F Le Brun
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
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- Frank le Brun -


Frank Le Brun, Wimbledon

L/Cpl 2092 F Le Brun, 1/8th Bn Hampshire Regiment (Isle of Wight Rifles)

CWGC record ...

Further information

Name appears on Isle of Wight Rifles War Memorial at Carisbrooke Castle
Name appears on Isle of Wight Rifles War Memorial at the Drill Hall, Newport

FRANK LE BRUN 1886 - 1915 Lance Corporal No. 2092, D. Company, Isle of Wight Rifles, 1st/8th Battalion Hampshire Regiment.
In December 1914 my great uncle, Frank LE BRUN secretly left his home in Wimbledon and travelled to the Isle of Wight to join The Rifles. His choice of regiment was influenced by his many trips to the Island to visit his relatives in the company of his mother Amelia (née PRITCHETT) a daughter of Edmund PRITCHETT (1818-1889) the Brickmaker.
Frank was born on 25th Aug 1886 in Battersea. He was the youngest child of Philippe LE BRUN (born 18th March 1837 St. Ouen, Jersey - died 21st January 1896, Battersea) and Amelia PRITCHETT (born 26th July 1842 Sandford, Godshill, died 17th November 1916, Wimbledon). He and his brother Philip Edmund, senior, were very close being the only survivors of five children and Frank enjoyed spending time with his nieces Louise Amelia, Elizabeth May and nephew, my father, Philip Edmund LE BRUN, junior, (1910 - 1996). In 1914 he was looking forward to marrying and raising a family of his own and had recently become engaged to a Wimbledon girl named, Ellen "Nellie" PEAKE.
He enlisted on 15th December 1914, commenced on 17th December and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 25th January 1915.
Following four days leave from 10th - 15th April he was transferred to D. Company 1st Battalion on 21st April 1915 and on 26th April found himself in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk where, on 30th April, he witnessed one of the first raids of enemy Zeppelins on the East Coast. (Report and pictures in the Bury Post dated 7th May 1915.) Fifty bombs and incendiaries were dropped resulting in damaged premises but no loss of life. The Rifles were called upon to deal with a near riot in the town when locals suspected that a German sympathiser had been signalling to the Zeppelins from the roof of a public house.
On 22nd May they went on to Watford for a further two months training before Lt. Col. Rhodes gave them the news that they would soon leave for Liverpool en route for the Dardenelles.
On 12th August Frank received severe head and facial injuries during the attack across the Anafarta Ova and died from his wounds on 14th August. He was buried at sea.
Transcription of the Diary kept by Lance Corporal Frank Le Brun No. 2092 1/8 Battalion Hampshire Regiment - Princess Beatrice's Isle of Wight Rifles, covering the period Thursday July 29th 1915 to Thursday August 12th 1915.
Thurs July 29th 1915 Left Watford about one p.m. for Dardanelles via Liverpool Aquitania on board same night
Friday July 30th Left Liverpool Alexandra Dock about 1.30 p.m. stood out till about 10 p.m. Wrote short letter to Nellie & Mother Have bad cold.
Saturday July 31st Well out no land in sight escort of 5 torpedos had to turn back presumably owing to wrough(sic) sea feeling very queer but not sick. On deck for about 2 hrs high wind.
Sunday Aug 1st Evidently crossing Bay of Biscay Ship rolling terribly sea looks fairly calm but high wind. Feeling rotton still. Detailed for 24 hour guard (which I could very well do without) in charge of 6 men attending Fire hose.
The boat is packed with soldiers. 6 Battalions on board
10th & 11th City of London
4th & 5th Norfolks
5th Suffolks & 8th Hants.
August 2nd Monday Bank Holiday Sighted land about 3p.m. and proceeded up straights. Rumour on Board that wireless message received that it was reported in England that the Aquitania had been sunk - another report was that a vessel following us laden with ammunition had been sunk and that was the reason the former report had gained currency. The sun is lovely not a cloud in sight. Beginning to notice the warmer weather. On the look out for Gibralter. Sea very calm. Feeling much better now cold better & recovered from sickly & giddy feeling. Coast in sight resembles highland mountains. Have seen several towns. Houses are white in appearance and seem to be built irregularly. Quite a number of small craft about. Saw a shoal of flying fish. Meal times on board 8 a.m. 1 p.m. 6 oclock
Tuesday Aug 3rd Slept on Deck last night. Now between Gibralter & Malta. Sea extraordinary calm this morning. Lovely breeze on deck. Now 3 o/c waiting for Raiting parade. Commenced writing letter to Nellie. A little cloudy & sun not so hot. When we came aboard on Friday volunteer stokers were asked for - said that they could not get stokers at any price as they would not risk lives for fear of submarines. It is said that this boat narrowly missed being torpedoed on the last journey. What a wonderful ship this the Aquitania is, simply enormous, one could easily loose themselves aboard. Really wonderful the organization of feeding & sleeping accomodation. Nothing much in sight as we go along Meditteranean Sea. Making for Malta for Coal.
Wed Aug 4/15 (no entry)
Thurs Aug 5/15 (no entry)
Friday Aug 6/15 Arrived safely at Lemnos 8 a.m. Greek Archipeligo
Saturday Aug 7/15 We are lying in a Bay off the Isle of Lemnos. On all sides one sees camps which I believe are rest camps for the soldiers brought from the firing line which is, they say, not many miles from here. The Bay is quite a sight full of all kinds of sea craft passing to and fro. We see troop ships cruisers hospital ship etc., no less than seven of the latter passed us yesterday. Laying off about 100 yds away is the Lord Nelson.
Sunday Aug 8th 1915 Orders to leave Aquitania - messing about all night.
Monday Aug 9/15 Boarded Osmanieh for ................... at about four a.m. conditions awful no food for 14 hours then only hard biscuit. Bought chocolate & biscuit from Greeks who came and laid by - went aboard Aquitania for dinner. Left shortly after dinner up the Dardenelles (saw warship firing) to nearer base Slept aboard this boat, hot daytime cold at nights.
Tuesday Aug 10th 15 Still aboard Osmanieh living on Iron Rations simply squashed on here. Sitting on cold water tank on top deck. Managed shave this morning. Saw enemy "Taube" come over attempted to drop bomb on Warship. Chased by our aircraft and fired at.
Wednesday Aug 11th 15 Some troops landed but 8th Hants still aboard. Another visit from enemy aircraft. Gulf of Saros (Samos?) where we are landing warship shelling enemy positions. Saw town burning. Landed and moved up just behind firing line.
Thursday Aug 12/15 (no entry)
(On August 12th Frank received severe head and facial injuries during the attack across the Anafarta Ova and died from his wounds on August 14th. He was buried at sea.)
Photographs and information provided by : Anita Roe.
F Le Brun is her great uncle.
This is the article which appeared in the May 2005 issue of the Isle of Wight Family History Society Journal, and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

I W Rifles : F Le Brun I W Rifles : F Le Brun I W Rifles : F Le Brun
Frank Le Brun Letter advising of award of 1914-5 Star
to F Le Brun
Diary Pages for Aug 10th to 11th, 1915


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