Guards Division, and it was to this Brigade that Frank was posted as a reinforcement or replacement in October.

The Guards Division first major engagement was The Battle of Loos, 25th September - 18th October 1915. During this period the Battalion had 132 Officers and men killed in action, or died of wounds - almost all of whom are commemorated on The Loos Memorial. 77% of the losses took place on the 27th September, so quite likely Frank was sent to the front to reinforce the Battalion after these heavy losses.

                                   ..... about The Battle of Loos

The Division's next major engagements were The Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval, in September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, although they would have been in many minor actions along the way.

Frank was one of 16 men of the 1st Battalion who died on the 17th June 1916, another 12, like him, have no known grave and are commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial. The Battalion History states that they were in trenches opposite Hooge and in Sanctuary Wood. From the first minutes of the 17th September and throughout the day the Battalion was subjected to severe HE (Heavy Explosive) and shrapnel barrages. Although an attack was expected it never materialised, the Battalion History says: "The losses were heavy: 1 Officer killed and 2 wounded; 15 OR's killed and 25 wounded".

Sources:
· 'The Buxton Advertiser' - 15 July 1915
· "Scots Guards in the Great War" by Loraine F. Petre, Wilfrid Ewart, and Cecil Lowther (ISBN-13: 978-1843423720)


Link to CWGC Record
The Menin Gate Memorial
Pt Frank Lomas
Pt Frank Lomas' name on the Memorial
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