F. W. E. Russell
Service no. 302875
Rifleman, London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), “D” Coy. 1st/5th Battalion
Born in Southwark; enlisted in Lambeth; lived in Stockwell
Killed in action on 16 August 1917, aged 26
CWGC: “Son of Mr and Mrs F. Russell, of 89, London Rd., Southwark, London; husband of Katherine L. Russell, of 33 St Martin’s Rd., Stockwell, London.”
Remembered at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
Information from the 1911 census and other sources
Commercial clerk Frank William Edmund Russell, 20, was the youngest child of Farnham-born Francis Russell, 49, the owner of a coffee shop at 89 London Road, Southwark, and Catherine Russell, 49, from Camberwell. He had two siblings, Catherine Annie Elizabeth Russell, 24, an assistant in the coffee shop, born in Walworth, and Emily Rosian Lucy Russell, 22, a milliner. The family lived in five rooms.
On 2 August 1915, at the Church of St Saviour with St Thomas in Southwark, Frank, aged 24 and working as a book-keeper, married 28-year-old typist Katherine Louisa Kies, of 34 Newcomen Street, Southwark, the daughter of Jacob Kies, German baker. She later gave her address as 33 St Martin’s Road, Stockwell.
Frank’s family have preserved some postcards and letters from Frank. On 25 August 1916 Frank wrote to his sister’s fiancé Jack (John Thomas Moore) from the training camp at Havant in Hampshire:
I have just found out that I can get leave and will act as your best man, I hope your ankle is better than that you are able to use it. I am sorry Ern has to go under another operation, He seems to be having a rough time with his leg, I hope he will soon be better although I hardly think he will be able to go out again. A good thing too so long as he does not have any trouble in the future. I expect he will get off with a slight limp.
A letter from Quartermaster Segeant Denny of ‘D’ Company to Katherine reads:
…I am reluctantly writing to inform you that your husband […] has been reported “MISSING” since Aug. 16 in an attack on the Prussian trenches East of Ypres. He may possibly gave gone down to a hospital through the dressing station of another battalion, in which case you shall be informed.
In the summer of 1929 Katherine married Albert A. Anderson. She died in Bromley, Kent in 1965.
With thanks to family members Andrew Tate and Stephanie Higgins.