Captain Frank Woodhouse

Frank Woodhouse was born in Prestwich on May 6, 1891. His father, Percy Woodhouse (later Sir Percy Woodhouse, KBE, DL, JP), was a cotton merchant and founded the firm Woodhouse, Hambly & Co. Frank had an older brother Ernest and an older sister Nora. We don’t know the specific details of Frank’s education but he most likely followed the same, or similar, path to that of his brother who was educated at St. Anne’s-on-Sea, Bengeo School (Hertford) and Rugby School.

By 1901 Frank was living with his parents, sister and two servants at the family home “Longmead” on Glossop Road, Marple Bridge (near Stockport). He was still living there in 1911 but by now was working in the family business as an apprentice cotton merchant and had been commissioned into the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment on June 26, 1909. One of the reasons he joined the 9th Battalion was that his uncle, Lieut.-Col. Charles Richard Wainwright, was the commanding officer at that time.  Frank was quickly promoted to Lieutenant on December 1st of that same year and Captain on July 17, 1913.

He sailed with the battalion to Egypt in September 1914 and served with them through their training and preparations for action. He landed with the Battalion at Gallipoli on May 9, 1915 as second in command of “D” Company. Celebrating his 24th birthday en-route from Port Said.

In Gallipoli he was 2nd in command to Major NOWELL in the Battle of Krithia Vineyard and briefly assumed command of 1/2 of the Battalion when Major NOWELL was wounded. In September he was in charge of 102 men who went to Imbros for training and in October was in command of “A” and “C” Companies when they were temporarily attached to the 1/5th East Lancs Battalion.

In 1916, after the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula, and a month after arriving with the battalion in Egypt he took home leave to the UK for 38 days from February 8 to March 17, 1916. Upon his return to Egypt he temporarily took over command of the Battalion from May 18 – 27, 1916 when Lt. Col. DH WADE temporarily assumed command of the 126th Brigade. On September 15, 1916 he left the Battalion to take leave in England and was subsequently ordered to report to the War Office and was struck off the strength of the Battalion. He resigned his commission in August 1921 retaining the rank of Captain.

In July 1919 he married Elsie Kathleen Furniss and they had three children, (Suzanne Furniss Woodhouse b. 1921, Hazel Furniss Woodhouse b. 1925 and William Furniss Woodhouse b. 1930). By 1929 he was living with his wife and daughters in Marple and was employed as a cotton merchant at Woodhouse, Hambly & Co. Ten years later, Woodhouse, Hambly & Co. had been dissolved and he was now a company director living in Buxton with his wife and son.

Captain Frank Woodhouse died on July 26, 1984, in Buxton (his wife predeceasing him). He was 93 years old.