Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In 1891 the Henley family were in Swindon where Frank James's father Thomas Henley was working as a Superintendent of Insurance Agents. Two years later Thomas moved his family to Portsmouth, possibly with the same employers, to become manager of an insurance office in the town.
Thomas Henley had been born at Purton, Wiltshire in 1860 and married Jane Willoughby from Swindon at Highworth, also in Wiltshire, in 1880. The 1891 census recorded them at Swindon with two children, Albert and Edward, born in 1881 and 1887 respectively. After their move to Portsmouth the family lived at 84 Victoria Road North in Southsea, the site of which is now part of Priory School. Shortly after they arrived Frank James was born.
In 1910 Thomas Henley died and at the 1911 census Jane was listed at 18 Campbell Road, whilst Frank James had followed his father's lead and was working as an insurance broker and Mercantile and house agent. When the Great War broke out Frank did not immediately enlist, but in January 1916 conscription was introduced and he enlisted at Portsmouth. He was subsequently posted to the London Regiment (Artists' Rifles).
The Artists' Rifles had been posted to France in October 1914 so Frank's posting to them was to make up numbers lost in battle. His war experiences are currently unknown but it is probable that he fought in the Second Battle of Passchendaele in October 1917 where he was killed in action.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists FJ Henley, Private (761560), 28th Battalion, (Artists' Rifles), died on 30/10/1917, age 23. Buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium, (Grave Ref: XXXV.D.13.). Son of Jane Henley, of 94, Clarendon Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth, and the late Thomas Henley.
Frank Henley is commemorated on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015