Francis ‘Frank’ Braithwaite was born in Brightside, Sheffield in 1892. His Father, George Edmund was a Spring Fitter for the G N Railway, and was married to Ada. Frank had four brothers, Henry, George, Bernard and Harvey and two sisters, Agnes and Ada. The family later moved to Doncaster and at the age of 18 Francis was working as a Carriage Builder for the GN Railway.
Francis had not enlisted until 2nd December 1915 and went to France on Good Friday of 1916. He joined the 8th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry with the rank of Private and his Service No. was 26573
In the Doncaster Chronicle on the 18th of August 1916, it was reported that “Mr and Mrs George Braithwaite, of Palmer Street, Doncaster, were anxiously awaiting further news of their son, Private Francis, of the K.O.Y.L.I.. On the 7th of July they received a letter from a man signing himself Adrian Bentley, presumably a comrade, stating that he saw Private Braithwaite fall. It was also stated that they had received a letter from the War Office on Sunday 6th stating that Francis had been reported missing since July 1st. The last communication his parents had received from him was a field card posted on June 29th.”
Sadly it was reported in the Doncaster Chronicle, dated 23rd February 1917, that “after a painful expense of six months” Mr and Mrs Braithwaite had learned from the Red Cross Society, and officially from the War Office, that their son, Private Francis Braithwaite, had been killed.”
Francis died on the 1st July 1916, at the Somme, aged 23, and he is buried at Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authille, Department De La Somme, Picardie, France. The Inscription on his headstone reads: ONE OF THE BEST GENTLE AND KIND A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY LEFT BEHIND.