1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 16695 Frank Adlington
- Age: 29
- From: Liverpool
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 18th Btn
- K.I.A Saturday 1st July 1916
- Commemorated at: Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref: P&F1D8B &8 C.
16695 Private Frank ADLINGTON, 18th Battalion KLR.
Frank was born in St Domingo Grove, Everton on 21st May 1887, the youngest of eight children born to commission agent, Thomas Pennington Adlington and his wife Isabella (nee Pybus) who married in 1869. Frank was baptised in St Peter's Church, Liverpool on 01st August 1887.
His father, Thomas, died in 1889 and by the time of the 1891 Census the family were living at 8 The Willows, Everton. His mother is a 43 year old widow, born in Catterick who is now a coal agent. Frank is 3 years of age and shares the home with his widowed grandmother Jane Pybus aged 75 and seven siblings who were all born in Everton; Florence E. is 19 and a photographers assistant, Eleanor J is 17 and also a photographer's assistant, Isabella aged 15, George aged 14, Maude aged 10, William aged 8 and Hilda S. aged 6.
His eldest sister, Florence Elizabeth, born in 1872, died in 1898.
In 1901 Isabella, a 54 years old widow, lived with her surviving seven children at 8 The Willows, Liverpool, when Frank’s two older brothers were employed as clerks with a provision merchant and a shipping company.
By 1911, Isabella, still at the same address, lived with five of her children, including Frank who was a shipping clerk.
Frank enlisted at St George's Hall in Liverpool on 02nd September 1914 joining the 18th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment. He gave his age as 27 years 103 days, his occupation as clerk and his next of kin initially as his mother.
From the 23rd September 1914 he was billeted at Hooton Park Race Course and remained there until 03rd December 1914 when they moved into the hutted accommodation at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 18th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain.
Frank married Ellen Jameson of 14 Prescot Road, Knotty Ash, on 29th September 1915 at Liverpool Registry Office. He subsequently named her as his next of kni, replacing his mother whom he had nominated in September 1914.
He went to France on board the SS Invicta reaching Boulogne at 4.30pm on 07th November 1915, just five weeks after his marriage.
On 01st July 1916, Frank took part in the opening attacks of the Battle of the Somme at Montauban and was killed in action, aged 29. The Battalion diary gives an insight into the circumstances of the day:
At 6.30am the artillery commenced an intensive bombardment of the enemy’s trenches. Zero Hour – 7.30 am – the battalion commenced to leave their trenches and the attack commenced. The attack was pressed with great spirit and determination in spite of heavy shelling and machine gun enfilade fire which caused casualties amounting to 2/3rds of the strength of the Battalion in action. The whole system of German trenches including the Glatz Redoubt was captured without any deviation from the scheduled programme. Consolidated positions and made strong points for defence against possible counter attacks.
Graham Maddocks provides more detail concerning the events of the day:
As the first three waves began to move forward towards the German reserve line, known as Alt Trench and then on to the Glatz Redoubt itself, they suddenly came under enfilading fire from the left. This was from a machine gun which the Germans had sited at a strong point in Alt Trench. The gun itself was protected by a party of snipers and bombers, who, hidden in a rough hedge, were dug into a position in Alt Trench, at its junction with a communication trench known as Alt Alley. These bombers and snipers were themselves protected by rifle fire from another communication trench, Train Alley which snaked back up the high ground and into Montauban itself. The machine gun fire was devastating and it is certain that nearly of the Battalion’s casualties that day were caused by that one gun.
Lieutenant Colonel Edward Henry Trotter wrote in the conclusion of his account of the days action:
I cannot speak to highly of the gallantry of the Officers and men. The men amply repaid the care and kindness of their Company Officers, who have always tried to lead and not to drive. As laid down in my first lecture to the Battalion when formed, in the words of Prince Kraft:
“Men follow their Officers not from fear, but from love of the Regiment where everything had always and at all times gone well with them”.
Joe Devereux in his book A Singular Day on the Somme gives the Casualty Breakdown for the 18th Battalion as Killed in Action 7 Officers and 165 men and of those who died in consequence of the wounds 3 Officers and 19 men a total of 194 out of a total loss for the four Liverpool Pals Battalions of 257.
Frank's body was not recovered and his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
In a letter to the Home Office, his wife explained how prior to their marriage Frank’s separation money was paid at his request to his mother and how, despite their marriage, Ellen...
“left it to his mother...thinking I would see him again...I think I stood in my own light not to take the separation money when he asked me but I thought I should leave it as he left it till he should return to me”.
Ellen was awarded a pension of 10 shillings a week from 22nd January 1917.