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  • Photograph published 26 August 1915, Nottingham Evening Post.  Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Person Details
Sneinton Nottingham
Francis (Frank) Laurence Pykett was the youngest son of Richard Edward and Beatrice Honora Pykett (née Annable, also Annabel). His father was born in Nottingham in 1863, the so of Richard and Eleanor Pykett, and baptised at Sneinton St Matthias in April 1871. Hismother Beatrice Honora was born in Derby in 1867, the daughter of Joseph Henry and Rebecca Annable. Richard and Beatrice were married at Nottingham St Barnabus RC in January 1887 and had five children: Bernard Arthur b. 1887, Beatrice Annie b. 1889, Leonard Edward b. 1892, and twins Francis Laurence and Hettie Marie b. 1896. In 1891 Richard, a book maker's clerk, and his wife were living on Plantagenet Street, Nottingham, with their two children Bernard (4) and Beatrice (2). The family had moved to 8 Sneinton Road by 1901 where Richard was a barman (public house). In the home on the night of the census were four of the five children: Bernard, Leonard (8) and twins Frank and Hettie (4). The eldest daughter, Beatrice, together with her maternal grandparents, was visiting her aunt, Mary Ann Annable, a confectioner, of Carlton Road, Nottingham. Bernard joined the Sherwood Foresters in January 1903 (8602) on a Long Service Engagement (12 years), aged 15 years 9 months. He named his parents and siblings Leonard and Beatrice of 52 Gordon Road, Sneinton, as his next of kin. Bernard was transferred to the Army Reserve in August 1910 on payment of £10. The family was living at 28 Freeth Street, Meadow Lane, in 1911 although on the night of the census Richard, a book maker's clerk, was recorded as a patient in hospital in Bulwell. Only three of the five children, Leonard, a printer, Hettie, a machinist, and Francis, a confectioner, were in the home on the night of the census. Also in the household were Beatrice's mother, Rebecca, and married sister Mary Ann Davis and her husband. Bernard has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census, but his sister Beatrice was a milliner's assistant living on Forest Road, Nottingham, with Mary Starbrook, a milliner, and her husband. Richard and Beatrice were living at 6 Clyde Villas, Queens Walk, Meadows, by 1918. Richard Edward died in hospital of pneumonia on 8 July 1920 (buried Nottingham General Cemetery), There is a record of his widow, Beatrice Honora, last UK address Hope Street, New Brighton, Cheshire, departing England on 29 May 1928 (SS Moreton Bay) for Fremantle, Australia. Beatrice's eldest daughter, Beatrice Annie, and her husband John Frederick Sims (m. 1915), last address 6 Clyde Villas, Queen's Walk, Nottingham, had emigrated to Australia in May 1924 (SS Moreton Bay), departing England for Fremantle. Her second daughter Hetty Marie and her husband Robert M Quick (m. 1924, reg. Nottingham), late of 6 Clyde Villas, Queen's Walk, Nottingham, had left England on 12 May 1927 (SS Ballarat, P&O) for Melbourne, Australia. Both Bernard and Leonard served in the war as did their sister Hettie who according to an 'In Memoriam' notice in the local paper in 1918 was serving with the WAAC in France. Bernard was mobilised from the Reserve on the outbreak of war but on 11 November was tried by court martial for absenting himself without leave and two charges of 'while on active service using insubordinate language to his superior officer.' He was sentenced to two years hard labour although the sentence was later reduced by GOC (4th Army Corps) to 12 months. He was discharged from the army on 21 January 1916. However, he re-enlisted on 4 December 1917 (97814 3rd Bn Sherwood Foresters) and served in France from 7 March 1918 to 21 May 1918. He served at home from 22 May to 21 January 1920 when he was discharged 'being no longer physically fit for war service'; he was discharged to his parents' address at 6 Clyde Villas. Bernard qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. (See also 'Extra information') Leonard enlisted in January 1918 giving his occupation as racing stable boy. He was living at 6 Clyde Villas with his parents. Leonard was posted to the Army Veterinary Corps (34504), but transferred to the Labour Corps, Eastern Command Labour Centre (660504), probably in February 1918. His army record shows that he had a poor physique, including pre-exisiting 'spinal curvature'. He was admitted to hospital in Edinburgh in 1918 with subsequent transfers to other hospitals until his discharge from hospital in the August. He was discharged from the army on 28 February 1919 ('Sickness Para 392 xvi') and was issued with Silver Badge No. B243436 in July 1919. Leonard died in 1925 (reg. Birkenhead, Cheshire).
1911 - confectioner. He was a miner at Clifton Colliery Nottingham when he enlisted in the Territorial Force in May 1914.
