Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Serjeant Frank PRESTON.
28241 / 29807
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Photos and biography provided below.
Serjeant Frank PRESTON. 28241 / 29807.
3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Transferred to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Anne Watson (<firstname.lastname@example.org>), grand-daughter of Serjeant Frank Preston has kindly provided photographs of Frank Preston in the 3rd Battalion and also with his wife and two children. She has also provided family information on Frank Preston.
Fortunately, Frank Preston's Service Record survives in the National Archives. Together with the information provided by Anne Watson, we have a fairly full picture now of his career.
Serjeant Frank Preston, with his wife Florence, son Richard and daughter Alice.
(Photo taken in the early Summer (?) of 1917)
From Serjeant Preston's Service Record;-
Enlisted (in MIddlesbrough) on 9 December 1915. Service No 28241 (Yorkshire Regiment). 3rd Battalion.
Occupation, Shop Manager (clothing shop). Lived in West Street, Middlesbrough.
Wife = Florence Carter (married 12 April 1909).
Two children, Richard (4 October 1910), Alice (6 December 1911).
On Home service, 31 May 1916 - 6 July 1917.
Appointed Acting Sergeant, 20 September 1916.
Posted to France (with the Yorkshire Regiment) 7 July 1917.
Reverted to Corporal on being posted overseas.
Transferred to the Royal Warwicks, 2nd/5th Battalion, 21 July 1917.
Promoted Sergeant 28 August 1917.
Wounded in action, 6 September 1917 (I can't make out any details).
Discharged as unfit for further military service, 9 September 1918.
(Awarded a Silver War Badge, - which denoted that he had been discharged).
Anne Watson, his grand-daughter provides the following additional information;-
Frank Preston, born 27 Sep 1886 in Middlesbrough.
September 6th 1917 The 2/5th Warwicks made an unsuccessful night attack on Hill 35
That direct quote from the official records of the Battle of Passchendaele hides much detail!
Shortly before his death in 1966 Grandpa Frank Preston, maybe for the first time in 49 years, described to me what happened to him that night.
All the men around him were killed and he was trapped, wounded, amongst their bodies until rescue came many hours later.
No helicopter evacuations in those days! Dragged out by fellow soldiers, taken to a field station, horse drawn ambulance, eventually back to hospital in England. Too late to fix his leg.
Discharged a year later as physically unfit for further service, his left leg was 2" shorter than his right and unable to bend at the knee. This was permanent disability! Mentally he suffered nightmares for the rest of his life. But he was one of the "lucky" ones, unrecalled in remembrance services.
I found a list of at least 75 men from his regiment (Royal Warwickshire, 2/5 Battalion) who died on that day. A few are buried in Tyne Cot cemetery, most only listed on the memorial. Some are in other cemeteries.
Grandpa only told me his nightmare, no details of time and place.
Serjeant Preston (back row, 2nd right) with a group of fellow Serjeants
Serjeant Preston (centre) with a platoon of the 3rd Battalion, early 1917.
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