Francis Charles WOOLEY

  • 1911 Occupation
  • Domicile                                Shepherds Houses, Stragglethorpe ?
  • Date of Birth                         1895c, Oakham
  • Date of Death                       23 Oct 1918
  • Kin                                         John Edward and Frances Ruth Wooley, Main Road Cotgrave
  • Regiment                              2nd Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps
  • Division                                 1st Division
  • Brigade                                  2nd Brigade
  • Enlistment Date                   14 November 1914, Nottingham
  • Service Number                   R 7182
  • Rank                                      Corporal
  • Medals                                   14/15 Star. Victory Medal, British War Medal
  • Age at Death                         23
  • Commemorated                   Vis-en-Artois Memorial , Panel 9

The name Francis Charles Wooley appears on the Cotgrave War Memorial and on the Memorial Board in All Saints Church Cotgrave. Francis, known as Frank, was the son of John Edward and Frances Ruth Woolley of Main Road Cotgrave. Frank had 5 siblings: Fred, Florence, Arthur, John and Doris. Frank’s nephew Roy lives in Cotgrave today (2014) and is the son of Doris.

Wooley and Horse

On 14 November 1914 Frank was enlisted into the 2nd Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifles, a unit of 2 Brigade in the 1st Division. After basic training Frank joined his Battalion on the Western Front where they had been since they deployed with the British Expeditionary Force in August 1914.
We know little more about Frank’s progress through the ranks to Corporal and must assume that he served with his Battalion through the battle of Loos in 1915 and The Somme in 1916. However on 19 January 1917 his luck ran out and he was wounded in the back and returned to UK.
Frank spent some time recovering in Woodcote Convalescent Hospital in Sutton Coalfield before moving to the Depot. He returned to France in July 1917 where his Division had been warned to prepare for an operation along the Belgian coast (Operation Hush) in Summer 1917. The operation was cancelled when the initial assaults in the Third Battle of Ypres failed to progress as expected.
Frank died on 23 October 1918 at the battle of the River Selle which started on 17th October 1918 and finished on 25th October. This battle was part of the pursuit of the German forces through Picardy and Artois. He is remembered on the Vis en Artois Memorial as one of the 9000 men who fell during that pursuit and who have no known grave.

Wooley Memorial