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

He was commissioned into the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Manchester Regiment on April 7, 1906 and the following year, on June 4, 1907, he married Winifred Elsie Mallalieu at Delph. After the Haldon reforms, he transferred to the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment maintaining his rank and seniority when the Battalion was formed on April 1, 1908. On May 29, 1910 his first son, Reginald Hamer, was born and on December 7, 1911 he was promoted to Captain. His youngest son, Frank Mallalieu Hamer was born on September 17, 1913.

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.

An officer’s death gratuity, payable to his widow, was defined under article 497 of the Royal Warrant for Pay, 1914. This entitled his dependents to 124 days of field pay for his partial year of service (presumably starting from May 9, 1915). For Captain Hamer this worked out to be £77 and 10 shillings based upon his daily pay of 12 shillings and 6d. From this was subtracted his pay for June 8-30th equaling  £14, 7 shillings and 6d leaving a net amount of £63, 2 shillings and 6d. And credits of £11, 5 shillings and 6d for field allowances earned but not paid resulted in a total paid to his widow of £74 and 8 shillings.

Additionally, his widow received a £250 gratuity and a pension of £100 per year. Each of his children received a gratuity of £83, 6 shillings and 8 pence and a “compassionate allowance” of £24 per year.