FRANK HYDER

Private, SD/2934, 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in Action, 16 April 1916, near Festubert, Pas de Calais, France, aged 26
Buried in the Post Office Rifles Cemetery, Festubert. Grave reference: I. A. 9
 

The Post Office Rifles Cemetery

Private Frank Hyder, SD/2934, 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was born in Tonbridge, Kent in 1889. He lived at The Rough, Coleman's Hatch. He was killed in action on 16 April 1916 near Festubert in the Pas de Calais, France, age 26 and is buried in the Post Office Rifles Cemetery, Festubert: Grave I. A. 9. He is listed on the war memorials in Coleman's Hatch and Hartfield.

The son of Mary Ann (née Card) (b.1857) and Thomas Pollington (b.1839) Hyder, Frank was married to Mary Ellen (née Divall) (b.1884) Hyder and had four children, the eldest being Elsie Ellen (b.1911). Her sisters included Charlotte and Marge. He formerly worked for Messrs. H&E Waters of Forest Row. He also worked as a 'stone digger for road making'. Mary Ellen and Frank Hyder are listed in the 1911 census as living with their parents-in-law at The Rough, Coleman's Hatch. His father, Thomas Hyder, was a 'road carter' in 1901 and in 1911 was listed as a bricklayer — at the age of 68.

His father-in-law John Divall was also listed as a 'stone digger for road making' in the 1911 census. In 1891 John Divall was listed as a 'general labourer' and in 1901 as an 'agricultural labourer'. Mary Ellen Hyder died in 1972 aged 88. His daughter Elsie Ellen Hyder married William Awcock in Uckfield in 1940. She died aged 84 in 1994 in Crawley.

Graves Registration Report Form

Frank was involved in the battle near Festubert, Pas de Calais. His Company moved from Verte Rue to Locon via Merville on 14 April 1916. They took over the Right Sub-Sector of Givenchy Area relieving the 13th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. They were positioned near La Bassée Canal. The trenches they occupied were found to be in very poor condition. The wire in front of the parapet was practically non-existent. The troops spent the day building dugouts and closing a gap in the parapet. On 16 April the enemy shelled the trenches and made a direct hit on the parapet killing a number of men. It is likely one of these was Frank Hyder. That evening enemy machine guns were very active. The toll for the day was 5 killed and 16 wounded.

Frank's children at the Convent School in Coleman's Hatch circa 1920. Dancing round the maypole are Elsie Ellen Hyder, her two sisters Marge and Charlotte and father William Awcock plus a lad called Weeding.

Carol O'Driscoll