[Skip to content]

  • Buried in Favreuil British Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Beeston Nottingham
Frank was the son of Mary Ellen Harper (later Sheldon). His mother was was born in 1873, the daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Harper, and baptised at Beeston St John the Baptist in the December. In 1891 her parents, Mary (17), a lace mender, and four younger siblings were living at 69 Upper Regent Street, Beeston, Nottingham. Frank's birth was registered in 1894 (J/F/M). His mother married James Sheldon at Beeston St John the Baptist on 21 September the following year. Mary Ellen and James had a daughter, Doris, who was born in 1896 and baptised at St John the Baptist in March of that year. There were probably two sons, James who was born in 1897 but died the same year, and Harold whose birth was registered in 1900 (J/F/M) and whose death was registered in the same period. Mary and James were living at 21 The City, Beeston, when their daughter was baptised in 1896. However, in 1901 Ellen (sic) Sheldon, described as married and employed as a leather worker, her son Frank (7) and daughter Doris (4) were living with her parents at 69 Upper Regent Street. Doris died later that year (reg. September). By 1911 Mary Ellen and Frank, a horse driver below ground, had moved to 40 Lower Regent Street, Beeston. Also in the household were three female boarders. Frank was living in Aston, Birmingham, when he enlisted; he was serving in France by 1916. His mother may have predeceased her son as she is not included in a notice of Frank's death in the local paper in September 1918. (See 'Extra information.) There is a registration of the death of a Mary E Sheldon in 1918 (A/M/J Basford) aged about 45. According to the notice, Frank left a widow and one child. A military pension record names a widow, Mary Ellen Harvey (sic) of 30 Packmore, Warwick, previously of 27 Fairey Hill Cottages, Ryde, Isle of Wight. There is a record of a marriage between Frank Harper and Mary Ellen Watson registered in the Isle of Wight in 1917 (A/M/J). Mary Ellen was born in Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1898 and was living in Ryde with her great uncle and great aunt, Frank and Fanny Watson, at the time of the 1901 and 1911 census. Although the pension record does not name a child, this was probably Norman F Harper whose birth was registered in 1918 (A/M/J Isle of Wight, mother's maiden name Watson). Frank's widow married Ernest Harvey on 12 February 1919 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Ryde, Isle of Wight, marriage registered A/M/J Isle of Wight. A notice of the marriage was published in the Isle of Wight Observer (see 'Extra information'). They later lived in Warwick. Mary Ellen probably died in 1986 (reg. Mid-Warwickshire).
In 1911 he was a horse driver below ground (colliery)
01 Sep 1918
565075 - CWGC Website
Aston, Birmingham. Enlisted Birmingham
16th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment
'D' Coy, 16th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment Frank was with the BEF France where the battalion had served since November 1915. A medical record shows that in 1916 he was treated for malaria at 19th General Hospital for 37 days before being transferred to England on 25 August; he had served in the army for nine months and been five months in the field. No record has yet been traced of the date of Frank's return to the front but he was in the UK in 1917 as he was married on the Isle of Wight in the second quarter of that year. The battalion served in Italy from November 1917 but transferred to France in April the following year. Frank was killed in action on 1 September 1918 and is buried in Favreuil British Cemetery, France (grave ref. I.F.5). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Favreuil British Cemetery (extract): 'Favreuil village was occupied by British troops in March, 1917, lost in March, 1918, and retaken by the 37th and New Zealand Divisions on the 25th August. The cemetery was begun in April, 1917, and used until March, 1918, by fighting units (particularly of the 62nd (West Riding) Division) and Field Ambulances. Further burials were made in August and September, 1918, and after the Armistice British graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields and other burial grounds [listed].' (www.cwgc.org)
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 28 September 1918: ‘Harper. Killed in action, September 1st, 1918, Pte. Frank Harper Royal Warwick (late Beeston) aged 24. A precious life laid down; God knew he did his share, and took him home to rest. From loving wife and baby, grandma, granddad, aunts, and uncles.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk). Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his legatee was his widow, Mary E. WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards: Mary Ellen Harvey (sic), widow, of 30 Packmore, Warwick, previously of 27 Fairey Hill Cottages, Ryde, Isle of Wight. Isle of Wight Observer, ‘Marriages’, 1 March 1919: ‘Harvey-Harper. February 12th at the Wesleyan Chapel, Ryde, Lce.Corpl E Harvey of Warwick, to Nellie (sic) Harper of Nettlestone [nr. Ryde].’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Buried in Favreuil British Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Frank Harper - Buried in Favreuil British Cemetery, France. (www.cwgc.org)