Cecil Frank Sims was born in the village of Manston, Dorset, towards the end of 1897. The youngest of six children, his parents were Henry and Ann Sims. Henry was a dairyman and, after his death in 1909, his wife continued in this line of the work.
Cecil was just 16 years old when was was declared, but he was keen to do his bit for King and Country as soon as he could. In May 1917, he joined the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Marine Light Infantry in Portsmouth.
Sadly, information on Private Sims dries up at this point. His service records no longer exist, and the only document that remains is his pension record. This confirms that he died on 11th February 1919 from ‘disease’, but there is no further information to be had. He was just 21 years of age.
Cecil Frank Sims was laid to rest in Yeovil Cemetery.
There is one other element that adds to Cecil’s family story. When researching the local newspapers for any reports on his funeral, an advert was posted just a few days before he passed:
Farmer’s son wanted: Willing to help on farm. Lodgings found close. Good place for willing chap, age 16 or 17 years preferred. SIMS, Poplars Farm, Yeovil Marsh.Western Gazette: Friday 7th February 1919
It would seem that, if he was at home, Cecil’s health was weakening, and so extra support to manage the farm was being sought.