25 September 2015

Great War Centenary: Frank Thomas Hobbs

Frank Thomas Hobbs was my second cousin twice removed, the son of Alfred, a farm bailiff, and Fanny (nee Floyd), who was the daughter of Frances Eliza Kington Culpin.

Frank was born in Withyham, Sussex, in 1893, the oldest of seven children.  The family moved to Rotherfield by 1901 and remained there until at least 1911.  In the census of that year Frank was listed as a fishmonger's assistant in Crowborough; by the following year he had became a farm labourer and emigrated to Canada on board the "Ausonia".

Returning in 1914 on the "Calgarian", he enlisted in Eastbourne into the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Sussex Regiment.  He was killed on 25 September 1915 during the battle of Loos and, having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.  

He was briefly mentioned in the Kent & Sussex Courier on 26 November 1915.  Under the headline of "Jarvis Brook Footballer's Thrilling Story", written by a friend in the same battalion:-

"..... In this engagement my Regiment suffered heavy losses once again.  It was here that Frank Hobbs died doing "his bit".  He was in the Machine Gun Section, and his Section was one of the four who went forward to keep the Germans down while we advanced.  This they helped to do but I think only three of them got back unwounded.........."

We will remember them.