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  • photo was first published in the Worksop Guardian and now in the Borough of Worksop Roll of Honour of the great War 1914-1918 in Worksop library.
Person Details
Chelsea, London
Frank Court Vessey was born in Chelsea, London in 1899. His mother was Sarah Jane Vessey, one of two daughters Henry Vessey and Bithiah Lunn who had married in Wortley in 1865. Henry died shortly after Sarah’s sister, Louisa was born in 1871. Birthiah re-married to Joseph Clay, once again in Wortley in 1872. The two sisters were initially bought up at 74 Wilson Street Brightside Bierlow, Sheffield but after the marriage to Clay, they moved to Worksop living at 32 Langley Street. Birthiah had three more children with Joseph Clay, James in 1874, Kate in 1875 and James in 1879. By 1891, Birthiah was a widow who firstly became a laundress and then a boarding house keeper. Daughter Sarah may have married to Walter Beet in 1893 in Worksop but although married in 1901 and 11 census with the surname Beet, there is no sign of Walter. As for Frank, in 1911 he has joined the army and is in barracks in Essex with the 21st company Royal Garrison Artillery , as a Gunner later promoted to Sergeant and commissioned to 2nd Lieut. on 17 Sept 1917. He became engaged to Miss E M Hunt, 9 Carlton Road, Worksop
25 Oct 1918
4027553 - CWGC Website
  • MC MC Military Cross
  • MM MM Military Medal
363rd Siege Bty Royal Garrison Artillery
Lieut. Frank Vessey M.C. M.M. Worksop Guardian 1 November 1918 Worksop has lost a brave and gallant officer in Lieut. Frank Vessey, R.G.A., who succumbed to the effects of gas, in hospital at Wimereux, France on Oct 26th, and was buried with military honours in the British Cemetery, close to, on the following day, the chaplain of the hospital officiating. Lieut Vessey’s career was a remarkable one, and one which brings additional honour to the town. As a young man he was on the clerical staff of the Worksop and Retford Brewery Co., and nine years ago he enlisted in the RGA, so that he was a soldier of some experience when the present war broke out. His first three years were spent in India, and later he had three years at garrison at Aden, the monotony of which was relieved by a sharp brush with the Turks in the Persian Gulf. The battery was recalled to England in September 1916 and for the next six months, Sergt Vessey, as he had then become, was engage at various artillery centres in training gunners. He went out to France in March 1917 and had been in the fighting ever since. He was awarded the Military Medal in the following August, the ribbon being presented him by General Sir Thos. Morland and he was promoted on the field. His honour did not end here. He was as brave as an officer as he had been gallant as an NCO, and last June he was awrded the Military Cross, and was also the recipient of a card signed by General Plumer, congratulating him upon the heroic act by which he had won it. It is sad to think that so promising a career has come to an end. Lieit Vessey had been weakened by exposure and his services in the field and had also been gassed. This set up an illness which necessitated his removal to hospital where pnuemonis supervened. His mother and uncle, Mr Walter Clay, who had been sent for, were with him during the last stages of the illness and were present when he passed peacefully away. He was 29 years of age and leaves behind a proud memory. He was buried with military honours and in addition to wreaths from his “Mother and Granny,” “Walter and Edith,” there was a wreath from the Matron of the hospital and flowers from the Sisters. He is buried in a very peaceful spot amongst very many other brave British Soldiers. As a boy, Lieut Vessey was a member of the Priory Church Choir. Lieut. Frank Vessey Worksop Guardian 15 November 1918 Some fine tributes are paid to the memory of the late Lieut. Frank Vessey, M.C., R.G.A. of Worksop, whose death from influenza was recently reported in the “Guardian.” Writing to the deceased’s officers mother, Lt-Col J A Hurst, commanding 36th, Austl. Heavy Artillery Brigade, says:- “On behalf of the officers of H.A. of 36th, Austl. H.A . Brigade, I beg to offer our sincerest sympathy on the untimely death of your son, which came as a great shock to us all. Your son was a man of many good qualities, and one who can ill be spared to his country. He was most popular, not only with the officers of his own battery, but with all those he came in contact. You have lost a good son, we a great companion, and the country a good servant, but God’s will be done. Hoping that the knowledge that your son has died for King and country may, in some measures, serve to alleviate your loss, I remain yours sincerely.” Major W Pratt writes:- “It is with profound regret that we have learned of the passing away of a very gallant gentleman, your son, Frank. Although it is usual to offer condolences, in this case I would like you to feel that I write expressing our sorrow for his loss and our sympathy with you, because Frank was indeed a special case – he was beloved by all. One of the greatest tributes to his memory is the hush that has fallen on the officers and men alike,- the latter standing about in significant groups, making it unnecessary to ask what is the solemn subject of their subdued conversation. I have known him for one year now, and I count that year as having bought me the friendship of a man – a ‘white’ man, - whom I wanted to go on knowing even after cessation of war’s activities would have separated us. Such a prospect has rudely been taken from me. Were it in his power to have regrets on that, ‘Other Side,’ he would have wished for a more warlike setting to his retirement from this life, for he was a fighter, every inch of him, and I have often envied his great heartedness and grit. These qualities, added to the fact he knew men intuitively, made him the idol he was to them. Our sympathy can be but small comfort to you in so great a loss, but we offer it whole heartedly, hoping thereby to ease some of the pain – if it will ease, to know that his comrades mourn his passing away as if it were a brother. I too, have lost a brother. … and it was in my sorrow that he showed the fine side of his nature which were generally hidden under a laughing demeanour. He always laughed however black thing looked, and that laugh was tonic for all. I will close now, knowing that the knowledge of that great peace, which is his now, will help to bring calm and strength to you.” Lieut. D D Anderson, R.G.A. also writes a letter of sympathy:- “He was the nearest approach to a brother I ever had. We had our pleasures in common and also our little down hills. It was I alone of the Battery whom he made an intimate friend of, and I was to have been his best man. He was brave, brave in the sense he knew the feeling of the sinking of the stomach and yet he forced himself to do his duty, and more than his duty, in spite of it. He was a fine man and I’m proud to have been one of his friends. His fiancée at Abbeville asked me to come and see you when in England. I am doing my best to get to Abbeville to do anything in my power for her. … I do not offer sympathy, our common loss is too great, and I am afraid this letter is very crude.
CWG additional information:- Son of Sarah Jane Vessey, of Worksop, Nottinghamshire Buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery Wimille, France. Research by Colin Dannatt
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  • photo was first published in the Worksop Guardian and now in the Borough of Worksop Roll of Honour of the great War 1914-1918 in Worksop library.
    Frank Court Vessey - photo was first published in the Worksop Guardian and now in the Borough of Worksop Roll of Honour of the great War 1914-1918 in Worksop library.