Frank Bovett Helps 1894-1915

2471 Rifleman London Regiment, County of London, Queen's Westminster Rifles Battalion

Frank Helps was born on 11 May 1894 the second son of Edward William Helps and Elizabeth Bovett. In 1901 Edward is recorded as an incorporated account (he was overseer for the Borough of Bridgwater) and Frank had two older siblings, Arthur and Elsie and a younger brother Victor. They lived in Westleigh house on Durleigh Road. In 1904 his mother Elizabeth died and was buried in the Wembdon Road Cemetery. Frank attended Dr. Morgans School on Mount Street, thereafter he attended Colchester Grammar School. He then was apprenticed to Beare's Drapers in Taunton, 43 & 44 North St, Staplegrove, where he is recorded in 1911. After his apprentiship was finished he went to London to work in the Brixton Bon Marche.

He enlisted on 11 Aug 1914, which was recorded on 16 Septmeber 1914 in the Bridgwater Mercury. He arrived in France on 24 January 1915. On 3 February 1915 the Bridgwater Mercury reported that Frank's brother Victor had enlisted in the Motor Cyclist Despatch Riders Section. He would quickly be promoted to corporal then second lieutenant in the Signal Corps in October 1915. His older sister Elsie also served during the war, working as a nurse. Frank was killed on 23 July 1915, while on outpost duty. He was 21 years old. On the 28 July 1915 the Bridgwater Mercury reported that F.B. Helps 'well known townsman's son' had been killed.

He is buried in the Potijze Cemetery, grave BI. 27. His name appeared in volume 1 of De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, page 182 (from where the picture is taken). His name was added to the memorial of his mother, number 220 in the Wembdon Road Cemetery memorial list. The memorial is in poor condition and the remaining inscription reads: In Loving Memory of Elizabeth dearly beloved wife of E. W. Helps of Westleigh, Bridgwater who fell asleep August 11th 1904 aged 43 years. Thy will be done. Also of Frank B. Helps Queens Westminster Rifles, killed in action at Ypres July 23rd 1915 aged 21 years. The supreme sacrifice. Also of the above Edward William Helps born Nov. 17 1864 died March 27 1917. Also of Victor W. Helps youngest son on the above July 23rd 1921 aged 24 years.