Frank was born in July 1896 in Cambridge.  He was the ninth of thirteen children born to Samuel Maltby (1861-1927) and Sarah Annie Maltby (née Darnell) (1861-1924).  Before the war Frank was employed by the Central Meat Company in Burleigh Street, Cambridge for several years.  Frank probably enlisted as a Private in the 2/1 Cambridgeshires (Territorial Force) in November 1914, which was a training unit initially formed in September 1914 and was part of the 69th Division.

In 1915 the Battalion was sent to Gallipoli with the 54th Division but 2/1 Cambridgeshires remained with the 69th and spent time training in in Norwich, Peterborough and finally Thetford in about June 1915.  The 69th was again due to go overseas but the 2/1 Cambridgeshires remained in England and after several reorganisations was training in Harrogate by June 1916.  On 30 August 1916 a large number of men from Cambridge were sent to France to join the 4th and 5th Battalions, Yorkshire Regiment, which had suffered recent heavy losses on the Western Front.  This may be when Frank became first Private 5211 and then Private 242470, 5th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.  The 4th and 5th Battalions, Yorkshire Regiment were in the 150th Brigade, 50th Division (Northumbria). The 4th and 5th had been fighting in the Kemmel area of the Ypres salient until late July 1916 when they were transferred to the Somme area to prepare for an offensive.  Frank had been at the Western Front from August 1916 and had celebrated his 21st birthday in the trenches about a week before his death.  On 19 July 1917 he was killed by a shell explosion.  He was buried in the Heninel Communal Extension Cemetery together with 27 members of the Yorkshire Regiment including three from Cambridge.  Frank was commemorated in Cambridge on this family grave and on the Cambridge Guildhall memorial.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Maltby of 41, Norfolk-street, Cambridge have just received information that their son, Pte. Frank Herbert Maltby, Yorkshire Regiment (transferred from the Cambs. Territorials), has been killed in action, by a shell explosion, on July 19th.  Pte. Maltby, who joined the Cambs. Regt. in November, 1914, was for several years employed by the Central Meat Co., Burleigh-street, and was highly respected both by employers and customers.  About a week before his death he spent his 21st birthday in the trenches.  He went to the front last August, and had seen some of the most desperate fighting in the recent big battles.  His company officer, writing to his parents, says: “The sympathy of every officer and man in the company goes out to you in your great bereavement.  I have not been with the company long.  I had already noticed the quiet demeanour and intelligence displayed by your son, and we shall all miss him very much.  He was killed whilst doing his duty during a critical period, and he died the death of a true British soldier with his face to the enemy.  Arrangements have been made for the body to be interred in an English cemetery, and a cross will be erected over the grave.”  Mr. and Mrs. Maltby had two other sons serving with the colours; Pte. George Mason Maltby, 18th Training Reserve, and Pioneer Samuel James Maltby, who after serving two years and three months has now been discharged.  He was wounded in the foot while in France with the Suffolks, and when convalescent was sent to Mesopotamia with the Norfolks, where he contracted fever.  Before joining up he was employed by the New Theatre Company. – Mr. and Mrs. S. Maltby and family desire to return thanks for the many expressions of sympathy in their great loss, and regret that owing to the large number of letters they have received it is impossible to answer them separately.

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 3 August 1917

Maltby grave
Maltby grave

 

 

Lat Lon : 52.202593, 0.13631389 – click here for location

Parish : St Bene’t

See family grave page for more information

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
War Graves Photographic Project

www.roll-of-honour.com

Census: 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911

England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915

England, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007

UK, Soldiers died in the Great War, 1914-1919

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 3 August 1917

Cambridge Independent Press, Friday, 17 August 1917

The Western Front Association, Bulletin 88, October/November 2010

 

By Chris Weekes (great-nephew), Ian Bent and Emma Easterbrook

 

Frank Herbert Maltby