01102 Transport Warrant Officer 1st Class Frank Bellas Falder, Army Ordnance Corps
Born on 21st August 1894 in Lockington, Leicestershire
Died on 9th December 1985 in Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire
Frank Bellas Falder was born in Lockington, Leicestershire, the youngest of the 7 children of John Falder and Rebecca née Lowthian. He was baptised at St Nicholas’ Church, Lockington on 14th October 1894.
His siblings were:
- Sister: Isabel, who died aged eight, born in 1884
- Brother: John, born 5th May 1886
- Sister: Margaret Ellen, born 1st November 1887
- Sister: Fanny, born 17th March 1889
- Brother: Joseph George, born 29th March 1891
- Brother: Hugh James, born 19th July 1892
His father was a Farmer who, when Frank was born, farmed Hall Farm, Lockington, Leicestershire. However, by 1901, the family lived at Newton Lane Farm, Newton Solney, Derbyshire.
On 9th April 1901, Frank Falder and his brothers Joseph and Hugh all started at Bretby School, close to Newton Lane Farm. They had previously attended Hemington School, close to Lockington. This, then, suggests that the family moved to Newton Lane Farm in March 1901. The School Admissions Register shows that all 3 boys completed Standard 1 and Standard 2, in 1901 and 1902 but gives no further information. 5½ year old Frank must have been a capable little boy to complete those Standards in the same school years as his two older brothers.
In the 1911 Census, 16 year old Frank was an Accountant’s Clerk living at home at Newton Lane Farm. His 54 year old father was a widower, helped on the farm by his sons John, 25, and Joseph, 20. Margaret Ellen, 23, is recorded as “Farmer’s Daughter (Housekeeper)” while Fanny, 22, was a Domestic Science Teacher.
Frank may have moved to Little Gaddesden between 1911 and 1914, which would explain why he is named on the Little Gaddesden Roll of Honour. However, he is not named in any Little Gaddesden Census returns, Electoral Registers or Parish Records.
Few details of Frank’s military service in the Army Ordnance Corps survive. However, he must have volunteered very early in the War, as he served overseas in France from 21st January 1915. Initially a Corporal, he was later promoted to Temporary Warrant Officer 1st Class. On 16th July 1919, Frank was demobilised and transferred to Class Z Reserve. For his War Service, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
Frank Falder 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. On the original Roll his unit is abbreviated to “Ordnance Dept”; on the Centenary Revision of the Roll this has been recorded more formally as “Army Ordnance Corps”, which was correct at the time he volunteered. By the time he was discharged, this had become the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
On 24th April 1923 Frank Bellas Falder married Kathleen Startin Jefford at St Wystan’s Church, Bretby, Derbyshire.
Frank, 28, a Batchelor, was then a Farmer living at Thornton in Leicestershire. Kathleen, 25, was a Spinster living in Bretby; her father, James Walton Jefford (deceased) was previously a Farmer.
Frank and Kathleen lived at Lindridge Farm, Thornton, Leicestershire. Their son Frank Walton Falder was born on 19th November 1924, their daughter Marjorie on 29th July 1926 and their daughter Eileen in 1928.
However, from 1930, Electoral Registers show the family living at Roes Rest, Leicester Forest West, where Frank continued to farm.
Frank and Kathleen’s marriage lasted 62 years until Frank died on 9th December 1985. His address then was: Burnthorn, Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire. Kathleen, however, lived to be 107; she died in Leicestershire in the 2nd Quarter of 2004.
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson