Frank Phillips



Woodhall Spa                           




Kirkby on Bain






Miscellaneous Memorials


Number: 15559                                Unit: 12th West Yorks
                                                        (Prince of Wales’s Own)
Rank: Pte.                                  Commemorated:
                                   Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.


I have very little information on Frank except to say he is probably the brother of W. Phillips who is also commemorated on the Tetford memorial.  If you should have any information regarding these two soldiers, I would be pleased to hear from you.


After enlisting, Frank was drafted into the 12th Battalion of The West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales’s Own). The regiment was formed at York and transferred to the 3rd Division in November 1915.  This Division was one of the original divisions to form the British Expeditionary Force, which sailed for France in early August 1914 following the outbreak of War.  1916 witnessed two of the most costly operations in military history.  The first involved the French at Verdun, in a battle that was the most protracted in the whole war.  The second took place further North, along the Somme.  On the 1st July 1916, Haig launched his attack against the German Second Army, and by nightfall the British had suffered 60,000 casualties, the bloodiest day in the British Army’s history.  The loss was made more appalling in falling most heavily on Kithchener’s “New Army”.  On that day, Franks sister battalion, the 10th Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment, suffered probably the highest percentage unit loss of any battalion during the war with 710 casualties. 

Despite these losses, Haig pushed on in a series of lessor attacks and, on the 23rd July, we find Frank’s battalion engaged in an attack at Longueval.  The attack started at 3.45pm but was not successful and the battalion reformed to attack again.  The battalion was finally relieved on the 24th July at 3.00am and, in the 12 hours it was engaged, it suffered losses totalling 8 Officers killed, wounded or missing and 155 Other Ranks killed, wounded or missing.  It is certain Frank died during this action.

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