FRANK ARTHUR PAGE
Lance Corporal 52153, 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Died on Friday 24th October 1919
Buried: St. James the Less Churchyard, Lancing, South of the Church Tower
Since the beginning of the nineteenth century the Page family have been one of Lancing's most prolific families. Although the parish registers are in poor condition it appears that by 1901 all Pages in the village were descended from the same great-grandparents, James and Sarah Page. They had at least seven sons who survived infancy, and Frank Page's grandfather is thought to be the eldest of those sons. Frank was born at the beginning of 1891, the seventh and youngest child of Matthew and Emily Elizabeth Page. Matthew worked for much of his life as a bricklayer, but by 1901 was in poor health and unable to work, the family being supported by the adult children still at home.
Frank Page's service record has not survived, but it's believed that he enlisted in the summer of 1915. The 26th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) was raised in July 1915 predominantly from bank clerks and accountants, although there is no evidence that Frank came into either of these categories. His battalion went to France in 1916, and then on to Italy in mid-November 1917, and a report in the Sussex Daily News dated 5 April 1918 gives news of Frank and his brothers Sydney and Charles:
During the recent German onslaught Private S. G. Page, Royal Sussex Regiment, one of three Lancing brothers serving, received his second wound. It was in the woods near Albert that he was hit, a bullet entering the leg. He is now in hospital in Reading. Last June, near Ypres, he was hit in the arm. The two other sons of Mrs. Page, Ivy Cottage, are Private C. F. Page, Royal West Kents, who is in Mesopotamia, and Lance Corporal F. A. Page, Royal Fusiliers, who is in hospital in Italy suffering from the privations of campaigning. All three brothers were formerly engaged in the market gardening industry.
However, the newspaper was a little behind the times, as the papers often tended to be. 41st Division had already left Italy, and were back in France on March 18th 1918, and it seems likely from later reports, that Frank was injured as a result of the German Spring Offensive at the end of March. A further item in the Worthing Gazette adds to the information:
LANCE CORPORAL F. PAGE - LANCING - One of three Army brothers, Lance Corporal F. Page, Royal Fusiliers, of 2 Ivy Cottages, Lancing, has been very badly wounded and has had his left leg amputated below the knee. He sustained the injury after he had been transferred from the Italian to the Western Front only a week. His army service extends to nearly three years.
Eventually Frank came home, although no details of the next few months are known, and he died on 24th October 1919, eighteen months after his wounding. He is buried in the graveyard of St. James the Less, North Lancing, where he had been baptised, one of only two Lancing men named on the war memorial to be buried in the village. Frank's brother Sydney, who died on the 17th April 1944, lies alongside him in the same grave.