Frank HALLAM
Rank: Private
Number: M2/227577
Unit: Mechanical Transport, Y Siege Park ARMY SERVICE CORPS
Date of Death: 29 April 1918
Age: 20
Cemetery: Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, Belgium

John Alfred Hallam married Emily May Clayton on 4 September 1895, at St Thomas' Church, Norbury, Hazel Grove.  A couple of years later, their first child, Elsie, was born, followed by Frank a year later. By the time of the 1901 Census, two more daughters, Marjorie and Muriel, had been born and the family was living at 227 London Road, Hazel Grove. John was a successful pattern card manufacturer and was a local councillor (by 1918, he was Chairman of the Urban District Council).

Frank was educated at Stockport Grammar School and then went to work at Hollins Mill on Portland Street, Manchester. This was one of the city's larger employers in the cotton industry but, for some reason, Frank is not recorded on the Company's entry in the Manchester Battalions' Roll of Honour book.

Frank was conscripted into the army in 1916, no doubt when he became 18 and went overseas in May 1917. The letter "M" in the prefix of Frank's service number indicates he served with a mechanised transport company of the Army Service Corps. At a time when horse drawn transport was still commonplace, the use of motor vehicles developed during the war with the need to transport heavy loads of ammunition. Although his ASC Company is not noted on the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, it was probably 403 Company. This unit initially worked as an ammunition column, delivering shells to 26th Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery. Later, it became responsible for "Y" Siege Park. Siege Parks were the ammunition and supplies stores for the heavy artillery. They were situated some considerable way behind the front , as was the heavy artillery, and it would be a relatively safe duty, although casualties from shelling were regularly experienced, as the lorries moved the ammunition up to the gun emplacements..

Frank, however, was not killed by the enemy but died as a result of an accident as described by the officer who wrote to his family "It is with the greatest regret I have to inform you your son was killed yesterday in a collision with a train whilst in the performance of his duty. When I heard I immediately went to the scene of the accident; death was practically instantaneous. How sorry I am I can hardly tell you, for he was one of the nicest and best working boys on my column, ever ready to do the work he had set out to do with a willing heart. I have just seen a padre and he will be laid to rest this afternoon in a military cemetery. It grieves me very much to write this and on behalf of myself, the NCOs and men of the column please accept out deepest sympathy in your bereavement."

Further information about Frank, including a photograph, is included in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon" by John Eaton.

   
           
   
     
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