Newhaven Soldier Killed by a Sniper. 1917

By Ian Everest

Mr. & Mrs John Everest of 3 Court Cottages have received intimation from the War Office that their youngest son, Lance Corporal Arthur Frank Everest RMLI, aged 23 years, was killed in action on 3 September. Writing to the parents, Captain the Rev. W Whitehead, informs them that their son was killed by a sniper and that death was instantaneous. He was buried in a separate grave in a well-kept cemetery, and the writer had conducted the service. A wooden cross with his name and regiment had been erected. Deep sympathy from the officers and men of his regiment was tendered, with the hope that God might comfort the bereaved in their great sorrow. This is the second loss sustained by the family within three months, as another son, Henry James Everest, aged 36, was recently drowned at sea while working on a transport.

With this information I was able to contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), and ask for details of where Frank was buried. In 1982, this meant writing to the CWGC and waiting for a response. Nowadays, an instant search can be done on the CWGC website .

Frank Everest was buried at Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St Laurent Blangy, just outside Arras.

In January 1983, my brother and I sailed on the early morning crossing to Dieppe. As we passed Eastbourne we looked over at the position where the Duchess lay. On arrival at Dieppe, we drove on to Arras and found the cemetery where Frank was buried.

We knew that we were the first members of the family to visit his grave. It was a poignant moment as we lay a wooden cross on his grave that we had saved from the previous year's Remembrance Day. It was also a privilege to write in the cemetery visitor's book - "To visit the grave of Frank Everest - for those who couldn't come before"

Since then, I have been back to the battlefields of Ypres, Arras and the Somme every year - and every trip includes a visit to Frank's grave.

It is also encouraging to note that this research is being used at Tideway School by Jim Fanning, Assistant Head Teacher. He accompanies me on most of the battlefield trips and now takes his pupils to the cemetery as part of a school visit. As Jim said at a school assembly "Not far from this spot over ninety years ago, you would have seen Frank Everest working in the fields around Court Farm Road, ploughing the very land that the school sits on"

If you have a relative who is named on the Town War Memorial - why not have a go at finding out about him?

If you don't have a relative named on the Town War Memorial - why not choose someone and see what you can find out?

There is more to these men than an inscribed name on a tablet of stone.

Photo:Loading Transports

Loading Transports

Ian Everest

This page was added by Jackie Blackwell on 24/11/2007.
Comments about this page

Real interesting story. Being military I have always been interested in wars and battles that have been fought before.
I have been fortunate enough to visit Ypres, Arras and one of my favourites, Gallipoli. Not until you visit these sights can you begin to understand the sacrifice that thousands upon thousands of young men and women have given to Great Britain. I think that what you suggest is a good idea, to pick one person and try and find what his life was. I am now 21 months short of leaving after 24 years service and am seriously thinking of starting up being a guide in Gallipoli.

Thanks for this Craig - I will pass your comments on to Ian Everest who was the author of this piece. Jackie - Editor

By Craig McIntyrew+
On 26/08/2008

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.