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  • Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Arnold Nottingham
Francis, known as Frank, was the only son of George and Mary Maria Saxton (née Clarke). His father George was born in Arnold, Nottingham, in about 1850, the son of John Saxton. His mother Mary Maria was born in Ringmer, Sussex, in about 1852, the daughter of William Clarke. George and Mary were married at the parish church of Ringmer on 13 June 1877 and had five children who were all born in Arnold: Francis b. 30 June 1878 bap. Bestwood Emmanuel church 11 August 1876; Mary Elizabeth b. 4 November 1879 bap. (Elizabeth Mary) Emmanuel church 9 May 1880; Alice Ellen b. 28 February 1881 bap. Emmanuel church 28 February 1881; Annie b. 4 April 1883 bap. Emmanuel church 9 September 1883 and Caroline b. 1885 bap. Arnold St Mary 3 December 1887. In 1881 George (31), a gamekeeper and grocer, his wife Mary and three children Francis (2), Mary (1) and Alice (under 1 year), were living at Redhill which was the family home until at least 1911. The house was probably also the premises of their grocery. Also in the household in 1881 was a general domestic servant. By 1891 George and Mary had five children, four of whom were in the home on the night of the census: Francis, Alice, Annie and Caroline. It is likely that Annie died in 1901 (J/F/M Basford) and in 1901 only Francis, a railway porter, and Caroline, a pupil teacher, were still living with their parents. George Saxton died in 1905 and in 1911 his widow Mary was continuing their grocery and provisions business. Again, only Francis, a packer and furniture remover, and Caroline, an elementary school teacher, were living at home. Elizabeth has not been traced on the 1891 or 1901 Census, but in 1911 she was the cook at Calverton Hall, the home of Frank Seeley, colliery proprietor. Alice has not yet been traced on either the 1901 or 1911 Census. Mary Maria died on 29 August 1917; she was still living at Redhill. Her unmarried daughter Alice was awarded administration of her estate. Francis was engaged to Madge Finney of Heskey Street at the time of his death. Of Francis' three surviving sisters: Elizabeth Mary died on 1 March 1966 (J/F/M Newark). The probate record gave her address as 77 Church Drive, Daybrook, although she died at the Old Hall, Balderton, Newark. Alice Ellen was living at 77 Church Drive, Daybrook, when she died on 29 November 1940. She was interred in Red Hill Cemetery. Caroline married Wiliam Holbrook (b. 4 February 1881) in 1911 (J/A/S Basford). They probably had two children, Sheila F b. 1914 d. 1920 (J/A/S) and James S. b. 29 February 1920. In 1911 they were living at 77 Church Drive, Daybrook, with their son James; William was a school teacher. Caroline died on 19 March 1959 and William on 28 December 1968; he was still living at 77 Church Drive.
Francis attended the British School, Front Street, Arnold. In 1901 he was a railway porter but as a packer and furniture remover in 1911.
12 Oct 1917
38
828766 - CWGC Website
S/5514
Residence Arnold, enlisted Nottingham
Lance Sergeant
7th Bn Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade at Nottingham and after training was posted to their 7th battalion which had been formed at Winchester in August 1914 as a part of the Kitchener 1 formation. Francis served in France from 22 July 1915. On the 9th of October 1917, the focus of the British offensive, which was a part of the Third Battle of Ypres (opened in July 1917), had moved to the north east of the town. On the 12th, the British forces attacked the village of Passchendaele but without success. It was during this attack that Francis was killed in action. His body was never identified (heavy artillery barrages were used by both sides) and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium, Panel 145 to 147. Francis qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - Tyne Cot Memorial (extract): 'The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient. Broadly speaking, the Salient stretched from Langemarck in the north to the northern edge in Ploegsteert Wood in the south, but it varied in area and shape throughout the war. The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.'
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 5 November 1917: ‘Saxton. Killed in action, October 12th, 1917, Sergt. Frank Saxton, Rifle Brigade, only son of the late George and Mary Saxton, of Red Hill, Arnold, Notts.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 5 November 1917: ‘Saxton. Killed in action, October 12th, 1917, Sergeant Frank Saxton, Rifle Brigade. Silently mourned by his sorrowing fiancee, Madge Finney, Heskey-street.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) WW1 Pension Ledgers index cards: named his unmarried sister, Alice Saxton Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his sister Caroline Holbrook was his administrix
Remembered on

Photos

  • Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (www.cwgc.org)
    Francis Saxton - Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (www.cwgc.org)