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  • Christina Drummond

Second Lieutenant Frank Calder Tilbrook, 7th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Second Lieutenant Frank Calder Tilbrook, 7th Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry, was killed in action during the fighting on the Western Front.

The only son of a postmaster, he had joined the Grimsby Chums (10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment) as a private as soon as he turned 19 in October of 1914. Such was his competency and ability, he rose quickly through the ranks and in August of the following year he accepted a commission with the Durham Light Infantry. At the time of his death he was an Acting Captain, attached to the 231st Field Company, Royal Engineers - after training he had left with them for France in November of 1916. He is remembered as “a most popular young officer, and a favourite with both officers and men.”

A few days before his death, Second Lieutenant Tilbrook had written to his parents to tell them that he had been through a very rough time and was spending a short time in a rest camp. Following on that letter came the news that he had been killed in the fighting. His parents later received a letter from their son’s colonel, who wrote: “I can honestly say not one of the many of my officers who have gone was I so sorry as to hear of your boy’s death. He was everything one looks for in a young man. Brave – hard worker – always cheerful and reliable. Many chats we used to have on farming. Your loss is indeed great. I could always rely on him for any sort of work. He is a great loss and I deeply sympathise with you.” He is buried in the Haverskerque British Cemetery in northern France.

Frank, from Stallingborough near Grimsby, was 22 years old.

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