12083 Company Serjeant Major

Frank Horace Benjamin Bill

9th(Service)Battalion

Devonshire Regiment

1st July 1916

Born on 16/11/1885 in Bridgnorth,Salop,Shropshire.

His parents were Watkin William Bill(1848-1930) and  Harriet Reece(1848-1925). They married in 1879.

His father had previously been married to Sarah Bason

(1845-1879),marrying on 20/02/1871.

Frank had 2 brothers; Henry(born in 1879) and Ernest Watkin(19/03/1884-1969).

He also had 3 half brothers and sister from his fathers first marriage; Charles B (born in 1866),William(born in 1871),John(1874-1950) and Sarah Jane(1875-27/02/1954).

In the 1891 & 1901  census'  the family were recorded as living in Erdington,Salop,Shropshire. Watkin was employed as an agricultural labourer. By 1901 Frank was working as  a cowman on a farm.

Frank started working for the Great Western Railway in 11/1906 as a carman at Hockley Goods Yard.He was paid 18/- a week increasing each year by 1/- to 26/- in 1914.  

On 13/11/1907 Frank married Alice Jane Hartley(06/11/1882-29/10/1963).

In the 1911 census, it recorded Frank and Alice living at 279,Icknield Street, Hockley.

He enlisted in Birmingham and his date of disembarkation into France was on 27/07/1915.

He was  killed in action on 01/07/1916.

He was awarded the   1914-1915 Star,

the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

His widow Alice was awarded a pension of 14/6 a week from 22/01/1917.

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