Cyril Ernest French

Date of birth: 1893
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 44283 (formerly 31738)
Rank: Corporal
Regiment: Worcestershire (formerly Royal Berkshire)
Battalion: 2nd
Died: 23rd October 1918 aged 24 or 25 years
Death location: Killed in action in France and Flanders

 

Life before the War
Cyril’s parents were Charles, born 1857 in Aylesford, Kent, and Alice Eliza, nee Bromley.  Alice Eliza was born in 1856 and died in 1937, both events happened in Southampton.  The 1871 census shows Charles living in Kent, but he had moved to Southampton by 1878 when he married Alice Eliza.

As with Cyril, his siblings – 3 sisters and 1 brother – were all born in Southampton:

Alice Maud – born 1880

Charles Percival Victor -born 4th August 1886 and died 1973.

Lilian Constance – born 28th March 1889 and died 1980.

Winifred Beatrice – born 4th June 1896 and died 1979.

In the 1901 census the family lived at 15 Shakespeare Avenue, Portswood, Southampton.  Cyril’s father was employed as a Commercial Traveler whilst his sister Alice was a Teacher of the Pianoforte (Music) which was her own business.

By 1911 all the family, except Alice Maud, had moved to 26 Tennyson Road, Portswood, Southampton.  Charles senior was still a Commercial Traveler working in the Grocery Business, Charles Percival was employed as a Wood Machinist, Cyril worked as a Ledger Clerk in a Margarine Factory and Winifred was in the Millinery Business as an Improver.  Charles and Alice Eliza had an adopted child, Harold French, living with them. He was four years old and born in Totton, near Southampton.

 

War Service
Cyril was killed in action less than one month before the end of WWI.

Commonwealth War Graves:
“French, Cpl. Cyril Ernest, 44283. “C” Coy. 2nd Bn. Worcestershire Regt., formerly (10087) 2nd Bn. Hampshire Regt. 23rd Oct., 1918. Aged 25. Son of Charles and Alice Eliza French, of 35, Bridge Rd., Woolston, Southampton.”

Cyril is mentioned on the Memorial in Vis – en – Artois, British Cemetery.  His final resting place is unknown but is listed on the Memorial, Panel 6.  He is also mentioned on the St. Mary’s Extra Cenotaph/Memorial, Portsmouth Road, Southampton, the Peartree Church Memorial as well as on Southampton’s Cenotaph and Memorial Wall and the Southampton Old Cemetery Memorial.

The St. Mary’s Extra Memorial reads “To the Eternal and Hallowed Memory of the Men of this District Who Fell in the Great War 1914 – 1919”. The Memorial was erected by the relatives.

For his service to his country, Cyril was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.

Army Register of Soldiers Effects:
Cyril had credit of £22 1s 4d with a further 4s.  His mother received this full amount on the 8th April 1919 and a further of £20 on 5th December 1919 which was shown as an annuity from the War Office.

 

Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 14th June 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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