Frank FOSTER
Rank: Private
Number: PLY/17078
Unit: Deal Battalion ROYAL MARINE LIGHT INFANTRY, Royal Naval Division
Date of Death: 3 May 1915
Age: 18
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Frank lived with at his father, George, at 6A Mellor Road, Cheadle Hulme and worked as a gardener. His mother was Sarah. She was recorded on the 1901 Census when the family lived at Ladybridge Road, Adswood but may have died by 1915. The Census also notes he had an older sister, Mary, and younger brother, James.

He was a member of Cheadle Hulme Sunday School and attended evening classes during the winter. In August 1914, he realised an ambition and joined the Royal Marines for 12 years – not just for the duration of the war. He trained at the marines barracks at Deal. At Christmas, he got 6 days leave and was home for Christmas dinner. He left England in mid April 1915.

The Marines landed at Gallipoli during the night of 28/29 April and were quickly sent up the line to relieve Australian and New Zealand troops. There was very heavy fighting on 3 May with the Chatham and Portsmouth Battalions suffering heavily. They had been moving towards the front when they saw Australian troops being forced from their positions on a ridge. The Marines charged up the ridge, rallying the Australians, and restored the line. In the subsequent chaos of the day, the Marines subsequently evacuated the position. It seems as though Frank’s Battalion was in support at this time and suffered relatively few casualties. However at some point, Frank was killed – the first from Cheadle Hulme to die. Frank’s official casualty card is marked “Killed in Action – Skull”. It’s likely that he suffered this wound from shrapnel whilst on the beach and was killed outright.

Frank is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as serving with the Plymouth Battalion, which would be consistent with his service number. His service papers, however, confirm that he actually served with the Deal Battalion, having trained at the Deal Barracks. Such errors are not uncommon.

   
           
   
     
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