The photo in my last post showed Charles Hadley (Frank) Kent as a baby, with his whole life ahead of him.  He was my children’s great-great uncle and caught my eye because he died young.

Frank (as he was called) was born in Ceylon around 1896.  The family left Ceylon in 1910 and moved to Warwick in England.  (Today’s Kent family still live there and I have only recently been chatting to a family member there whose grandfather was Frank’s brother).    Frank had a good education in Columbo and in England.  The family returned to Ceylon in 1913 but Frank and his brother, Neville, decided to stay in England.  Frank was then a medical student at Cambridge.

Both boys enlisted in the Royal Middlesex Regiment, 22nd Batallion, Neville in the Machine Gun Corps and Frank as a stretcher bearer.  Neville was awarded the Military Medal in 1916.  In 1918 he was wounded and discharged from the army.  Frank, a Lance Corporal) was killed in action in March 1917.

This is such a sad story on many levels.  Frank was just 21 when he was killed helping the wounded.    As a medical student, you can’t help wondering what he could have achieved in his life had he lived.

Neville went on to marry and have two children.

Charles HF Kent

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