• Christina Drummond

Major Francis Ashford Lupton, 8th Battalion (Leeds Rifles), West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Major Francis Ashford Lupton, 8th Battalion (Leeds Rifles), West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own), was killed at Miraumont on the Somme.

He was one of three sons of Francis Martineau Lupton, the great-great-grandfather of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge. Prior to joining the army, Major Lupton had attended Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and had worked in his family’s textile manufacturing business in Leeds. He had been a member of the Territorial Army for several years, and was prepared for the advent of war, giving the lie (as did many others) to Lord Kitchener’s concept of the Territorial Army officers: “middle-aged professional men who were allowed to put on uniform and play at soldiers".

On the day of his death, Major Lupton went out on an evening reconnaissance near Miraumont; he did not return when expected and was subsequently reported missing. Sadly he had been killed and his body was discovered some hours later.

His two brothers also did not survive the war, and their father, Francis Martineau Lupton, gave up Rockland, the large family home and let it for an annual rent of £1, in order for it to be used as a home for children of soldiers and sailors in honour of his three sons. Major Lupton is buried in the Queen’s Cemetery, at Bucquoy, Pas-de-Calais in France.

Francis, from Potternewton in Yorkshire, was 30 years old and married with a baby daughter.

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