Frank George Eyres

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Upper Stratton, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
22 Queen Street, Petone, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand
Clerk City Engineer's Office Wellington

Army information

New Zealand
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Lance Corporal
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 2nd Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Wolf Farm, Passchendaele, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Frank Eyres was born on 9 August 1898 in Upper Stratton, Wiltshire, England to Ann and John Alfred Eyres. The family emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand, where Frank worked as a clerk for the city engineers of Wellington. Frank enlisted in March 1916. A year later, he joined the 2nd Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade in France, part of the 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade, of the New Zealand Division. Once with his unit, Frank volunteered to be demoted from corporal to private. Not much later, he fell ill. Frank was not able to rejoin his unit until May. In August 1917, just before the New Zealanders were involved in the Battle of Passchendaele, he was again promoted to corporal.

On 12 October 1917, the 2nd Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade was to attack towards Bellevue and the heights of Passchendaele, with the 3rd Battalion to their right and the 9th Scottish Division to their left. The attack was planned at 5.25am. Weather conditions were poor with frequent October rains. Shortly after the attack began, the Riflemen were already held up by a German fortified post, which they were eventually able to capture. There was not enough artillery support and attacking across the swampy terrain proved difficult. The barely passable paths and roads became clogged with troops. The advance was chaotic and soon the ranks mixed with Scots from the 9th Division who were to their left. On their left flank, the German cemetery near Wallemolen was captured; in the centre, Wolf Farm was taken. Around 8am, they were ordered to dig in. There was no way through and another attack, scheduled for 3pm, was called off.

The losses were enormous; the New Zealanders lost almost 2,700 men on 12 October 1917, including 843 killed. Frank George Eyres was one of them. He has no known grave and his name is listed on the New Zealand Memorial to the Missing at Tyne Cot cemetery.

Files 2

Sources 3

McCarthy Chris, Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account (London, Unicorn Publishing Group, 2018) 130-131.
Sources used
New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives New Zealand, Wellington (ANZ), R21001672).
Sources used
Stewart H., "The New Zealand Division 1916 - 1919" (London, Intype London Ltd, 1920) 248-298.
Sources used