Altrincham WW1 

Francis Forster Holmes

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:24th Bn*
Name of Rgt or Ship:Royal Welsh Fusiliers
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:IsraelGrave Photo:No
Cemetery or Memorial:Jerusalem Cemetery
Town Memorial:Altrincham
Extra Information:
Born during the March quarter 1897 in the Birkenhead R.D. - ref: 8a/486,
the eldest son of Francis & Mabel Holmes (nee Cragg).

1901 Census - 107 Sinderland Road, Dunham Massey.  Son - aged: 4 - Core
Maker (Engineering) - born: Birkenhead.   Head of household - Francis
Holmes - Married - aged: 36 - occ: Iron Driller - born: Northallerton,
Yorkshire.   Also Mabel Holmes - Wife - aged: 26 - born: Altrincham.  Plus
3 siblings and his maternal grandmother.

1911 Census - 101 Sinderland Road, Dunham Massey.  Son - aged: 14 - Core
Maker (Engineering) - born: Birkenhead.   Head of household - Francis
Holmes - Married - aged: 46 - occ: Iron Driller - born: Northallerton,
Yorkshire.   Also Mabel Holmes - Wife - aged: 36 - born: Altrincham.  Plus
4 younger siblings.

Attended Navigation Road School and the Broadheath Wesleyan Church Sunday

Employed as an Apprentice Moulder at George Richards Engineering Co, where
his grandfather is employed.

Enlisted on 20/03/1916 and drafted to the front in March 1917. 
Denbighshire Yeomanry Battalion.  MIC confirms that he was awarded the BWM
& the VM indicating that he did not go overseas until 1916.   The 24th
(Denbighshire Yeomanry) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers were formed in
Egypt from dismounted Denbighshire Yeomanry on the 1st March 1917 - they
came under orders of 231st Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division. 

Sir Edmund Allenby's report on the Fall of Jerusalem, 9th December 1917. 
The date for the British attack on Jerusalem was fixed as December 8th. 
Welsh troops, with a cavalry regiment attached, had advanced from their
positions north of Beersheba up the Hebron-Jerusalem road on the 4th.  No
opposition was met, and by the evening of the 6th the head of this column
was ten miles north of Hebron.  The infantry were directed to reach the
Bethlehem-Befit Jala area by the 7th, and the line Surbahir-Sherafat (about
three miles south of Jerusalem) by dawn on the 8th, and no troops were to
enter Jerusalem during this operation.   By nightfall our line ran from
Neby Samwil to the east of Beit Iksa, through Lifta to point about one and
a half miles west of Jerusalem, whence it was thrown back facing east.  All
the enemy's prepared defences west and northwest of Jerusalem had been
captured, and our troops were within a short distance of the
Nablus-Jerusalem road.

The Ottoman Army counterattack was launched at 01:30 hrs on the 27th
December 1917, which fell on the infantry from the 179th (2/4th London)
Brigade, 60th (2/2nd London) Division, on the Nablus road.  The Ottoman
force's initial objectives were a line of villages, including Nebi Samweil
1 mile in front of their starting positions.  They were focused towards
Tell el Ful, a hill east of the Nablus road about 3 miles north of
Jerusalem defended by the 60th (2/2nd London) Division.  This Ottoman
attack on Tell el Ful initially drove the British outposts back and
captured several important places. However, the engagement continued for
two days and was ultimately unsuccessful.   Also during the morning of 27th
December the British infantry from the 10th (Irish) and the 74th (Yeomanry)
Divisions advanced about 4000 yds on a front of 6 miles during which
advance Francis was killed.

Listed as Frank Holmes on SDGW.

Death reported in the 22/12/1918 edition of the Altrincham Guardian.   See
also the 22/01/1918 edition.

Memorials found on:
St. Alban's (Broadheath)St. Alban's - Vicar's List
Altrincham & District Roll of Honour
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