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Frank Crafts

Frank Herbert Crafts

Colour Sergeant PO/6400 - Royal Marine
Light Infantry Portsmouth Bn. R.N. Div.

Enlisted: 7th July 1892

Killed in Action Dardanelles 6th May 1915 : Aged 40

Helles Memorial, Panel 2 to 7

Huthwaite Online WW1 Remembrance

Colour Sergeant PO/6400 Frank Herbert Crafts was born 7th Jul 1874 in Hucknall Huthwaite. Parents 1864 Nottingham Q3 registered marriage between Mr William Crafts and Miss Mary Smithurst from Selston moved their young family into Hucknall Huthwaite just months before that 1871 census.

Frank Herbert is identified in larger 1881 household firstly addressing Sherwood Street. Headed by Baker Mr William Crafts 38, Mrs Mary Crafts 36 impressively mothering Emma Maria 15, Lilly Geraldine 13, George 12, Florence Ada 10, Arthur 9, Frank Herbert 7, Adelaide Louise 5, Maude Isabel 3, Wilfred 2, and Albert Ernest 10 months. Birth of another four children precedes family relocation, where Basford 1891 census further ages Annie Cecilia 9, Constance Mary 7, Edith 4 and finally Bernard 2.

Mr Frank Herbert Crafts was independently housed 1891 at Arnold, apparently having followed fathers Bakers trade. Enlistment on his 18th birthday began a military career 7th July 1892 with the Royal Marine Light Infantry. Pte 6400 F H Charter rose up the ranks to Colour Sergeant before RMLI 1911 Boarder at 56 Mill Street, Crewe. Discharge 1913 completed 21 years service.

Cr/Sgt PO/6400 Frank Herbert Crafts readily rejoined the colours from a pensioned reservist. Mobilisation from August 1914 with Portsmouth Royal Navy Battalion ultimately saw action in the Gallipoli campaign, killed in action 6th May 1915, aged 40. He was remembered in Huthwaite not just becoming one of three natives suffering similarly dated fate in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. Brothers still lived nearby in Sutton. Notification addressed sister Maud at 158, Hayden Road, Sherwood, Notts., whilst Mrs Taylor identified another sisters marriage to the Chairman of Huthwaite Urban District Council.

Mansfield Advertiser – 4th June 1915.

Two Huthwaite men, Private J.T. Goodall and Private J.S. Ellis, both of the Royal Marine Light Infantry, have been killed in action “near the Dardanelles”, according to the official statement. Goodall was 26, and lived in Skegby Road. He leaves a widow and one child. Ellis’s home was in Newcastle Street, and he leaves a widow and four children. He was 33 years of age , and about 13 years ago enlisted in the Lincolns, but was bought off after a few months. Both men enlisted last September.
Another Huthwaite native of the same regiment, killed at the same place, was Quartermaster F.H. Crafts, aged 40, whose home was at Sherwood. He had served 21 years, and had been a pensioner 8 months when the war broke out, and he immediately rejoined. He had several brothers at Sutton, and a sister is Mrs. A. Taylor, wife of the Chairman of Huthwaite Urban District Council.
On Sunday morning a memorial service to the three men was held in the Parish Church it was conducted by the Rev. F.N. Beswick, and was largely attended. The proceedings were most impressive, and included the recital of the Burial Service, while the hymns and sermon were of an appropriate nature. The Union Jack flew at half-mast on the church tower, and at the close of the service Mr. A. Wilders rendered the Dead March from “Saul” on the organ.

Notts Free Press – 6th June 1915.

The long immunity from tragic news respecting its own soldier sons which Huthwaite has enjoyed was rudely shattered last week-end, when the news carried that three Huthwaite natives had made the supreme sacrifice in laying down their lives for their country.

The departed heroes are private J.T. Goodall, aged 26, of Skegby Road, Private J. Ellis (often known as Sheppard) of Newcastle Street, and the third is Quartermaster F.H. Crafts (40) who, though his home was at Sherwood, was born at Huthwaite and will be remembered by many people. Several brothers live at Sutton, and a sister is Mrs. A. Taylor, wife of the Chairman of Huthwaite Urban District Council.

Crafts was single and had served 21 years and had been a pensioner for a year and a half, and when the war broke out he immediately rejoined. Goodall and Ellis both joined in September last. A singular feature is that all three belonged to the same regiment (the Portsmouth Brigade of the R.M.L.I.) and were all killed under exactly the same circumstances-officially stated as "near the Dardanelles".

About 13 years ago Ellis served a few months in the Lincolns, but was bought off. He was killed on the 30th. of April, but the date of the other deaths is not stated. Unfortunately, no photograph of Ellis is available.

06 Feb 09     by Gary Elliott       Updated 07 Jul 13