31 Jul 1915
19
146988 - CWGC Website
2199
28 Freeth Street, Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Private
7th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
1/7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). 'Popularly known as ‘The Robin Hoods’, the 7th Notts & Derbys took the place of the Robin Hood Rifles, on the formation of the Territorial Force in April 1908. The Robin Hoods formed three battalions during the First World War (1/7th, 2/7th and 3/7th Battalions).’ (www.therobinhoods.org.uk) Served as Frank Pykett. Frank enlisted as in the Territorial Force on a four year engagement (4 years UK) on 21 May 1914 aged 17 years 10 months. However, he transferred to embodied service, probably on 3 September 1914, which meant he could serve abroad. His service with the regular army was deemed to date from 5 August 1914. He served at home until 27 February 1915 then was with the battalion in France from 28 February 1915. The following month he was admitted to a Field Ambulance on 11 March 1915 (urticaria), transferred to No. 5 Casualty Clearing station on 12 March, returning to duty shortly after. The battalion served in the Ypres Salient and was in action during the German liquid fire attack at Hooge where Frank was killed. All the military records give Leonard's date of death as 31 July although the CWGC record cites 1 August. According to a letter sent to Frank's parents by one of the battalion's officers, he was killed by the 'explosion of a mine from a mortar'. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (grave reference l D 15). Frank qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (extract): 'During the First World War, the village of Lijssenthoek was situated on the main communication line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields. Close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations. The cemetery was first used by the French 15th Hopital D'Evacuation and in June 1915, it began to be used by casualty clearing stations of the Commonwealth forces ... The cemetery contains 9,901 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 24 being unidentified.' (www.cwgc.org)
His brother Bernard enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in 1903 and served to 1910 and mobilised in August 1914. Service record: Home 17 January 1903-7 December 1903. China 8 December 1903-6 December 1904. (-) Settlements 7 December 1904-11 December 1906. India 12 February 1906-8 August 1910. Home 9 August 1910-3 November 1914. BEF 4 November 1914-15 January 1916. Home 16 January 1916-21 January 1916. (See also 'Family history for other details.) Bernard was awarded the Royal Humane Society Certificate in May 1913 for saving the life of a young boy who had fallen into the river Trent (NEP 27 June 1913). The newspaper report said that Pykett, of Freeth Street, was a professional footballer [with one of the Nottingham clubs]. In May 1917 the same newspaper reported that Bernard had recovered the body of a nine-year old boy who had drowned in the river Trent some days before, following unsuccessful attempts by several onlookers to rescue him. Bernard later earned his living as a swimmer and diver, moving to Lincolnshire for work. Nottingham Evening Post. 'Roll of Honour', 16 August 1915 (abridged): 'Pykett. Killed in action August 4th (sic), Private FL Pykett (Frank) No 2198 (sic) aged 19 years, 1/7th Sherwood Foresters, son of Mr and Mrs RE Pykett, 28 Freeth Street, Meadow Lane.' Nottingham Evening Post, 16 August 1915: "Captain G. H.R. Mellers, on behalf of the commanding officer of the Robin Hoods, and Lieutenant H.H. Walton have written letters of sympathy with Mrs Pykett, on the death of her son. Both write in high terms of his faithful service. Death, which was instantaneous, was due to the explosion of a mine from a mortar. The officers say that Pykett would have gone far in His Majesty's service had he been spared and that his whole platoon felt they had lost a friend and a downright good fellow-always of a happy disposition and an excellent soldier" Report published Nottingham Evening Post, 23rd August 1915:- “A TRUE BRITISH MOTHER” “BEREAVED NOTTINGHAM WOMAN’S BRAVE MESSAGE. “Private F. Pykett, aged 19, of the 1/7th Robin Hood Rifles, was recently killed in action. In the course of a letter to the lad's mother, who lives in Freeth-street, Meadow-lane, Major L. R. Hind writes: “I wish to convey to you and your husband my deepest sympathy in the loss of your son, Private F. L. Pykett. As I unfortunately was wounded a few days previously, I was not present at the time. Your son served all his time in the company under my command, and he had won the affection and high regard not only of all his comrades but of his officers. He was always cheerful, and gave every one a very high opinion of his capacity as a soldier, and had his life been spared he was marked out for rapid promotion. Every one who knew him will mourn a friend, while I lose one upon whose loyalty and work I could always depend. It will be some consolation to you to know that he died nobly doing his duty well. “I myself will try to bear this loss like a true British mother,” are the brave words of Mrs. Pykett.” [ Note: Major Hind, Laurence Arthur Hind, later lieutenant-colonel 1/7th Bn Sherwood Foresters, KIA 1 July 1916 (See record on this Roll of Honour) Above courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Marriages’, 13 October 1915: Sims-Pykett. On October 10th at St Christopher’s Church, Nottingham, Pte Fred Sims, of the 1/7 Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hoods) to Beatrice Pykett, both of this city.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 31 July 1916: ‘Pykett. In loving memory of Francis Lawrence Pykett (Frank), 1/7th Sherwood Forestes (Robin Hoods), killed in action, July 31st 1915, at Hooge, aged 19. A noble life laid down. RIP. Sadly missed by his sorrowing mother, father, brothers, and sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 31 July 1918: ‘Pykett. In loving memory of Pte Frank Pykett, Sherwood Foresters, killed in action July 31st 1915. Sadly missed by his mother, father, sisters and brothers Bernard (severely wounded) and Leonard and Mr and Mrs F Sims [Beatrice & Fred], his sister Hettie Pykett (in France, WAAC).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: legatee mother, Beatrice Pykett WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards: named mother Beatrice Pykett and child BA Pykett. Frank's personal effects - a purse, knife and disc - were returned to his mother at 28 Freeth Street, probably in November 1915. Beatrice wrote to the OIC TF Records in the December enquiring about other possessions: 'Dear Sir, I acknowledge recieot of personal effects of [original partly damanged]. If there are any letters & photos … my son carried them about with him also a leather letter (-) & small book. I would be very pleased to receive them enclosed a stamped envelope again. Thank you for your kind attention. Yours respectfully Beatrice Honora Pykett.'
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photograph published 26 August 1915, Nottingham Evening Post.  Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    Frank Laurence Pykett - Photograph published 26 August 1915, Nottingham Evening Post. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
  • Buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    Francis Laurence Pykett - Buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)