Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Frank Atherton was born in Portsmouth just a year or two after his parents moved to the town from Cheshire where they had both been born. Robert and Prudence (nee Fellows) had been married in the district of Nantwich on 17th March 1883 when Robert was working as a fitter's apprentice. They had two children whilst living in Cheshire, Percy (b. 1884) and George (b. 1888) before Robert obtained a job as an engine fitter at HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.
The family moved to Portsmouth in 1889/90 and found a home at 15 Gloucester Street, Southsea. Over the next five years they had three more children, Wilfrid (b. 1890), Frank (b. 1892) and Arthur (b. 1895). There were to be no more children though as Prudence died in 1897. The following year Robert married Caroline Gyles Wilson, a widow and nurse living on her own nearby at King's street. The couple moved into a home at 43 Gloucester Street with all five of Robert's children.
By the census in 1911 all the children except Arthur had left home which at that time was at 14 Regent Street, Southsea. Frank Atherton had probably joined the Royal Field Artillery by then as within a few months of the beginning of the Great War he was serving as a Corporal. He died at the height of the First Battle of Ypres on 31st October 1914. He has no known grave.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Frank Atherton, Corporal (56154), Royal Field Artillery, died 31/10/1914. Commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial (Panel 5 and 9). Son of Robert Atherton, of 14, Regent St., Southsea, Portsmouth.
Frank Atherton is also commemorated on the St. Luke's Church WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph, in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
December 2014