Contributed by: Jack Buttery, on 2009-02-16
|Year of Birth||1892|
|Year of Death||1918|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Stockport, Cheshire|
350516 Sgt Frank Thickett D.C.M 1/9th Batt, The Manchester Regiment. Frank was the dearly loved younger brother of my grandma Lily.
Extracts from the 1/9th Batt. war diaries-Egypt, Gallipoli, France & Flanders. 1914/18
1908 The 3rd volunteer Batt. became the 9th Territorial Batt. Frank was a young member.
1914. Sept 10th. Forming part of 42 division, sailed from Southampton with 4th East Lancs, 5th East Lancs & 10th Manchester Batts for Egypt.
Nov 5th.war declared with Turkey.
1915. May 1st. Kantara Suez Canal.
May 5th embarked on HMTS Audonia from Portsaid to Dardanelles.
May 9th Arrived off Cape Helles. 1/9th Batt. Landed at Sedd-El-Bahr under fire.
May 24th. "C"company moved to forward advanced positions (2/LT Jones killed)
June 3rd - 24th Dec. In front line many times at Eski, Vineyard, Nullah, Krithia, Gully Ravine, Gully Beach and Georgheghan's Bluff. Aug 7/8 a successful and gallant stand made by "A" Company. First V.C. won by the division to L.T. W.T. Forshaw. Also two M.C's & two D.C.M's won by the comapny.
Dec. 28th embarked H.M.T.S. Redbreast for Mudros.
1916 Jan. 16th embarked to Alexandria.
1917 Mar. 2nd After 2 & a half years in the Near East the division left the harbour at Alexandria for the Western Front.
Mar. 15th Arrived Marseilles with 5th East Lancs. By train to Pont Remy.
April 28th At Epehy Brigade successfully advanced line.
May 3rd Took over sector from 48th Div.
May 6th At Ronnsoy, Bett. established forward post under heavy machine gun fire (Pte A Holden awarded bar for millitary medal).
May 23rd Relieved 20th Div. In newly captured sector running from Canal-Du-Nord to a point South of Villers Plouich.
June 1st Order to advanced line by about 300 yards (Cpl A. Eastwood & a patrol covered the working party and silenced a machine gun & snipers at Femy Wood) The new line was completed by stated hour, 6am.
July 8th Relieved by 58th Div.
July 9th stationed at Coutselles.
Aug 22nd Entrained for Ypres.
Sept 1st During night, passed through Menin Gate on way to front line trenches. Took over sector from 15th Div. Between Ypres - Menin railway and Frezenburg. Night of 11/12th attack on enemy block house (Pte TM. Howard rescued an officer under severe machine gun and rifle fire).
Sept 18th Relieved my 9th Div. moved to Poperinghe.
Sept 26th Took over coastal sector at Niewport, relieving 66th Div.
Oct 7th Relieved by 41st Div. and took over St Georges sub -sector. Nov 19th Relieved by 133rd French Div. ordered to La Bassee. Nov 29th Relieved 25th Div. In the line. Nov. Frank returned to UK on leave to marry Emily Lomax of Stockport. Emily was a nurse at Cheadle Royal Hospital.
1918 Feb. 11th A successful raid on sector opposite Festubert. Capt. D.B Stephenson, two officer and 97 men. Three men rocommended for awards. Frank and 35020 Pte J Hibbert, 350367 Pte E Latham awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for silencing and capturing two machine guns.
Feb 15th Relieved my 55th Div. and withdrawn to 1st Corps reserve in Busnes - Burbure. Fouquieres Area.
Feb 19th A number of officers and men were posted to other Batts of the Div. and the remainder transferred to 198th Brigade 66th Div. where they absorbed the 2/9th to form the 9th Manchesters. This transfer to the 9th Batt. of 12 officers and 250 other ranks included Frank.' 198 Brigade was formed by 4th East Lancs, 2/5th East Lancs and 9th Manchester Batt. 66th Div. X1X Corps, 5th Army.
Mar 21st On this day Frank fought his last battle. He was killed in action on the front line near Hargicort N/W of St Quentin on the first day on the last "big push" that the enemy were to make. There is no known grave.
Frank is remembered with honour on the Machester Regt. memorial at the British Military Cemetary, Pozieres France. Also at Denton, Manchester and Ashton - Under - Lyne war memorials. Now also here thanks to the BBC.
May he rest in peace.