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John Bernard Frankton (1898-1918)

Staindrop lad served with 18th DLI

From Staindrop Remembers:

John was the son of Thomas George and Mary Frankton of Staindrop.

In 1911, while living at Staindrop, John’s father was head teacher at Cockfield School. In 1915 Thomas was appointed head of Staindrop School and took a very active part in Church and village events. John had four siblings.

John joined the 18th Durham Light Infantry on 16 February 1917 and served in France and Belgium. He was killed near Armentieres on 12 April 1918, aged 19 and is buried at Le Grand Beaumart British Cemetery, Steenwerck.

John’s name is also recorded on King James’ School Memorial in Bishop Auckland, indicating that he was a pupil there. It is a rectangular bronze plaque with the school crest at the top in full colour and it is placed on the North wall of the Entrance Hall.

In Staindrop old cemetery, his name and death is recorded on his father’s gravestone.

Added by Durham at War:

Like many, John Bernard Frankton was exhumed and reburied after the war. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission moved a large number of small burial sites to larger, more accessible sites so that relatives could visit more easily. This process was referred to as “concentration”. John’s service record contains a letter informing the family that his body had been moved:

No 1 Infantry Record Offices
York: 8th January 1920


I beg to inform you that it has been necessary to exhume the remains of the late No. 45455, Private J.B. Frankton, 18th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, for proper Burial at Le Grand Beaumart Cemetery, 4 1/2 miles West North West of Armentieres.

The new gave has been duly marked with a Cross bearing all the late soldier’s particulars.

The removal was undertaken with every measure of care and reverence, and the re-interment conducted by an Army Chaplain.

Civil Parish: Staindrop

Birth date: 1898

Death date: 1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: West Terrace (North)

Education: King James School, Bishop Auckland

Employment: Pupil teacher (Army service record)

Military service:

Attested 18 October 1916 at Barnard Castle
Durham Light Infantry, 45355

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): King James School, Bishop Auckland, plaque
Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Staindrop, plaque
Saint Mary the Virgin Church, Staindrop, book of remembrance

Electoral Register:

Register No: 2226
Forename: John Bernard
Surname: Frankton
Parliamentary Division: Barnard Castle
Polling District: X - Staindrop
Parish: Staindrop
Date: October-1918
Reference: October-1918

Gender: Male

Contributed by Durham County Record Office | Staindrop Remembers

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