© 2016 Bulmer & District History Group

Bulmer & District




        Bulmer & District History Group



On 6 January 1916 Frank injured his wrist lifting a sack of coal for the steam engine. His wrist became very painful and swollen and the next day he was unable to fulfil his duties.  

Four days later he was sent to hospital in Cambridge where he was diagnosed as having tuberculosis in the bones of his wrist, a pre-existing condition which had been identified only due to his injury.  In April 1916 a medical board found that the injury had occurred whilst Frank was on duty and that he was not to blame.  He was classified as unfit for military service and discharged from the army in May 1916.  Due to his service he was entitled to a small disability pension and the medical board noted in answer to the question “to what extent is his capacity to earn a living in the general labour market lessened at present?”  that this would be total for six months, at which point he would be re-examined. The records show that in October 1916 the answer to this question was “Prevents 50%”, and in October 2017 as “Prevents less than 20%”.

Edward Frank was the sole survivor of Harry Frank and Christianna Raymond’s three sons who served in the first world war.  He continued to live at Finch Hill in Bulmer for many years, later moving to Girling Street in Sudbury where he died in 1965.

Caroline Cunningham (nee Raymond)    

 Deborah Williams (nee Raymond)

Edward Frank Raymond was born in 1895 and was the second son of Harry and Christianna Raymond (nee French) of Finch Hill, Bulmer.  Edward Frank was the second of a total of eight children born to family, although two younger sisters and a younger brother had died within ten days of each other in March 1906.  At the age of seventeen his occupation is recorded in the 1911 census as a ‘farm labourer – with Steam Engine’’. As was common at the time his family used his second name “Frank” rather than his first name “Edward”.

Frank joined up aged twenty one in May 1915 before the introduction of conscription. His younger brother Harold James also joined up in 1915, followed by his elder brother Frederick Charles in 1916.

Frank’s military records survive and tell an interesting story.  On entering military service Frank’s profession is listed as a “Steam Tractor Driver”.   Frank was assigned to the Army Service Corps – Mechanised Transport Division.  During WW1 the Army Service Corps numbered over ten thousand officers and a third of a million men and can be regarded as the unsung heroes of WW1.  The Army Service Corps became The Royal Army Service Corps in 1918 and their decendant unit today is the Royal Logistic Corps.  Soldiers cannot fight without food, equipment and ammunition.  During WW1 the vast majority of this tonnage, supplying a vast army on many fronts, was supplied from Britain.  However, Frank’s service was to be relatively short lived.