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Frank Norman Billington


Frank Norman Billington was born in 1888, to George and Elizabeth Billington of Coppenhall, in Cheshire. George was a Steam Engine Fitter. Frank was baptised on September 23, 1888 in Coppenhall, but by the time of the 1891 Census, the family were living at 146 Avon Street, in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester.

Early Life

By the time of the 1901 Census, the family had moved to 32 Manchester Road, in Dunham Massey, where George is recorded as being a Mechanical Engineer. Frank was aged 12 at the time. His also had a younger brother, Edward (aged eight).

By 1911, the family had moved again to Gladstone Road, in Altrincham, where George was now a Linotype Fitter. Frank (aged 22) was by now a Teacher, as was his younger sister, Christine (aged 20).

Chester College

Frank attended Seamon's Moss School, in Oldfield Brow (where he is also commemorated on a memorial), Lymm Grammar School and then Chester College. He obtained a distinction in five subjects, leaving Chester College in 1909 as a qualified Teacher. He then spent a year at Salford Royal Technical Institute, later becoming the Mathematics and Geography Teacher at Central School, Ashfield Road, in Sale.

Military Service

Frank enlisted on November 11, 1914 when he was 26 years old. He enjoyed several rapid promotions: firstly to Lance Corporal (without pay) on November 26, 1914; then to 2nd Corporal on December 18, 1914; then to Corporal on February 26, 2015, then Sergeant on March 19, 1915. All of these positions were in the Army Ordinance Corps. Frank then transferred to the Royal Air Corps. Frank saw action as an observer in a two-seater bi-plane flying reconnaissance and bombing missions behind enemy lines. By now he was a Lieutenant.

Lest We Forget

A December 1917 edition of a local newspaper reported that Frank was wounded and in hospital at the front. When he had recovered, he returned into service flying in the Royal Air Corps. Frank’s plane, C2442 12 Squadron, piloted by Lieutenant T.H. Jacques, was believed to have been shot down in flames behind enemy lines on September 30, 1918. The aircraft was shot over Crevecoure. Frank was originally reported as missing, but declared dead on September 30, 1918, aged 30 years old.

Post Mortem

Frank is buried at Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery, in France. For his war service, Frank was awarded the British War and Victory and Star medals.