Frank Mattingley, killed at Passchendaele

Frank was the son of Walter Francis and Constance Jane Mattingley née Chennel. In 1911, the family lived at Glenmore and later moved to Rose Cottage on the Petworth Road, Witley.  Walter was a foreman at F Milton and Son, builders, in Witley and both he and Frank played for Witley Cricket Club. Frank became a bricklayer and married Beatrice Ethel Wilson in mid 1914.  The 1911 census lists Beatrice as a domestic servant for the Swann family who lived in Hangerfield, Church Lane, Witley.  Frank and Beatrice had two children, Olive and Allan.


In the opening stages of the battle of Passchendaele, Frank and others were repairing damage caused by shelling to the Boesinghe-Pilkem Road.  The road had to be kept in good repair to keep the army supplied. A German artillery shell exploded near the men whilst they were having their tea-break, killing Lance Corporal Francis Ledwidge (a well known Irish poet), Lance Sergeant John Harte, Private Henry P Evans, Private Robert Sharman and Frank.  Frank was buried near where he was killed and later moved to Artillery Wood Cemetery.  He was identified by a pocket book and his effects sent to his family.  Frank’s parents added the inscription “Ever in our thoughts” on his gravestone.  He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.


Frank’s younger brother, Harry, died of wounds in October 1916.


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