Rank: Sapper
Number: 442396
Unit: 429th Field Company ROYAL ENGINEERS
Date of Death: 13 May 1917
Age: 24
Cemetery: Erehy Wood Farm Cemetery, Epehy, Somme, France

Although the names of Frank's parents have not been established with absolute certainty they are thought to have been John and Ann (nee Padmore) who married in 1889 at Stockport. Ann died in 1900, shortly after the birth of their son, James.  Frank probably found himself unable to cope with raising his three sons (the oldest, James, was 9)and the boys went to live with their grandparents. Later, Frank is known to have lived with an aunt. The relatives were from the Padmore side.  

When the Census was taken in 1901, Frank and his brothers were at 112 Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey. This was the home of their grandfather, local builder and farmer, John Padmore. The Padmores were a well known and respected family and the boys' Uncle George was a councillor and magistrate.  The Census notes that 249 Didsbury Road was the home of a 65 year old man called Thomas Barrowclough. His widowed daughter in law, Charlotte and two children, Thomas and Samuel were also living there. It is very probable that these were Frank's relatives. Seventeen years later, the local Stockport newspaper would report that Sam Barrowclough from Heaton Mersey was home on leave from service with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

It's not known when Frank went to live with his unmarried aunt, but Miss Padmore also lived on Didsbury Road at No. 544. Frank furthered his education by attending the Sunday School at Heaton Mersey and, in later life, became a good musician, playing the organ for Heaton Mersey Gospel Services. He was a keen sportsman, playing as an attacking "second home" for the local lacrosse club in the winter and playing cricket in summer.

Frank enlisted into the army in September 1915 and was assigned to the Engineers. It is not known what he did for a living before the War but may have had skills useful to them. The unit, part of the Territorial Force, was originally called the 3rd East Lancashire Field Company but was renamed as the 429th when it went overseas to Egypt in July 1916. The troops moved to France in February/March 1917.

On 13 May, Frank was in billets in the French village of Epehy. The Company's War Diary records his fate. "High explosive shell exploded inside ventilator of a cellar where part of No. 3 Section were billeted, causing following casualties - 10 fatalities and 1 died later." Frank and his comrades were buried at 2.30pm the following day. Among them was his good friend, Tom Shaw from Didsbury.

Frank had been an active member of the Stockport Sunday School Brotherhood. Its magazine, reporting his death, said he had often written home recording his time in Egypt. He had written "with great joy, his visits to Cairo, the Pyramids and, particularly, places with which his Bible reading had made him familiar." Another member of the Brotherhood wrote of him "It is hard to believe that his cheer, honest, energetic and lovable soul will be amongst us no more, but I shall not think of him as far away. He is doing useful higher service in one of our Father's many mansions. I shall always be proud and glad that I have known him."

It's believed that John Barrowclough had remarried in 1905 to Mary Jane Worthington at Heaton Mersey Methodist Church. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records Frank as being the stepson of Jane Barrowclough of Styal.

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