Frost, John William

John William Frost was born in 1892 in Stinsford, Dorset. He was the son of John William & Mary Frost, Pengwern Lodge, Rhuddlan.

The 1901 Census records the family living at Stinsford Lodge, Dorset. John’s Father, also called John William Frost, was employed as a domestic coachman. According to that census, John had one brother and six sisters, including twins.

Unable find him on the 1911 census. According to Forces War Records [website] he was living at Whitchurch, Shropshire at the time of his enlistment. However the Flintshire Roll of Honour Record Card gives an address as, “Prencrabbas, Rhuddlan, whilst, “Rhuddlan in Peace & War” [Rhuddlan Local History Society] reports the family living at Pengwern Lodge, Rhuddlan. The Rhyl Journal report of 29th January 1916, confirms the family’s address as “Pengwern Lodge”.

Attestation papers on Ancestry, are almost impossible to read.  John initially joined the Hussars on 14th August 1914 as Private 13119.  He  stated that his occupation was a Groom. He was 23 years old and was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 137 lbs. His chest measured 36 inches with a 3 1/2 inch expansion range. His Complexion was ‘fresh’, his eyes grey and his hair brown and he belonged to the Church of England.

He subsequently transferred to the 6th [Service] Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment. This regiment was formed at Pontefract in August 1914. It was mobilised for war in July 1915. The Battalion then deployed to Gallipoli from Liverpool via Mudros [Greek port on island of Lemnos] and landed at Sulvla Bay in August 1915. {Forces War Records}

On the 8th March 1915, John William Frost had married May Edge at Whitchurch in Shropshire so he must have had a period of leave before leaving for war. Her address listed in the records was 5 Egerton Road, Whitchurch, Salop. Her name appears in the records as May Frost at times and at other times as Ursula Frost.

His medal index card (accessible on Ancestry) states that his first Theatre of War was Egypt and he entered it on the 25th August 1915. From there he obviously went to Gallipoli

“Rhuddlan in Peace & War”, records his death from dysentery on board the hospital ship “Aquitania” This ship could carry about 4200 wounded personnel. He was buried at sea.

John’s death is briefly noted in the Rhyl Journal’s [29th January 1916] report of the death of Reginald Davies. The paper describes John as the first Rhuddlan casualty. Subsequently the edition of February 12th 1916, reports the memorial service held for John & Reginald in St. Mary’s Parish Church.

He is remembered on the Rhuddlan War Memorial, the Royal British Legion Scroll of Honour [inside the Community Centre], the Scroll of Honour & window in St Mary’s Church and the North Wales Memorial Arch at Bangor.

I am indebted to Sarah Hodnett of Rhuddlan Local History Club, for her assistance in compiling this record.



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