Legion honours village’s First World War hero

Members of the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, village residents and the Reverend Jane Skinner pictured at the Whitchurch Canonicorum war memorial

A WHITCHURCH Canonicorum soldier killed in action in the Battle of Ypres was honoured by the Royal British Legion on the 100th anniversary of his death.

Frank Wiscombe was born in Whitchurch, near Charmouth, in 1880 but moved from Dorset to London during his teenage years where he married a Whitchurch girl, Elizabeth Hodder. They had two children, a daughter Bessie and another child who died young.

After living in Crouch End and Tooting, the couple moved to Banstead where Frank took a job as a farm labourer at an asylum. The men who worked alongside him were encouraged to join the Army with London County Council promising to continue to paying their wages to their dependents whilst they were away.

Frank joined the 6th Dorsets and was wounded during the recapture of The Bluff in February 1916. After several months recuperation he was transferred to the 2nd Wiltshires as part of reinforcements to replace men killed on The Somme. He finally fell in action on May 8 2018, aged 37.

To mark the 100th anniversary of Mr Wiscombe’s death, the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion, with co-operation from the Banstead branch, held a short service at the Whitchurch war memorial, conducted by the Reverend Jane Skinner, Vicar of the Golden Cap Team of Churches.

Legion secretary Chris James delivered the Exhortation and a wreath was laid by the branch president Philip Evans. Standard bearer Jon Hunt was also in attendance and the Last Post was played by Elizabeth Carter, who lives in the village.

Refreshments were later served in the Whitchurch Canonicorum Parish Church where some of the boards from the ‘World War One – The Men from Whitchurch Canonicorum Who Went to War’ exhibition in the village hall, were displayed, including one on Frank Wiscombe, put together by local historian Sylvia Creed Castle.

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