Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

It was the Prudential Assurance that posted Frank Wesley's father Charles Knott to Portsmouth in the 1890s where he was the District Superintendent of Assurance. This followed similar postings to Horley, in Surrey, Salisbury, Eastbourne and Hastings.
Charles had been born at Sydling in Dorset in 1861 and married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward and Amelia Anderson at Reigate in 1885. The couple's travels can be traced by following the birthplaces of their children - Ada at Horley in 1886, Frank Wesley at Salisbury in 1888, Sidney at Eastbourne in 1889, Lilian at Hastings in 1894 and Leonard at Southsea in 1908.
According to the 1901 census the family's first home in Portsmouth was at 'Fern Glen' in Sandringham Road and the second, as recorded in the 1911 census was 'Strandfield' on Victoria Road North. At the latter Frank Wesley was still at home, describing himself as a "Traveller" - Builder's Merchant, but this changed a few months later when he married Julia Eades. It is not known whether they lived with parents or found their own home.
At the outbreak of the Great War Frank Wesley was a 28 year old married man who may also have been a father. As he joined the 2nd/6th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment which sailed for India in December 1914 he must have enlisted in the first few months of the war. The Battalion remained in India until it moved to Mesopotamia in September 1917. As Frank Wesley died in December 1918 and was buried near Bombay he must have been left behind by the Battalion, but details are unknown.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Private Frank Wesley Knott (291207), 2nd/6th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment, died 28/12/1918. Commemorated on the Kirkee 1914-1918 Memorial (Face C). Son of Charles and Elizabeth Knott, of Portsmouth; husband of Julia Knott, of "Montpellier", 70 Ophir Rd., North End, Portsmouth.
Frank Knott is commemorated on the Buckland United Reformed Church WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
The CWGC record places Julia, wife of Frank, at "Montpelier", 70 Ophir Road, but the 1913 Kelly's Directory shows neither of them at that address. The 1921 edition however does, rather surprisingly offering 'Frank Wesley Knott' as the occupant.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014