Frank Wotton Eastlake (1891-1916)
Lance Serjeant Frank Wotton Eastlake was born in 1891 in Camberwell, London, Surrey, the son of Richard Algernon Eastlake and his wife Caroline Mary Britton. He was with his parents in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses, working in 1911 as a library assistant at the Holborn Public Library. He joined the London Regiment (First Surrey Rifles), 21st Battalion in September of 1914 and left for France in February of 1915.
Frank was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region France on 23 May 1916. He is buried at the Arras Memorial in the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, France. His service number is 2121. Frank was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for gallantry in the field, his Commanding Officer writing that ‘he was a lad who knew no fear, and whose death was a great loss to the battalion.’
The medal citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry, when he remained in an exposed position on the parapet of a captured enemy trench and threw bombs for upwards of six hours, thus assisting to prevent a counter-attack.
Frank’s medal card at The National Archives shows that he was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
We know of eight siblings of Frank and that his family would also lose his younger brother, Sidney Charles, the following year.
‘2121 L/Cpl. F.W. Eastlake 21st Bn.’, UK, Citations of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-1920, accessed at Ancestry, http://home.ancestry.co.uk/ [accessed 21 June 2016].
‘Eastlake, Frank Wotton DCM’, UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, accessed at Ancestry, http://home.ancestry.co.uk/ [accessed 21 June 2016].
UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, accessed at Ancestry, http://home.ancestry.co.uk/ [accessed 21 June 2016].