Frank Dove

13330 Private Frank Dove, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment

Born 28th July 1890 in Middleton on the Wolds, Yorkshire
Killed in Action 28th July 1915 in France

Family and Home 1, 2, 3, 4

Frank Dove was born in Middleton on the Wolds, Yorkshire, the fourth of the 8 sons of George Tom Dove and Eliza née Hagues. He was baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Middleton on the Wolds a month later, on 31st August 1890.

His siblings were:

  • George Herbert Dove, born 25th June 1883
  • John Hagues Dove, born 21st May 1886
  • Charles Frederick Dove, born 6th November 1887
  • James Dove, born 17th April 1893
  • Fred Dove, born 17th May 1895
  • Henry Simpson Dove, born 7th July 1896
  • Harry Dove, born 26th February 1898

The family lived at North End, Middleton on the Wolds, where his father was a Blacksmith.

Education 5

Frank therefore attended Middleton School, where he started as an Infant aged 3 years 8 months on 26th March 1894.

Employment 4

In the 1911 Census, Frank is recorded as a 20 year old Domestic Groom, living at Sharrow Cottage, Ullswater, Penrith, where he was a Boarder with Edward Meek, the Coachman and his wife Sarah. His employer at that time was 71 year old Mr Paxton William Parkin of Sharrow Bay, a Gentleman of Private Means.

Frank’s family in 1911 4

However, the 1911 Census shows that Frank’s parents and siblings George, Charlie, Fred, Henry and Harry still lived at Middleton. Frank’s father and his 27 year old brother George were Blacksmiths. Charlie, 23, was a Domestic Gardener and Fred, 15, at home; both Henry, 14, and Harry, 13, were at school.

Working for Lord Brownlow 6, 7

Frank’s obituary states that he worked in the stables for Lord Brownlow for two years before joining up at the outbreak of war. However, he must have moved between Ashridge and Belton, as he is included on both the Little Gaddesden and Belton Rolls of Honour. We know that he was at Belton in the summer of 1914, as the Grantham Journal of Saturday 6th June 1914 records a Whit Monday (1st June) cricket match between the Belton Park Cricket Team and the team from Kesteven Asylum at Rauceby. Frank scored 9 runs for the Belton Park “a most enjoyable time being spent, both teams being about equal“.

Military Service 6, 8, 9, 10

Franks volunteered for the Bedfordshire Regiment. He enlisted at Hertford and served as a Private, Service Number 13330. He was one of 16 men on the Little Gaddesden Roll of Honour who volunteered for the Bedfordshire Regiment in the first month of the War.

12473 William Wells volunteered on 26th August followed by 12589 William Grant, 12591 George Cash and almost certainly 12593 Charles Batchelor on the 27th. Frank Dove and 13724 Horace Halsey joined on or before 3rd September 1914 and a further 10 men attested on 3rd September. These were 13785 Edward Saunders, 14374 Harold Catt, 14532 John Mayling, 14553 Victor Collier, 14546 Frederick Purton R.I.P., 14457 Ernest Bearton, 14575 Arthur Maunders, 17221 Bertie Purton, 17231 Herbert Fenn and 3/8219 Jesse Holland.

Frank was posted to the 2nd Battalion in France on 17th March 1915, just after the Battalion had suffered heavily at Neuve Chapelle. The Battalion was then involved in the Battle of Festubert between 15th and 19th May 1915 and the Second Action at Givenchy on 15th and 16th June 1915.

Death in France 11

On 28th July 1915, his 25th Birthday, Private Frank Dove, 13330, 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment, was killed in action by a sniper’s bullet in France. Both his CWGC Casualty Record and his Obituary give his age as 24, but that does not fit with his Baptism date in 1890, or with his entry in the Middleton School Admission Register.

Burial in France 11

Frank is buried in St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’Avou, Pas de Calais, France. His grave reference is I. H. 5.

