Regiment: 1/4th Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment
Service No: TF/2618
Date & place of birth: 2nd qtr. 1896
Date & place of death: 15 October 1915 (aged 19) on a hospital ship at sea

Frank Daughtry was one of three members of the same family from Heyshott who died in the Great War. He fought in Gallipoli but became ill with enteric fever. He was sent home on a hospital ship, but on the journey, he died and was buried at sea.

Family background

William Frank Daughtry (known as Frank) was born in Heyshott in early 1896 He was the youngest child of William Daughtry (1858–1950) from Heyshott and his wife Laura Annie née Lee (1866–1897) from Dorking. They married on 19 October 1890 in Fittleworth.

At the time of the 1891 census, William and Annie had settled at Heyshott Street, where William worked as a hoop maker; later that year they had their first child Agnes. The following year their second daughter, Ethel was born and finally in April 1896, they had a son, William Frank. Unfortunately just over a year after he was born, his mother died.

By 1901, William, a widower was now working as a gardener and had moved to a cottage at Oatscroft, at the north of the parish. His older unmarried sister Emily had moved in as his housekeeper to help look after the three young children who were now at school. In 1911, the family still lived at Oatscroft, where William worked as the gardener for Thomas Fisher Unwin, a book publisher, and his wife Jane, the daughter of Richard Cobden. Agnes had already left home and Ethel was working as a servant and Frank, a shepherd boy.

Military service

Frank enlisted into The Royal Sussex Regiment, at Horsham, in November 1914 aged 18. He joined the 1/4th Battalion which, in April 1915, was posted to the 53rd (Welsh) Division in Cambridge before moving to Bedford in May. On 17 July 1915, the battalion embarked at Devonport and travelled via Port Said before landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli on 9 August 1915.

Death and commemoration

Shortly after his arrival, Frank contracted enteric fever (now known as typhoid fever) which is caused by salmonella typhi & paratyphi, which are differentiated from other salmonella infections because the illness associated with them affects the whole body rather than just the gastrointestinal system.

He was sent home on a hospital ship but died on the journey and was buried at sea on the 15 October 1915.

He is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial, Shirley, Southampton (as Private Frank William Daughtry) and in the Memorial window in St James Church, Heyshott. He was a cousin to Ralph and Basil Daughtry, who both died in The Great War and who are also named in the window.

Frank would have been entitled to the 1914-15 star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

 Subsequent family history

Frank’s father William continued living in the area until his death in 1950, aged 92. In 1913 Agnes, his eldest sister, married Edwin Douch in Midhurst. It appears that they moved to Watford and Agnes may have died in childbirth giving birth to a daughter, also named Agnes, in June 1917.

It has not been possible to trace what happened to his other sister, Ethel.


Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project