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A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire.
Curated by Steve Odell.

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In memory of

Frank Skinner

Private 13644. 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment

Died: Saturday 1st July 1916 (First day of the Battle of the Somme) aged 21


Lest We Forget

"Of the 750 Cambridgeshire men of the 11th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment who climbed out of their trenches at 7.30am on that 1st July, no less than 691 were killed or wounded on that awful day...."
"Out of the 110,000 British soldiers approaching through No Manís Land towards the German trenches, some 60,000 were killed or wounded that day alone - the single heaviest day of casualties in British military history."

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Private Frank Skinner, Suffolk Regiment

Photograph courtesy of Brenda and Michael Skinner.

Frank Skinner was the son of Charles and Ellen Skinner of New Wimpole, Cambridgeshire. The photograph above shows the Skinner family, photographed at the Wayman's house [68 Cambridge Road] around 1912. Frank [standing, right] was brother to Eddie Skinner [sitting, right] and Harry Skinner [standing, centre], who are also listed on the Wimpole and Arrington War Memorial. Within four years of this family photograph being taken, three of Charles and Ellen's four sons had been killed in action in France.

The Skinner brothers of Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Where the Skinner family rests

"A couple of weeks ago, on a beautifully sunny autumn day, we decided to pop over to Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire. Within the estate grounds is the Anglican parish church of St Andrews and in the churchyard, very close to the entrance is a family grave that contains the mortal remains of Charles Skinner, his wife Ellen, and two of their grandchildren. The headstone must have been erected when Charles died in 1926, but the focus is very much on Charles and Ellen’s three sons, all killed in action during the First World War whilst serving with the Suffolk Regiment. I suspect that their names were added at the same time as Charles’ details, a suitable gap left between to accommodate Ellen in due course. Note too, the Suffolk Regiment cap badge at the top of the stone.

The Skinner brothers in France

"13644 Pte Frank Skinner, standing on the right, was the first of Charles and Ellen’s four boys to die. He was killed in action on the 1st July 1916 whilst serving with the 11th Battalion and is buried in Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers La Boiselle. Just over five weeks later on the 9th August 1916, his elder brother, 15628 Pte Edward Skinner was killed in action whilst serving with the 7th Battalion. Edward, seated on the right, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval War Memorial. Finally, on the 5th April 1918, 23312 Pte Harry Skinner, also serving with the 7th Battalion, was killed in action. He too has no known grave and is commemorated on the Pozieres War Memorial. Harry is the man standing in the centre of the photo which dates to about 1912. Thus Charles and Ellen Skinner lost their sons.

The Skinner family and Wimpole Past

"The photograph I have used (above) comes from Wimpole Past, a local history and genealogy site for Wimpole in South Cambridgeshire. We’ve been to Wimpole Estate before and I recommend it, particularly now, at this time of year with the leaves changing colour. We were blessed with warmth and bright sunshine but nevertheless, seeing this headstone at any time of the year brings nothing but chills. RIP Frank, Edward and Harry."

Reprinted from the British Army Ancestors website. (October 2018)

The Wimpole and Arrington War Memorial photographed in 2011

The Wimpole and Arrington War Memorial pictured in 2011
© Photographed by Lorraine and Keith Bowdler

The servicemen and women are listed under the Parishes of Arrington or Wimpole
as shown on the Cambridgeshire County War Memorial in Ely Cathedral.

Researched by Steve Odell.
The War Memorial Project would welcome any further information, photographs or memories of
Frank Skinner for this page.
Please contact us via the contact e-mail address below.

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