Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although he was born in Portsmouth and spent at least the next ten years in the Borough there is no further record of Frederick Frampton in the town. His wife Marian however, despite having no previous connection with Portsmouth was listed in Kelly's Directory of 1921, living at Chichester Road, North End.
Frederick had the odd distinction of having been born in a wood yard, or at least in a house at Hutchins Wood Yard, behind Landport Terrace, Southsea. His early life was also unusual in that his father William was described in the 1871 census as a 'Bird Catcher and Dealer' and later as a 'Bird Fancier' - possibly the only one in town who could support a family on the income.
William had been born in London in 1829 and was probably married at Bermondsey, London in 1858. His wife was Elizabeth who had been born in Dorset in 1831. Marriage records though are inconclusive. The 1871 census records William and Elizabeth with three children, James, Alfred and Frederick born 1863, 1868 and 1870 respectively. By 1881 they had moved to 7 Hambrook Street and a further child, Arthur, had been born in 1873.
None of the family seem to appear in the 1891 census but it's likely that Frederick had left home and married his wife Marian in 1896 and together they had moved to Scotland; the 1901 census separately records both Frederick and Marian at Leith. The 1911 census suggests that they had all moved south to Cambridge where Frederick had become the landlord of the Alexandra Arms. With Frederick and Marian were three children, all born in Scotland, Mary (1897), George (1899) and Isabella (1902).
Frederick Frampton was 43 years old at the outbreak of the Great War which seems rather old to be enlisting for the first time. It may be that he had already spent some time in the army and was recalled, especially as he had attained the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major by 1917. The movements of his unit that year are unclear but it is known that he died in August 1917 and was buried near Ieper, Belgium.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Frederick Frampton, Regimental Sergeant Major (282259), 65th Heavy Artillery Group, Royal Garrison Artillery, died, 24/08/1917, aged 46 years. Buried at the Bard Cottage Cemetery, (Grave Ref: IV.F.2.). Husband of Marion Ross Frampton, of 291, Chichester Rd., North End, Portsmouth.
Frederick Frampton is commemorated on the Cenotaph, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
January 2015