Francis Jesse Stone – known as Frank – was born in 1899, one of five children to William and Sarah Stone. William was a general handyman – his census records record him variously as a labourer, carpenter and carman (or carter) – and the family lived in the village of Bishop’s Hull, on the outskirts of Taunton, Somerset.
Given when he was born, documentation for Frank’s early life is limited to the 1901 and 1911 censuses. We are restricted, therefore, to the information provided by the medal rolls.
Frank was under age when he joined up. He enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry on 27th December 1914, when he could only have been 15 years old. He was assigned to the Depot Battalion, and was shipped to France the following year.
Sadly, there is little other information about Private Stone. He survived the war and returned to England, but passed away on 8th February 1919. No cause of death is evident, but it seems likely to have been one of the lung conditions running rampant across the country at the time, probably influenza, tuberculosis or pneumonia. When he died, Frank was just 20 years old.
Frank Jesse Stone lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in his home town of Taunton, Somerset.