It took some research and dedication, but last week a forgotten war hero from Silkstone was forgotten no more when his name was added to the village War Memorial on the centenary of his death.
A short service of remembrance and dedication was held for Frank Bramall, who died on the French battlefields on May 14 1917. A small group of local people gathered at the war memorial including representatives from his own regiment, the York and Lancaster Regimental Association.
The story started back in January 2014 when local Silkstone councillor, Richard Bell was handed a letter while having a drink in his local pub, The Station Inn. The letter was from a man in Hampshire who was trying to find out information about a previous landlord of the pub, George Bramall and his three sons – two of whom had died in the First World War. (He was related to Frank’s fiancé who never married)
Richard started off corroborating the identity of the Bramalls from census records, he then drove round all the other war memorials in the Barnsley area looking for Frank’s name – to no avail. So he enlisted the help of volunteers at the Bramah Gallery in the church – a local heritage hub for the community, who set about piecing everything together.
Said Richard: “It remains a mystery as to why Frank was not honoured on any Memorial, most especially the one from his home village, where he was born, raised, educated and finally left for ever to ‘serve King, Country and Empire’.
“There seemed to be a consensus amongst all those involved in finding out about ‘our Frank’ that he should be honoured on our War memorial and join his brother in being remembered for his sacrifice and that of his family and fiancée. He will no longer be the forgotten hero of Silkstone Common,” he added.
Last Thursday a small group of people gathered outside the war memorial in Silkstone to remember Frank. The service was led by the vicar of West Barnsley, the Revd Maureen Browell, the Last Post was played and they had the readings of the Exhortation and Kahima Epitaph.
The group photo above left shows left-right James Travis from Silkstone Common, two regimental representatives, Syd Dyson from Silkstone Common, Councillor Richard Bell and the Revd Maureen Browell.