Biography of Lance Corporal Frank Bristow (58869)
24th Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) Regiment
Formerly 3/26425, Lincolnshire Regiment
Died 27th March 1918
- Name: Frank Bristow
- Date of birth: 1887
- Place of Birth: Wilsford, Lincolnshire, England
- Date of Birth Registration: April – June 1887
- Place of Birth Registration: Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England
- Name: Leonard Knight Bristow
- DOB: 1855
- Place of Birth: Rauceby, Lincolnshire, England
- Occupation: Labourer
- Name: Rose Woods
- DOB: 1861
- Place Of Birth: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
- Marriage: 1879 Sleaford District
- George Henry Bristow, 1880, Grantham
- Leonard Bristow, 1883, Wilsford
- Frank Bristow, 1887, Wilsford
- Harry Bristow, 1889, Wilsford
- Harriett Bristow, 1892, Wilsford
- Charlotte Bristow, 1897, Wilsford
- Annie Bristow, 1899, Wilsford
- Steven Bristow, 1900, Wilsford
- 1891: Frank is living with his parents in Wilsford Town, Wilsford, Lincolnshire.
- 1901: Frank is living with his parents in Wilsford, Lincolnshire.
- 1911: Frank is living with his wife in Back Lane, Billingborough, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 25 and he is listed as a chimney sweep.
- None found
- Name: Sarah Ann Wilkinson
- Date of birth: 1884
- Place of Birth: Thorpe Tilney, Lincolnshire, England
- Date of Marriage: 1910
- Place of Marriage: Lincoln District
- Reginald Bristow, 1912, Bourne, Lincolnshire
- Francis Bristow, 1916, Bourne, Lincolnshire
- Father: John Robert Wilkinson
- Mother: Eliza Hill
- Grantham Journal Saturday 12th May 1917
- THE FIGHTING – We hear that Pte Frank Bristow, son of Mrs J.W. Baker has been wounded in the recent heavy fighting. Pte. Ernest Tewson, who is lying wounded in France, has been visited by his brother Pte. Fred Tewson, who finds him making nice progress.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 4th May 1918
KILLED IN ACTION – Mrs. F Bristow, yesterday week received an official communication stating that her husband, Lance-Corpl. F. Bristow (M.G.C.), was killed in action on March 27th. Nothing had been heard of him for several weels, and the news of his death came as a great shock to his wife and many friends. Not many weeks ago he was home on leave. His bisiness as a chimney sweep took im into many of the villages around, and he was well known. Widow and two young children are left, and so them genuine sympathy is extended.
ANOTHER SACRIFICE – Wilsford still continues to sustain its share of sacrifice in the great struggle for freedom and right. The sad news was communicated on Friday that Lance-Corpl. Frank Bristow son of Mrs. J.W. Baker, was killed on March 27th. Lance-Corps. Bristow joined a Lincolnshire Regiment in 1916 and went to France in December of that year. He had previously resided at Billingborough for about six years, where he had established the business of a chimney sweep. He was home on leave during the first half of February, looking the picture of health and having up to then escaped injury. Of a happy, genial disposition, he was well-known and liked by everybody and amidst his somewhat extensive family acquaintance in the village enjoyed his brief and last furlough to the utmost. Lance-Corpl. Bristow, who was 31 years of age, leaves a widow and two boys, aged six and two years respectively, and to them and his other relatives the sympathy of the parish is sincerely extended.
- Grantham Journal Saturday 29th June 1918
Lance-Corpl FRANK BRISTOW of Wilsford
Lance-Corpl. Frank Bristow M.G.C. son of Mrs J.W. Baker of Wilsford was killed in France a few weeks ago and leave a widow and two children.
- None found
- These records show that Lance Corporal Frank Bristow, 58869, Infantry Bn, Machine Gun Corps was killed in action on 27th March 1918 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.
