Born in Stockingford, Warwickshire in 1890, the sixth son of Frederick and Martha Dale of Oxheys Farm, Tarporley, Cheshire.
Frank’s brothers Albert and Walter also lost their lives in the Great War and are commemorated on the Wrenbury and Wrenbury School memorials.
Regiment : 2nd / 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment
Rank : Lance Corporal
Service Number : 250811
Killed in action; France 30th July 1917 Aged 26
The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.
The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.
Report in the Nantwich Guardian 10th August 1917 regarding the deaths of Walter and Frank Dale
“Great sympathy will be felt for Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Dale and family, Frith Farm, Wrenbury, who have once more experienced great sorrow in the recent death of two sons killed in in action.The two are Lance-Corporal Walter Dale, the second son, and Lance-Corporal Frank Dale, the sixth son, both of them being well known in Nantwich and district. It is only so recent as February of this year that the fifth son, Albert, died of wounds, after amputation of a leg had taken place at a base hospital. News of the double bereavement was sent by the youngest son, Norman. Later official news from the War Office was received by Mrs. Walter Dale, informing her of his death in action on July 21st.
Mr. Walter Dale was an apprentice in the grocery trade in Whitchurch, where he became prominent as a hard and enthusiastic worker as a pioneer of the “Templar” Lodge. After some time passed in Nantwich and Warrington, he set up in business in Kelsall, where he attested. Unable to find someone to carry on his business, it was closed down. Joining the Manchesters, he trained at Colchester, and on March 1st, 1917, was sent to the front, where later he became a signaller. He leaves a widow and a young family of three sons.
Lance-Corporal Frank Dale, who was 25 years old, was an old scholar of Wrenbury School. At the outbreak of war he was assisting in the working of his father’s farm at Wrenbury, but in October, 1914, he enlisted with his younger brother, Norman, in the Manchesters, and since that time the two brothers have trained, and always been together. Urged many times to become an N.C.O., the stripes were constantly refused in order that the two brothers should not be separated. Lance-Corporal Frank Dale was subsequently put in charge of a Lewis gun team. He was killed by a shell on the night of July 29th, and was buried in the same British cemetery as his brother, Lance-Corporal Walter Dale.
Besides the three sons who have given their lives, Mr. Dale’s eldest son, Lance-Corporal Sydney Dale is serving with an ammunition column of the A.S.C., and Miss Elsie Dakle, the eldest sister of the fallen soldiers, is a Red Cross nurse at the Auxiliary Hospital at Higginsfield, Cholmondeley.
The following is a copy of a letter received from Lance-Corporal Frank Dale’s captain by the soldier’s parents:-
“When the sad news was passed along the line that your son had passed away, every man’s sympathies were with you at home, and the grief-stricken brother, Norman, at the other end of the trench. All of us knew of your recent sorrows, and the whole battalion grieves with you in this awful loss of yet another son. Since our early days at Southport he has ever been a good soldier and his recommendation for a second stripe had been sent in some days ago, and will be appearing in orders any night now. Whilst out here, his work with the Lewis gunners has been excellent. Whatever the weather, his gun was always in beautiful condition ready for action at all time day or night.
As we were more than busily engaged it was impossible for us to see him laid to rest, but we were able to get his body away, and he is buried in a peaceful cemetery along with the other brave fellows it has been our misfortune to lose.””
Nantwich Guardian 26th January 1917
Information provided by Whitchurch Museum and Archives