Frank FLEET
Rank: Acting Corporal
Number: 15918
Unit: 1/4th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers
Date of Death: 13 November 1917
Age: 26
Cemetery: Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel

Frank was born in Newcastle under Lyme. In 1901, when the national census was taken, he was living at 63 Ann Street, Reddish. The head of the household is thought to have been a Mr Stanyer, who was not present at the Census. His wife, Elizabeth, was 31 and also originated from Newcastle.

There were several children listed on the census. Within the constraints of this project, it has not been possible to fully establish the relationships. It would seem possible that Frank and 12 year old Ann Fleet, were Elizabeth's children from a previous marriage. Three children named Stanyer - William, Frank and Harry - were probably from a previous marriage of Mr Stanyer. The youngest child, George, may then have been Mr & Mrs Stanyer's child since they both remarried.

Nothing else if known about Frank's early life, except that he enlisted into the army at Stockport and his service number suggest this was quite early in the War.

In late October 1917, British troops started a long advance towards Jerusalem. There was fighting on most days as the Turkish army slowly withdrew. Over the 10th and 11th November 1917, British troops moved into positions ready to attack a vital Turkish supply point known as Junction Station on the Haifa - Jerusalem railway line. The Fusiliers specific objective was the village of Katrah which was taken at 4.45pm after a long and difficult fight amongst sunken roads and cactus hedges.

The Divisional History records that "Captain Sutherland led the fourth company of his Battalion in another attempt to outflank the Turks from the south. He was determined to make a proper detour and led the way a considerable distance ahead of his men. With him were a Lewis gunner with a single drum of ammunition and a grenadier with only two bombs. Sutherland moved rapidly over the ridge and struck the end of the trench filled with Turks which marked the end of their support line. The Lewis gunner emptied his only drum into them, the grenadier threw his two bombs and nine Turkish officers with sixty-four Other Ranks surrendered to the three Fusiliers."

The day had not been without cost in casualties. Frank and nineteen other men were dead. 66 others had been wounded.

   
           
   
     
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