- Widow Sarah A
- The British Medal
- The Victory Medal
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials
Military Service Timeline
Today we remember Billingborough man, Frank Bristow who died on this day 27 March 1918, aged 30 whilst serving with the Machine Gun Corps.Born in Wilsford, Lincolnshire in 1887, between the months of April and June, Frank was the son of Leonard Knight Bristow, a labourer from Rauceby, and Rose (nee Woods) from Bourne. Leonard and Rose were married in Sleaford in 1879.They went on to have eight children:George Henry (born 1880, Grantham)Leonard (1883, Wilsford)Frank (1887, Wilsford)Harry (1889, Wilsford)Harriet (1892, Wilsford)Annie (1899, Wilsford)Steven (1900, Wilsford).On both the 1891 and 1901 censuses, Frank was recorded to be living with his parents in Wilsford, Lincolnshire.In 1910, Frank married Sarah Ann (nee Wilkinson), born 1884 in Thorpe Tilney, Lincolnshire. They were married in Lincoln. On the 1911 census, Frank and Sarah were living in Back Lane, Billingborough. Frank is listed to be aged 25 and is working as a chimney sweep.They went on to have two children:Reginald (born 1912, Bourne)Francis (1916, Bourne).Although Frank’s records do not exist in abundance, we are aware that he previously served with the Lincolnshire Regiment before moving to the Machine Gun Corps. He initially enlisted in 1916 and arrived in France in December of the same year. During his time in the war, he moved up the ranks to be promoted to a Lance Corporal. The history of the 24th Battalion Machine Gun Corps as listed on The Long Long Trail website states that they were formed in the 23rd Division by 17 February 1916. They eventually moved to the 8th Division.Fortunately though, Frank is mentioned a number of times in local newspapers which help us piece together his war journey.The Grantham Journal, 12 May 1917 report states:‘’THE FIGHTING- We hear that Pte Frank Bristow, son of Mrs J. W. Baker, has been wounded in the recent heavy fighting. Pte Ernest Tewson, who is lying wounded in France, has been visited by his brother Pte. Fred Tewson, who finds him making nice progress.’’Unfortunately, the next time Frank is mentioned is to state his death. The Grantham Journal 3 May 1918 reads:‘’ANOTHER SACRIFICE- Wilsford continues to sustain its share of sacrifice in the great struggle for freedom and right. The sad news was communicated on Friday that Lance- Corpl. Frank Bristow, son of Mrs J. W. Baker was killed on March 27th. Lance- Corpl Bristow joined a Lincolnshire Regiment in 1916, and went to France in December of that year. He had previously resided at Billingborough for about six years, where he had established the business of a chimney sweep. He was home on leave during the first half of February, looking the picture of health, and having up to then escaped injury. Of a happy, genial disposition, he was well- known and liked by everybody, and amidst his somewhat extensive family acquaintance in the village enjoyed his brief and last furlough to the utmost. Lance- Corpl. Bristow, who was 31 years of age, leaves a widow and two boys, aged six and two years respectively, and to them and his other relatives the sympathy of the parish is sincerely extended.’’Through receiving such a lengthy excerpt dedicated to him, we can begin to create a picture to Frank’s character and personality. He was clearly a well-loved family man, admired by all those who knew him.The next day, 4 May 1918, the Grantham Journal wrote about Frank again:‘’KILLED IN ACTION- Mrs. F Bristow, yesterday week received an official communication stating that her husband, Lance- Corpl, F Bristow (M.G.C), was killed in action of March 27th. Nothing had been heard of him for several weeks, and the news of his death came as a great shock to his wife and his many friends. Not many weeks ago he was home on leave. His business as a chimney sweep took him into many of the village around, and he was well known. A widow and two young children are left, and to them genuine sympathy is extended.’’Similar information is also shared again in the Grantham Journal even until late June (29th):‘’Lance- Corpl. FRANK BRISTOW of Wilsford.Lance-Corpl. Frank Bristow M.G.C., son of Mrs J. W. Baker, of Wilsford, was killed in France a few weeks ago. He was home on leave on February last, and leaves a widow and two children.’’All pensions, decided on 19.7.1920, were left to Frank’s wife Sarah Ann.Two years after Frank’s death, we still see him being mentioned in newspaper clips. On this occasion in June 1920, a war memorial was unveiled in the village:‘’WAR MEMORIAL UNVEILED.