George Frank Dale was born 1896 at Easenhall, Warwickshire to Wallace and Catherine Dale, the eldest of six children. On the 1911 census Wallace was a gardener’s labourer and Frank, aged 14, a general labourer on a farm. He seems to have been called Frank rather than George by his family.
He enlisted at the start of the war on the 2nd September 1914, as a rifleman (No. Z/238) in the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own).
He was over 6ft tall and went 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 on the 22nd March 1915
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”.
Several Rifleman died of wounds or were killed in action on the 22nd March 1915 and subsequent two days, suggesting that they were casualties of shell fire on the 22nd March 1915.
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. The inscription added to the gravestone by his family reads:
He Sleeps in Peace.
George was awarded Victory and British war Medals and the 1915 Star.
Frank’s family put memorial notices in the Rugby Advertiser on the anniversary of his death. That of 24th Mar 1917 reads:
In Loving Memory of our dear son and brother, George Frank Dale, who was killed at Ypres on 22nd March 1915.
Although he has gone from our sight, he is not forgotten by those who loves him.
“Sleep on, beloved: sleep and take your rest’
We loved thee well, but Jesus loved thee best,
and has taken thee to thy eternal rest.”
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.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM