World War I

Initials: F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Driver
Regiment: Army Service Corps
Unit Text: 800th Horse Transport Coy.
Age: 30
Date of Death: 05/10/1918
Service No: T4/143126
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 429.
Additional information: Son of Henry and Elizabeth Bourne.
More details will be added as they arrive
On 17th November 1915, Frank Bourne joined up for the duration of the war. He was 27 years and 6months old. He lived in Green Street, Ingatestone with his mother Elizabeth and by trade was a Journeyman Butcher. By today's standards he would be described as slight, standing only 5 foot 4 inches, with an expanded chest measurement of 35 inches and weighing 119lbs. One has to consider why men of this era were so small, was it down to diet?
According to his attestation papers the recruiting sergeant considered his physical development as good. He joined the Army Service Corps and became T/4/143126. After enlisting Frank's war was at home as he wasn't posted for nearly a year. On the 29th February 1916 he was transferred from the Essex Regt depot at Warley and went to Woolwich. Army Form 3068 shows that he left with two pairs of boots, one cap, two drawers, 2 jackets one pair of puttees, two pairs of trousers one cardigan, and one drab greatcoat, but was not issued with a cap badge or razor. Frank may have had an early indication of foreign service when in March and April he was vaccinated and then inoculated
It wasn't until 24th September 1916 that he became part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary force and two days later found himself on H.T. Megantic sailing out of Devonport, bound for Salonica, where he arrived 5th October. Each Division of the army had it's own transport, called the Divisional Train. It was the 'workhorse' of the Division in terms of carrying stores and supplies, providing the main supply line to the transport of the Brigades, Battalions, and Artillery and other attached units. By December 1916, Frank was part of the 238 Company ASC working as a driver. Salonika was always considered a sideshow as far as the war went, the Franco British force sent there wasn't large, but was kept there at the request of the Greek Prime minister. Conditions were hard and where for every casualty of battle three died of malaria, influenza or other diseases.
21st February 1917 and Frank was in hospital having succumbed to influenza, and it was over two weeks before he was released and returned to unit to continue his duties. The war in Salonika has never been reported in the way that the Western Front is so widely known, few major battles took place but what did were short sharp bloody affairs. In the end the last major offensive took place in September 1918 when the British attacked a series of fortified hills. The final assault began along the whole front on 15 Sep 1918; the British being engaged in the Lake Doiran area The war was over by the end of the month.
Frank by then had been in hospital three days, having gone down again with influenza. On the 28th he was transferred to 50th General Hospital, Salonika, where a week later he died from broncho-pneumonia. Curiously in 1920 Frank's Aunt, Susan Boreham signed a paper showing surviving relatives, there was only one, his younger brother George, who had served with the Essex Regt. Finally when the Scroll and Death Penny arrived later in the year, it was George who had signed for it.
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