- An impressive service was held in St. Andrew’s Church on Friday last, when Col. the Hon. Claud H. D. Willoughby, M. P., unveiled a memorial tablet, which has been fixed in the church in memory of the gallant men of the parish who gave their lives in the war. The service, which was largely attended, commenced with the hymn, ‘’Stand Up! Stand up, for Jesus,’’ sung as a processional, after which the Vicar (the Rev. C. R. Thorold Winckley) said the appointed prayers and read the special lesson. Another hymn, ‘’For all the Saints, who from their labours rest,’’ having been sung, Col. Willoughby proceeded to the tablet, and having unveiled it, addressed the congregation. He regarded it as a great honour to be asked to come to Billingborough to perform the ceremony of unveiling a memorial to their glorious dead. Speaking as a soldier, he knew too well what sacrifices had been made by the men who fought in the war, and their courage and devotion to duty, happily, had not been in vain. The knowledge of that should be a source of some consolation to those who had been bereft of their dear ones in the great struggle for right against might. They all should seriously think of what those men had done for them, giving their lives to save us at a time when this country was threatened with the gravest peril. They could not be sufficiently thankful to those who had answered their country’s call, and he might remind them that those whose names were inscribed on the tablet were heroes in exactly the same sense as those of their ancestors who fought and died for their country. They died that we might live, and their names should be cherished, not only by us, but by succeeding generations, knowing full well that it was by the sacrifices they made that this country and those who lived in it, might enjoy immunity from the tyranny of a cruel and relentless foe. After the dedication prayers, the hymn, ‘’On the Resurrection Morning,’’ was sung, and a memorable service closed with the Benediction. The tablet, which is of carved Ketton stone, has a panel of Swithland slate, upon which the following names are inscribed:- Frank Bristow, Walter Carrington, Edward Chapman, George Dudley, George Dunster, Ernest Durham, Frederick Gibson, Leslie G. Hodgkinson, George Nicholson, John A. Nowers, Jim Rylott, Francis Sellars, Arthur Stennett, Sidney A. Ward, John R. Wilson, Reginald Winckley, Alfred Wing, J. William Wright. Above the tablet appear the words, ‘’For God, King, and Country’’ and below, ‘’Let not their names be forgotten.’’ Amongst those who attended the service were Canon Grinter, Vicar of Bourne, and the Rev. T. E. Menrig-Davies, Vicar of Horbling. A muffled peal was rung on the church bells before the commencement of the service.’’Further dedications continued in to August 1920, which is possibly a continuation from the first event now that the men listed is more extensive:‘’UNVEILING OF A MEMORIAL WINDOW- A further tribute has been paid to the brave men of Billingborough who have their lives in the war, by the filling of the central light of the east window of the Wesleyan Church with stained glass, the subject being ‘’The Crucifixion.’’ It is a fine piece of work, and does the artist much credit, the colours, especially, being beautifully blended. Immediately underneath the figure of the dead Saviour, appears the following words:- ‘’Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.’’ Below are four brass tablets. On the first is the following inscription: ‘’To the Glory of God: In memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War, 1914- 1918.’’ On the other three are inscribed the names of the men who fell: John W. Bates, Richard Bennett, Frank Bristow, Walter Carrington, John F. Chapman, John Cox, Harry Cox, George Dudley, William Dudley, George Dunster, Ernest Durham, George E. Gibson, Leslie G. Hodgkinson, John A. Nowers, George Nicholson, Jim Rylott, Lionel Rippin, Francis Sellers, Arthur Stennett, Sidney Ward, John R. Wilson, Reginald Winckley, and John Wright. A crowded congregation attended a memorial service on Sunday afternoon when the unveiling ceremony was performed by the Rev. Alec Sneath, of Thurlby, who has worked as a missionary in East Africa. He delivered a singularly appropriate address, during which many were visibly affected. Suitable hymns and music were sang and played, and the service was most impressive. The window was fixed by Mr. Albert Everin, of Billingborough, and the cost, about £75, has been raised by friends of the Connexion.’’Frank is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme. Situated on the Bapaume- Albert road, the Memorial encloses Pozieres Cemetery. The Pozieres Memorial commemorates over 14,000 men from the United Kingdom and 300 South Africans with no known grave who fought in the Somme region from 21 March to 7 August 1918. Pozieres Cemetery contains both battlefield and concentration burials brough to the site after the end of the war. The original plots include dates from 1916 onwards, with the majority being of those who died in the Autumn of 1916. There are 2,758 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery- 1,380 of which are unidentified. There are ‘’special memorials’’ as referred to by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, to 23 casualties known or who are believed to be buried in this cemetery. There is also 1 German burial.The cemetery and memorial were designed by W. H. Cowlishaw, with sculpture by Laurence A. Turner. The memorial was unveiled by Sir Horace Smith- Dorrien on 4 August 1930.Frank is commemorated on Panel 90.
- WW1 Soldier’s Records (www.ancestry.co.uk)
- British Newspaper Archive.
- Fold 3
- Find My Past
- Forces War Records
- British Army Service Numbers
- War Gratuity Calculator
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
- General Registry Office