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Casulaty Details

 
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Name: Frank ROCHESTER
Casualty No.: Ranks: Lieutenant Initials: F Service No.:
Date of Birth : - Place of Birth : Crawcrook, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. Age at Death: 29
Unit: 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers, Australian Imperial Force.
Former Unit(s): Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
Place Enlisted: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Place of Residence: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Home Address: Barmoor, West Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham.
Previous Address: Office House, Emma Colliery, Barmoor, West Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham.
Civilian Employment: Blacksmith (five years apprenticeship with the Stella Coal Company). He is recorded as having worked at Emma Colliery.
How Died: Killed in action
Date of Death: Tuesday 23rd April 1918
Place of Death: Strazeele, Belgium.
Battle/Campaign:
Locally Commemorated: Ryton War Memorial, Station Bank, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. Emma Colliery Memorial, Crawcrook, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. St John's Church, Roll of Honour, Greenside, Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham.
UK Commemorated: -
Overseas Commemorated: -
Buried: Borre British Cemetery, Nord, France. I.A.21
Decoration and Medals: 1914-15 Star War Medal Victory Medal.
Photographs: 2
Service Records: Yes
Death Notice/Obituary: Blaydon Courier, page 4, 4th May 1918. Blaydon Courier, page 8, 11th May 1918.
Family Details:
Son of John William and Marian Pringle Rochester, of Emma Colliery, Barmoor, West Ryton on Tyne, Co. Durham. Sisters: Mary, and Marion. Brother: John Shield.
Notes : Having emigrated to Australia, Frank enlisted in the 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers, Australian Imperial Force, on 19th August 1914. He had already served three years as a Reservist with the Royal Navy back in England. His unit proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli, Turkey. During his time in Gallipoli he spent some time in hospital as a result of a ruptured knee. He was promoted to 2nd Corporal on 15th July 1915. Further promotions followed in France. To Corporal, 22nd December 1915. To Sergeant (temporary), 23rd July 1916. To Sergeant, 9th August 1916. He returned to England and enrolled at Officer Cadet School, Newark, Nottinghamshire. Having gained a commission, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant on 17th November 1917. He was detached for duty with 12th Field Company, Australian Engineers, to France, 24th February 1918. About midday on the 23rd April 1918, Frank and Corporal Robson were making their way back through the streets of Strazeele, having successfully tested mine fuses, when they were hit by an enemy shell. Death was instantaneous. During the afternoon a working party of the 1st Field Company found the two bodies. They were taken to the company billets at Pradelles and thence to the rear Company Headquarters. A Padre from the 2nd Australian Infantry Brigade officiated at the burial ceremony.
Sources Used: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register. National Archives of Australia.
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