Rank: Private 3005
Regiment: 2/4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
Died: 10 August 1916
Beer Memorial Cross, St Michael's Church Tablet, Beer
Other Memorial: Baghdad (North Gate) Cemetery [Google]
PDF Download: LUMBARD Frank
Frank Lumbard was born in Crewkerne in 1890, one of the nine sons of William Lumbard, a gardener, who was born in Fareham, Hampshire, and his wife Ellen, who was born in Crewkerne. They also had a daughter, Ethel.
At the time of the 1911 census, Frank was working as a gardener at Dillington Park near Ilminster, and gave his address as The Gardens, Dillington Park.
Frank enlisted in the army in Beer, although he was living in South Petherton at the time. It is not clear why he would have joined up so far from where he was living, and Beer did not have a permanent recruiting office (local men usually had to travel to Axminster to enlist). However, a post-war trade directory shows his father, William, living in Beer and working as a gardener, so perhaps Frank was visiting his father in Beer and joined up when the recruiters called in the village.
Frank joined the 4th Reserve Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment (later renamed the 2/4th Battalion), which was sent to India in December 1914, to release regular battalions to go to the Western Front. At some point Frank and some of his colleagues were attached to the Royal West Kent Regiment, and his campaign medal records show that he arrived in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) on 26 August 1915.
Local newspaper reports show that Frank was wounded during the siege of Kut, south of Baghdad, and was later taken prisoner by the Turks when the British forces in the town surrendered.
The Western Times for 18 January 1916 reported that Frank had been wounded, while the Devon and Exeter Gazette dated 28 June that year reported that he was among the British troops taken prisoner by the Turks at the end of the siege of Kut in April 1916. He appears to have been wounded during the siege, and would have been among the British and Indian troops who were captured and sent hundreds of miles into captivity in Turkey.
The records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show that he died while a prisoner of war on 10 August 1916, and was buried in Yarbashi, in north eastern Turkey. His body was later exhumed and reburied in a British military cemetery in Baghdad. It is not clear whether he died of his wounds or was one of the many men who died of disease while held prisoner.
* Required fields