The 1891 census shows the Garratt family living at Manchester Road, Kearsley, Lancashire. Absolom Garratt, 51 was a Blacksmith who had been born in Moulton, Lincolnshire. His wife Jane, 39 was born in Manchester, Lancashire. Their 6 children were George 19 ( a Barber?) and Eliza, 12 both had been born in Southport, Lancashire. John W was 11, Charlotte, 8, Maggie, 6 and Frank 1 had all been born in Kearsley. There were 2 Boarders, husband and wife James & Jane Cheetham.
In the census of 1901 the family was still living in Manchester Road at No 181. Absolom Garratt, 61 was a widower and a Confectioner Shop Keeper. Also recorded at the address were his children Eliza 22, John W. 21 (a Mineral Water Carter), Charlotte 18 (Cotton Weaver), Margaret 16 ( Cotton Winder) and Frank 14 (a Cotton Piecerin).
On the 1911 census Frank Garratt was recorded at 33, Windsor Street, Liverpool, Lancashire living as one of 5 boarders in the household of William John Hale, his wife Catherine and their children. Frank Garratt, 23, was single and a Wall Paper Traveller, born in Kearsley. Frank was not in Flintshire in 1911 but he did have connections as we see next.
In 1911, Frank’s brother, John William Garratt was living at 2, Milton Place, Fairfield Road, Queensferry, Flintshire. He was 32 and an Ironworker. His wife of 6 years was Rose Garratt, 35 who had been born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire.( There were 6 boarders,Charles & Ethel Gibbs and their 2 children, Marjorie and Charles Richard Osman who had been born in Quebec, Canada and Victor Charles Abbot).
It is possible that Frank joined his brother John in Deeside after 1911 but we don’t know for sure. We do know that he is named on Flintshire war memorials.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details above and tells us that he enlisted in Harrogate, and that he was formerly 25470 W. Yorks. Regt. His medal card also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medal entitlement as above left.
Frank’s Army Service Records survive and are also on ‘Ancestry’. He attested on the 29th February 1916 in Harrogate. His address was North Eastern Station Hotel Harrogate and his occupation was ‘Hotel Porter’. He was 29 years and 2 months old.
He was 5 feet 3 and1/2 inches tall, weighed 117 lbs and had a chest measurement of 35 inches with a range of expansion of 2 and1/2 inches.
His next of kin was recorded as his sister Margaret Garratt who lived at 35 Manchester Road Bolton, Lancs.
The records show that he served ‘at Home’ from 29th February 1916 until the 17th July 1916. Then he served as part of the British Expeditionary Force in France from the 18th July 1916 until the 15th April 1918.
There is correspondence between the army and her regarding receipt of his medals and a commemorative scroll and plaque. There is also a letter from his brother John W Garratt to the army which is transcribed below.
Late Gunner R.G.A.
50 Salisbury Street, Shotton, Chester. 5th March 1922
I am writing to ask you to favour me by forwarding to the above address my Late Brother’s War Medals, Reg. Number Pte Frank Garratt No 35159 91st M.G.C. I being his only Brother and Next of Kin.
Yours Truly, John W. Garratt.
My Brother was killed in Italy April 15/18
There is no mention of Italy in the Records apart from the reference in John’s letter and yet he died and was buried there.
There is a list of living relatives in his records. It was compiled by Margaret Garratt Frank’s sister and ‘official’ next of kin. She listed her brother John William in Shotton and her sister Charlotte who lived in Ulverston, Cumbria.
Frank is also remembered on the Memorial Screen in St Ethelwold’s church Shotton.