Frank ASHCROFT
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 127485
Unit: 57th Battalion MACHINE GUN CORPS
Date of Death: 9 April 1918
Age: 26
Cemetery: Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

The name of F Ashcroft appears on the Stockport War Memorial. It is at the bottom of one the panels, out of alphabetical order and is a later addition. Frank was the son of Wilson and Sarah Ashcroft and had been born in the Lower Broughton area of Salford. He appears to have spent most of his life living in Flixton and was certainly living there when he enlisted into the army. The family home was “West Wood”, Western Road. His connection with the Stockport area appears to be through his wife. He married Jessie Firth in late 1915, in the Stockport area. She presumably originated from the area and, by the early 1920s, she had returned to live at 12 Bankfield Avenue, off Didsbury Road. The family history website, CheshireBMD, records the birth of a girl of this name in the Heaton Norris area in 1886 When Frank originally joined the army, he was assigned to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, service number 9248 but never served abroad with the Corps. At some point, possibly when he had finished training, he was transferred to the machine gunners. The War Graves Commission records his date of death as 9 April, but army records published after the War have it as the 12th. On the 9th, the Germans opened the second phase of their spring offensive which continued for several days, driving back the British troops in Flanders. However, Frank’s unit was not in action around this time, being in billets at Beauquesne and Lucheux. The Battalion’s War Diary has no mention of casualties during this quiet time, but Frank is known to have been killed in action in circumstances that have meant he has no known grave. It seems likely, therefore, that he had been attached to a different, unknown unit that was in the thick of the fighting. No further details are known.

   
           
   
     
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