George Frank Rifleman No. Z/238 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)
George Frank Dale was killed 22nd March 1915 aged 18 years. He seems to have been called Frank rather than George by his family. Born 1897 at Easenhall, Warwickshire to Wallace and Catherine Dale, the eldest of six children in 1911. On the 1911 census Frank was a general labourer.
He enlisted on the 2nd September 1914 during a recruiting boom in Rugby. According to his obituary in the Rugby Advertiser (21st April 1915) he had joined Kitchener’s Army. He was over 6ft tall and went out to France on the 26th January 1915, the Battalion having landed at Havre on the 23rd August 1914 as part of the 11th Brigade, 4th Division. Frank was killed on the front line.
The Quarter Master Sergeant of the Company wrote to Mrs Dale “Regret to inform you your son killed in action yesterday morning. We all sympathise deeply with you and deplore the loss of a willing and promising young soldier. May lessen the pain if you know he died an absolutely painless death. Wm H West CQM Sgt “B” Co Rifle Bde”.
Also on the 22nd March 1915 and on the subsequent two days several Rifleman died of wounds or were killed in action. This suggests that they were casualties of shell fire on the 22nd March 1915, Frank being buried where he fell.
All are buried in Strand Military Cemetery, Comines – Warneton Hainaut, Belgium. The Cemetery proper was established in what is now Plots 1 – V1 and Frank’s body was recovered and buried here.
Frank’s family put memorial notices in the Rugby Advertiser on the anniversary of his death. There was a Brass Plaque in Easenhall Chapel to the men of Easenhall who fell in the Great War. The Chapel is now a private residence.
George was awarded Victory and British war Medals and the 1915 Star.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM