Michell, Frank

Frank Michell was born in the March quarter of 1920 (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 422) the son of Sampson & Charlotte Michell (nee Humphreys), who had married in a civil ceremony in Chester in the December quarter of 1904 (Chester  Vol. 8a Page 742).

The 1911 census gives us a glimpse of the family before Frank was born.   They were living at Lynwood, Lawrence Street, Sandycroft, Flintshire (5 rooms) and Sampson Michell, 28 was head of the household, he was a Forwarding Clerk in the Iron Foundry and had been born in Chester, Cheshire.    Charlotte, 29, his wife of 7 years tells us that 6 children had been born and they were all still living, she and the children had been born in Sandycroft, Flintshire.   Their eldest child, Eleanor Margaret, was 6, then came Sampson, 5, Reginald, 4, Hubert Roy, 3, Gwendoline, 2 and Margery, 3 months.

As there has been no 1921 census published we cannot track the family until the 1939 National Register was taken on the 29th September 1939, but sadly Frank is not on there unless he is the redacted or closed record, but I don’t know.    Their address was Llechim Villas Saltney Road,Pentre , Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales.

This source gives vital information about the family, Sampson Michell was born on the 5th July 1883 and he was a Warehouse Manager for the Cooperative Society, Charlotte Michell’s date of birth was the 8th August 1883 and as most married women on this register without a job was described as doing ”Household Duties,” on other copies of the register the description is usually “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   Their son Reginald was born on the 4th April 1906 and was an Iron Turner and single.   Margery had been born on the 7th January 1911, was single and sadly was an invalid.  Hugh H. Michell had been born on the 5th April 1912, was single and a Painter, while Ralph Michell had been born on the 15th August 1916 and was single and a Motor Mechanic.   As I said previously there was a redacted record on this register.

I do believe that Frank enlisted or was conscripted on the 13th June 1940, 9 months after the Register above.   This is according to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Enlistment Register 1920 – 1946.   This also simply gives the news of Frank’s fate as it states that he was Killed in Action 24th September 1944.

The R.W.F. were fighting to liberate the village of Valkenswaard  and the cost was high,this brings me to tell you that Frank died the day before James Albert MASON from Connah’s Quay who is also buried in the same Cemetery, they are 3 graves away from each other.   Please click on the link to read about James Albert Mason, who incidentally lost his father Herbert John Richard Mason in WW1 and whose name is also on the WW1 Connah’s Quay & Shotton War Memorial, please click on the links.

The Casualty List 1576 Page 13, confirms this fact as both their names are listed on it.

I am telling the same story I have told about James Albert Mason as it involves them both and in its way is a lovely story of how much our lads are still honoured by the Villagers of the town of Valkenswaard where they are both buried.

In May 2018 I was contacted via the website by Gea en Peter Brokking, who have “Adopted” James and another soldier Emrys’s graves.

I want to reassure the family of Frank Michell that the Villagers of Valkenswaard look after the graves of their Allies who liberated them, so please click on James Albert Mason’s page and read what happens every May.

History Information from the CWGC Citation:-

Valkenswaard was the first village to be liberated on the main line of the British advance into Holland in September 1944. The cemetery, which lies in a pinewood, contains over 220 graves, almost all of them are those of men who fell in the fighting in the woods around Valkenswaard during that month. All the men buried here belonged to the forces of the United Kingdom.

I would think that by the time they died they would have been good mates coming from the same area which is a comfort to the families, it’s good to know they are together.

Sampson Michell in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 tells us that Frank’s father died in 1954, so he had lived long enough to grieve his son. – MICHELL, Sampson of Llechim Villas, Pentre, Queensferry, Flintshire, died 2nd December 1954.   Administration , Chester 18th March to Charlotte MICHELL, Widow

Frank was loved and missed by his family as they added his name to the memorial to be remembered in perpetuity.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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