GILBERT FRANKLIN

Private 42004, 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment

Died 10th April 1918 aged 18

No Known Grave Commemorated Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium

Son of Charlton and Catherine Franklin

Lived 59, Brighton Street, Heckmondwike


Gilbert was born in Heckmondwike in 1899 to Charlton, who was from County Durham and Catherine (Kate) (formerly Hallas) who was born in Heckmondwike.  Gilbert was one of nine children, six of whom had died by 1911.  Gilbert’s father's family had moved down from the North East in the early 1860s and had lived in Heckmondwike since that time, Gilbert’s grandfather and uncles were Carpet Weavers.  Charlton Franklin worked in a dye works and Gilbert was a Dyers Labourer before the war.

On the 9th of April 1918, the 25th Division were in the front line near Ploegsteert when the German Spring Offensive was launched (The Battle of the Lys).  They suffered badly in heavy fighting around Hill 63 and by the 12th of April the men of the 25th Division were involved in holding a new defensive front line in front of Dranoutre and Kemmel.  The following day they were fighting a defence on the high ground East of Bailleul, but by the 15th the high ground and the town of Bailleul were in enemy hands and they withdrew through Boeschepe on the 16th.
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