Unfortunately as yet I have not been able to find out much about Franks early life, nothing I can confirm as being about the correct Frank Charnley. I will however keep searching.
See entry January 2021 at the end of this report.
Frank Charnley was born in Lancashire.
He married Alice Brooks in 1916 in Chesterfield. Alice came from High Street Old Whittington and as the census below shows her parents appear to have taken in boarders.
I have no information why Frank came to Chesterfield from Lancashire I can only assume it was for work. Possibly he boarded with the Brooks family when he arrived.
According to an obituary in the Derbyshire Times 11th May 1918, prior to enlisting Frank worked at Sheepbridge Works. He joined the Sherwood Foresters in 1916, when he was 23 years old and had been in France 10 months when he was killed. His wife lived at 12 Church Street Old Whittington.
Frank enlisted in Chesterfield into the 1st/5th Battalion Notts and Derbyshire regiment, his service number was 41838.
Unfortunately Franks Service records must have been destroyed along with many others in 1940 and therefore I can’t confirm the date of his enlistment or when he was sent to France.
Frank was killed in action on 29th March 1918.
On the night of 29th March 1918 1st/5th battalion Sherwood Foresters (by this time part of 46th North Midland Division) were involved in fighting around the Annequin and Beuvry area of Northern France. As Frank Charnley is buried close to these battlefields, there is a good chance this could be the area where he was killed.
An extract from the war diary for the 1st/5th battalion for the 29th/30th March possibly gives a good indication where Frank could have been killed.
Frank Charnley is buried in Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension.
Information on Aix- Noulettes Communal cemetery can be found here
Picture courtesy of WW1 Cemeteries.com
The grave registration report confirms that Frank’s wife was a Mrs A Charnley and the Roll of soldiers personal effects states that Frank’s personal effect belong to his widow Alice.
Frank was awarded the Victory medal and The British War Medal, there is no mention of the 14/15 star, this would indicate that Frank did not serve overseas until after 31st December 1915.
Frank is remembered on Old Whittington and the Brushes War Memorials.
Alice was left a young widow and remarried in 1920 at Old Whittington Church to Thomas Hayes from Dronfield.
Further information kindly provided by a fellow researcher, Margaret Linacre, confirms the following about Frank Charnley.
Frank’s birth was registered in Prestwich in 1896 his parents were Frank and Martha (Barlow) Charnley.
An explanation for Frank coming to live in Chesterfield could possibly be the fact that his brother Walter had moved here and had married in Chesterfield in 1907. Walter continued to live in Chesterfield and died there in 1965.
Frank and Alice’s daughter, Dorothy, sadly died at the beginning of 1918, her death was registered during the first quarter of 1918, whether Frank knew his daughter had died we will never know.
Alice had to live with the double loss of her husband and daughter, it must have been a terrible time for her.
Alice and Thomas Hayes had a long marriage they had six children, Alice died in 1993.
Derbyshire Times 11th May 1918