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Service remembers March WW1 hero on 100th anniversary of his death



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Company Sargeant Major Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March and at his grave in the adjoining cemetery.

CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160821)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160821)

This service was in honour of number 868 of the 876 men of the Cambridgeshire Regiment who died as a result of actions in WW1.

The Royal British Legion and Cambridgeshire Regiment Standards lead the possession into church before moving to the grave of CSM Franklin.

CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160824)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160824)

Gary Fisher gave a short overview of the project and Christine Green also a Cambs 876 Remembered committee member read details of CSM Franklin.

He was the son of Robert and Betsy Franklin of March and was married to Mary Jane Franklin. He enlisted in February 1909 and was discharged in March 1916 because of sickness, he received his Silver War Badge as an army pensioner.

He died of tuberculosis disease of the right knee joint and Phthisis (shrinkage of the eyeball). His Aunt S Buren was present at his death at 43 Upwell Road, March.

CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160832)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160832)

The Rev Andrew Smith conducted the service which saw poppy crosses laid on the soldier’s headstone with Last Past and Reveille being played by Bobby Crick.

Dignitaries included: Col Mark Knight, Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Councillor Peter Human, Mayor of Wisbech and the Mayoress of Wisbech, Mrs Janet Tanfield, Lt Col David Denson, Royal Anglian Regiment Association - Cambridgeshire.

CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160835)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160835)

Army Cadets from March and Chatteris Detachments, Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force attended and also laid poppy crosses.

The eight members of the Committee attending were: Chris Green, Sam and Gary Fisher, Roger Hutchcraft, Karl Harvey, Keith Wainwright, Amanda Finch, and Nick Sims.

CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160826)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160826)

After the service refreshments were served in the church.

The Project has further services to undertaken before its final service in Guyhirn in May 2021 to remember Private JE Payne

For further info on the Project see http://www.cambs876remembered.com/

CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160820)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160820)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160819)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160819)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160834)
CSM Harry Franklin was remembered 100 years after his death at a service at St Wendreda’s Church, March. (8160834)


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