It’s difficult to imagine the tales of heroism, anguish and horror which many faced during the fighting on the Western Front in the First World War without history being written down.
One such story, recently come my way from Isobel Fleming is the story of Charles Frame, a postman from East Kilbride. Whilst this is the story of an East Kilbride man, he lived much of his life near the fringes of Blantyre, lost his friends from Blantyre during the war and trained in manoeuvres in Blantyre fields. I would like to share it as a local interest story here today. His great grandson, Tim Frame, whilst researching his life unearthed an interesting and tragic tale of life in the British Army during the height of WW1.
Tim said, “My grandfather was born in 1896 in Burnbank, Hamilton and moved to East Kilbride shortly afterwards. When WW1 broke out he attempted to join the army at the Hamilton Barracks which his friend Bobby Brown. However, his father saw them and sent them home. Undaunted by this, they then travelled to Glasgow where they joined the Royal Highlanders. The pair’s 2 friends, David Murdoch and Hugh Boyle from nearby Auchentibber also signed up and together, the pals were sent to the Western Front!”
Tragically, Bobby, David and Hugh were all killed in the one Battle of Loos in 1915. [Hugh Boyle was only 20, his army death register attached]. Charles Frame having lost all his friends in that battle survived and was sent to the Dardanelles where he was injured in fighting losing 2 fingers. When he recovered he was sent back to the front and fought at the great battles of the Somme and Ypres. Later sent to Ireland in 1917, he served there until discharged from the Army in August 1918.”
Charles must have been deeply saddened by the loss of his friends. After the war he became a postman at the former post office in Maxwell Drive and EK Village. It was whilst working there he met May Hastings and they married on 27th February 1920.
When WW2 broke out, Charles joined the Home Guard based in East Kilbride, serving for the duration of the war. His duties took him to practicing attack and defence in the fields above High Blantyre between Hamilton and East Kilbride. Charles died in 1986, after living a long life, aged 90.
Whilst Charles had survived WW1, almost a million British Servicemen gave the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for their country.