Photo of St-Vaast Post Military Cemetery
St. Vaast Post Military Cemetery courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The inscription on his headstone reads:

13330 Private
F. Dove
Bedfordshire Regiment
28th July 1915

The badge of the Bedfordshire Regiment is engraved within the cross.  Beneath the cross are the words

Rest In Peace

Killed on his Birthday 6, 10

From the Grantham Journal, 14th August 1915:

Very sincere regret is felt in Belton at the death in action of Pte. Frank Dove, of the 2nd Bedfordshire Regt. He succumbed to a sniper’s bullet in France on July 28th which, pathetically enough, coincided with his twenty-fourth birthday.

Before the war he was a stable helper at Belton, having been in the employ of Lord Brownlow for two years.

Following the noble example of other employees at Belton he enlisted on the outbreak of hostilities, joining Kitchener’s Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment, and after receiving his training Pte. Dove in due course proceeded to the front.

His friends have received intimation that he was reverently buried in the Churchyard two miles to the rear of the trenches.

By his late colleagues at Belton Pte. Dove was much liked, and his loss will be keenly felt. From the Belton residents, too, the greatest sympathy is extended to Mr. and Mrs. Dove and family, Middleton-on-the-Wold, Driffield.

Quoted extract courtesy of the Grantham Journal

For his War Service, Frank was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. His next of kin would also have received a memorial plaque and scroll; an example of the scroll and covering letter can be seen in William Mayling’s entry.

Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”

Frank Dove is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. His entry records him serving in the 2nd Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment, but does not indicate that he was killed. That information has been added to the Centenary Revision of the Roll.

Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver

Commemorated at Belton

Frank Dove is commemorated on the War Memorial at Belton.

The inscription at the top reads:

In memory of
Our glorious dead
1914 – 1919

Ten names are then listed, of which Frank Dove is the first. Beneath the names is the inscription:

Their glory shall not be
blotted out.
Their name liveth for
evermore.

Photo of the Belton, Grantham War Memorial

The Belton Roll of Honour

Frank  is also one of seven men named on both the original Roll of Honour for Little Gaddesden and the Roll of Honour in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Belton. All were servants of Lord Brownlow, who owned Ashridge House in Hertfordshire and Belton House near Grantham. The other men named on both Rolls are: Harold Catt, Walter Darby, Matthew Fowler, Herbert Jacobs, Mark Kinchington (recorded Kisington at Belton) and Ernest Moore. Herbert Flowers and Rupert Flowers, whose father was Lord Brownlow’s Coachman, are named on the Belton Roll and have been added to the Centenary Revision of the Little Gaddesden Roll.

Photo of the Belton Roll of Honour

Commemorated on his Parents’ Grave

Frank Dove is also commemorated on the grave of his parents George Tom and Eliza Dove in the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church, Middleton on the Wolds, and on the War Memorial in that church.

Photo of the Dove Family Grave at St Andrew's, Middleton
Frank Dove’s Family Gravestone courtesy of Neil Turner

The inscription reads:

In Loving Memory of
Eliza
Wife of
George Tom Dove
Who Died 15th October 1923
Aged 63 Years
Also
Frank
Son of the Above
Fell in Action in France
28th July 1915
Aged 24 Years
Rest in Peace
Also
George Tom Dove
Who Died 5th November 1936
Aged 77 Years
Resting with The Lord

References

1. https://www.findmypast.co.uk England & Wales births 1837-2006 Transcriptions

2. https://www.findmypast.co.uk Yorkshire Baptisms (Middleton on the Wolds)

3. https://www.ancestry.co.uk The 1939 Register

4. https://www.findmypast.co.uk 1891 – 1911 England, Wales & Scotland Census Transcriptions

5. https://www.findmypast.co.uk National School Admission Registers & Log-books 1870-1914, Middleton School, Yorkshire

6. https://www.findmypast.co.uk Newspapers & Periodicals – The Grantham Journal 14th August 1915, p3, col.6

7. https://www.findmypast.co.uk Newspapers & Periodicals – The Grantham Journal 6th June 1914

8. https://www.ancestry.co.uk UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

9. http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/2ndbn/2ndbtn1915diary.html

10. https://www.ancestry.co.uk  British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards 1914-1920

11. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/569985/dove,-frank/

Do you have any questions about the information recorded here? Or do you have any further information that you can share with us about those from Little Gaddesden who died or fought for their country? In either case, please contact Jane Dickson at war-remembrance@littlegaddesdenchurch.org.uk.

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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson