Frank Houghton

Frank Houghton was born on 12th September 1893 in Hatton and baptised at Daresbury on 4thNovember the following year. He was the son of Walter Houghton (born Whitley) and his wife Mary (nee Maddock Green) who was born in Hatton.

The family lived in Hatton village in 1901 and included James (9) and Tom (4) and 7 year old Frank. His father was a bricklayer’s labourer. (James and Tom would also serve in the Great War, James dying in 1917)

Ten years later Frank was working as a farm labourer and living in Hatton with his parents and two brothers. His father was now a roadman.

On 21st March 1914, at Warrington Registry Office, Frank married Agnes Ann Evans, the daughter of Sarah Ann Evans and stepdaughter of George Evans, who served and died in the Great War. Two of Agnes Ann’s brothers, John Frederick Evans and Herbert Atkinson Evans would also serve for their country. Frank and Agnes Ann had two children, a daughter, Barbara Eleanor Evans and a son Arthur, born in 1920.

The family were living at Parr’s Cottages in Hatton in 1915. In December of that year Frank signed up at Stockton Heath as a Private in the Royal Field Artillery, service number 160509. After a period on “general service” until September 1916, he became a driver with number 2 depot and then 8th Reserve Battery. At that time he was a horseman on a farm. He was posted to France on 3rd February 1917 and joined D battery of the 17th Brigade, which was a howitzer battery.

He was hospitalized in France in August 1917, but soon rejoined his unit and served on, (with a 2-week break on leave in England in February 1918), until the spring of 1919 when he embarked from Antwerp for home. Frank had served in the Southern Theatre of War and was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his war service. He was demobilised at Prees Heath on 22nd May and transferred to Class Z of the Army Reserve. Class Z was cancelled in March 1920.

Frank returned to Hatton and lived on in the village at Parr’s Cottages. However Agnes Ann died in February 1933 at the age of 40 years. The 1939 Register showed Frank as living with William Herbert Green and his wife Barbara E., (Frank’s daughter) and one other member of the family. Parr’s Cottages were now called Hickson’s Cottages. Frank was employed as a brewer’s labourer for Greenall Whitley, a position he kept until he retired.

In early 1943 he married again, to Theresa M. Hardman. They lived in Stockton Heath. Frank eventually went back to live at Hickson’s Cottages in Hatton with his daughter and son-in-law, diabetic amputations having confined him to a wheelchair.

Frank Houghton died on 29th January 1966. He was 71 years of age.