Captain Frank Hamer

Frank Hamer was born in Ashton-under-Lyne on March 4, 1880.  Educated at Manchester Grammar, prior to the war he was a chartered accountant and a member of the Ashton-under-Lyne town council.

Capt. Frank Hamer

In 1907 he married Winifred Elsie Mallalieu and in 1910 they had a son, Reginald Hamer.

Meanwhile, he was commissioned into the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Manchester Regiment on April 7, 1906.  Subsequently transferring to the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment maintaining his rank and seniority when the Battalion was formed on April 1, 1908.  Three years later, on December 7, 1911 he was promoted to Captain.

He sailed with the Battalion to Egypt in September 1914 and served with them there throughout their training and preparation for action. While in Egypt he was able to take 10 days leave from December 10-24 along with Capt. Howorth. Landing in Gallipoli on May 9, 1915 he was the Officer Commanding “C” Company.

Captain Frank Hamer was killed in action on the evening of June 7, 1915 leading a charge against a Turkish trench. Captain Hamer was shot and fell before reaching the trench. C Company subsequently captured the trench but were forced to relinquish it at dawn after holding it for around six hours. It was one of the bloodiest events of the Gallipoli campaign for the 1/9th Manchesters. In late September 1915, information was received by his father, William Hamer, that Captain Hamer’s body had been found and given a Christian burial with military honours and a cross placed over the grave.

Captain Frank Hamer was 35 years old. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

The Empire (or Cape Helles) Memorial
Copyright: Harvey Barrison

He is also commemorated on:

  1. Ashton-Under-Lyne Civic Memorial.
  2. Manchester Grammar School Memorial.

The museum of the Manchester Regiment holds a small brass plaque that was originally positioned in Ashton Town Hall where Frank Hamer had been a pre-war town councilor. The plaque reads:

To the memory of Captain Frank Hamer, age 35 years. 9th Manchesters. A member of this Council. Killed in action at Gallipoli on 7 June 1915. Son of William Hamer J.P. of Birch House, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Councilor Henry Thomas Greenwood, the father of Lieut. William Gilbert Greenwood,  was subsequently appointed as Overseer of the Poor in Ashton-under-Lyne to fill the vacancy created by Frank Hamer’s death.