Clifton Rugby Football Club History
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Frank Alexander Haycroft


2nd Lieutenant Frank Alexander Haycroft - Regiment: Kings Royal Rifles. Killed between 10th and 12th August 1917. 3rd Battle of Ypres.

In 1901 the Haycroft family lived at 28 Sion Hill, Clifton, Bristol. They were

Name Relation Age Occupation Where born
Charles Haycroft Head 44 Hide Merchant Bueno Ayres, Argentina (British Subject)
Alice Haycroft Wife 39 Liverpool
Frank A. Haycroft Son 10 Bristol
Eleanor G. Haycroft Daug 9 Bristol
John R. R. Scott Visitor 52 Ship Broker Liverpool
Eliza C. Jenkins Visitor 46 Living on own means Liverpool
Kate Drewett Sev 54 Cook Bristol
Marsha Weeks Serv 17 Housemaid Gandyfarth, Glamorgan
Eliza H. Roberts Visitor 30 Nurse Liverpool

Above 28 Sion Hill, Clifton.

He died on 10th August 1917

Above Frank Haycroft's name on the War Memorial at St. Paul's Church, Clifton, Bristol.

Above St. Paul's Church, Clifton, Bristol.

Above St. Paul's Church, Clifton from an old postcard.

Kings Royal Rifle Corps Chapter IX

The general result of the fighting of July 31st 1917 and the first two days of August was that the enemy’s front system had been captured practically along the whole front of the attack, the British troops were firmly established on the ground they had gained. Incessant bad weather prevented any renewal of the advance on a big scale before the middle of August, but there was a good deal of local fighting in order to secure the best jumping-off places for the next advance. Especially was this necessary on the front of the X1V Corps, where a foothold had to be secured on the right bank of the Steenbeek, so that the first move of the big operation should not have to include the crossing of that stream.

On August 6th the 20th Division completed the relief of the 38 th in the right sector of the X1V Corps front, and were thus confronted by the Steenbeek proposition. The situation on the front held by the Division was that the enemy were holding the opposite bank of the Steenbeek, while the British line was from 200 to 400 yards short of the stream. The 59 th Brigade took over the line, the 60th and 61st being kept in reserve, the intention being that the 59th Brigade should gain a footing on the other side of the stream by a preliminary operation, where it would be relieved by the other two brigades the day before the big attack. The attack completed, the two brigades which had made it would, in turn, be relieved by the 59th, which would hold the position gained. Subsequent events prevented this scheme being carried out in its entirety.

The 10th K.R.R.C was detailed to carry out the operation of crossing the Steenbeek. The attack was fixed for 4.15a.m. on August 11th. It was to be made by two companies of the Battalion, which were to form up in the open within 200 yards of the stream. Unfortunately, an enemy’s patrol, which had crossed the stream detected our troops in the act of forming up, and turned on a machine gun with very disastrous results, as the right company lost heavily, and was completely disorganised. The operation failed, only small parties ever getting over the stream, and they were never seen again. The casualties in this unfortunate affair were: killed, 8 other ranks; wounded 1 officer and 32 other ranks; missing, 4 officers, of whom 2nd Ltnt. F.A. Haycroft was killed; Captain F.H. Tate died of wounds in German hands; Captain R.L. Jones and 2nd Ltnt. J.M. Lovett (5th N. Staffs, attached) were prisoners of war, and 85 other ranks.

Three days later the operation was successfully carried out by the 10th and 11th Battalions Rifle brigade, six companies being employed this time. Evidently no blame was attached to the 10 th Battalion for their failure, as a few days later we find their Divisional Commander addressing a new draft, and congratulating them on coming to a battalion which ‘always fought well’.