Frank was born on 31 May 1891, in Haslingden, just outside Crewe. His parents were John Hilditch and Ann Jane Asbury and he had at least two siblings. In the censuses of 1901 and 1911, he was recorded as living with his parents in Haslington.
In 1911, Frank was a locomotive engine cleaner, initially for the North Staffordshire Railway. After that and before the start of the war, he joined the police, because a Warrington Guardian article of 16.6.1917 tells us that he was a constable in the Cheshire Police Force, stationed in Moore. He enlisted into the Military Foot Police of the Military Police Corps, regimental number P8200.
A blogspot tells us that –
‘In 1914 the Corps of Military Mounted Police and the Corps of Military Foot Police had a total establishment of nearly 5000 men.
During the retreat from Mons, the MPs were busy dealing with soldiers who, through exhaustion or the general confusion of battle, had either lost or became detached from their units. By operating stragglers posts, the MPs were able to return soldiers to their units. These posts were also well placed to pick out deserters and those Absent With Out Leave.
The work undertaken by MPs was not all carried out behind the lines, and sometimes they came under heavy fire. During this conflict, the Military Police suffered 375 casualties.’
Frank died on 22 May 1917, in the military isolation hospital in Aldershot. The circumstances of his death are unknown.
Probate was granted to his father, so we presume that he hadn’t married. His effects amounted to £216 13s.