Topic: Frank Pentelow (1880-1917)

Topic type:

Tauranga butcher Frank Pentelow was a veteran of the South African conflict (Boer War 1899-1902). He signed up to serve during World War I and was reported missing in action in France on 21 February 1917. A court of inquiry found that he had been killed in action and buried by the Germans. Story by Debbie McCauley.

Does this article look wrong? Click here for an archived version

Frank Pentelow was born in Raunds, Northamptonshire, England on 6 May 1880. He was the youngest son of John and Sarah Pentelow (nee Brown) of the Raunds Manor House. John and Sarah had married at Raunds on 17 June 1869 and farmed there during the 1870’s. They had 300 acres and employed ten men and two boys. An 1881 census lists a widowed Sarah, aged 38, as head of the Raunds Manor House, along with seven children and three servants. It is believed that Sarah was pregnant with Frank when John died in 1881.

Now a wealthy widow, on 22 December 1884 Sarah remarried to Robert Woodruff (1842-1902) in Raunds. The 1891 census shows Sarah, aged 48, baker Robert Woodruff and nine-year-old Frank Pentelow as a scholar living with them at the bakehouse on High Street, along with his siblings Percy, Ernest and Helen.

By 1901 Sarah and Robert Woodruff, along with their eldest daughter Helen (aged 25 and unmarried), are living at 25 High Street, Ringstead. Just over a year later Robert died. By 1911 Sarah had moved and was living with her 59-year-old unmarried brother, a farmer in Walgrave. Also living there were her unmarried sister and widowed brother, all aged in their sixties.

Meanwhile, Frank Pentelow has served as a trooper during the South African conflict (Boer War 1899-1902) (Service No. 23589). He was part of the 8 (Derbyshire) Company, 4 Battalion Imperial Yeomanry.

After working for a number of years as a farm labourer, Frank departed from London, England, on board the Ionic on 9 December 1908. He arrived in Wellington, New Zealand. Frank moved to Tauranga where he gained employment with butchers W Harvey and Son of Tauranga who were established in 1864. Frank is listed in the New Zealand Electoral Roll as living in Tauranga in 1911, his occupation given as Butcher.

On 18 October 1915 Frank enlisted to fight during World War I. He served with the Auckland Infantry Regiment, 6th Company, 2nd Battalion (Service No. 13/2886). His next of kin was given as his sister Sarah [Jeannie] Wilson (nee Pentelow), wife of Thomas Wilson of 9 Bartlemas Road, Oxford, England. Sarah was baptised on 24 April 1884 and may have married Thomas on 12 August 1901.

On 19 September 1916 Frank was wounded in action in France and admitted to the field ambulance, rejoining his unit on 30 September.

Private Frank Pentelow was reported missing in action in France on 21 February 1917. A court of inquiry found that he had been killed in action, aged 36 (reg. 1918/44951). Frank was reported buried by the Germans in the Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery at La Gorgue in Nord, France.

Frank's death certificate was issued to Sharp Tudhope, Barristers of Spring Street, Tauranga. His medals were sent to his sister in Oxford, England.

Frank Pentelow (1880-1917)

The Bay of Plenty Times reported on 8 August 1917:

A casualty list issued on Monday shows that Private F Pentelow of the Auckland Infantry, who was previously reported missing, is now reported to be dead and buried by Germans (no date given). The late Private Pentelow came out from Oxford, England to New Zealand in the year 1908 and immediately joined the staff of Messrs W Harvey and Son of Tauranga, remaining continuously in the employ of the firm till the time of his enlistment, and leaving New Zealand with the Ninth Reinforcements. He was a general favourite with all who knew him and the news of his death will be received with deep regret


1911 New Zealand Electoral Roll. 1871 England Census. 1901 England Census. Northamptonshire, England, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1912.

Archives New Zealand: Military Personnel File.

Auckland War Memorial Museum: Cenotaph Record.

Bay of Plenty Times (1917 August 8, p. 2).

Bay of Plenty Times (1931, April 23, p. 1).

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Find My Past: Anglo-Boer War records 1899-1902 Transcription.

Find My Past: Passenger Lists leaving UK 1890-1960 Transcription.

New Zealand War Graves Commission.

Raunds War Memorials Research Project.

Ringstead People: Biographies of Ringstead (Northamptonshire) People.

Rushden Research: 1881 Census - Raunds, Manor House 280a.

Rushden Research: 1891 Census - Raunds, High Street 174a - 180a.


A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion

Frank Pentelow (1880-1917)

Note:Service Number: 13/2886
First Names:Frank
Last Name:Pentelow
Date of Birth:6 May 1880
Place of Birth:Raunds, Northamptonshire
Country of birth:England
Date of death:21 February 1917
Place of death:France
Place of burial:Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, Nord, France
Fathers name:John Pentelow
Fathers date of birth:c1843
Fathers place of birth:England
Fathers date of death:1881
Fathers place of death:Raunds, Northamptonshire, England
Mothers name:Sarah Brown
Mothers date of birth:c1843
Mothers place of birth:England
Mothers date of death:by 1917
Mothers place of death:England
Name of sibilings:Ernest Pentelow, Percy Pentelow, John Pentelow, Sarah S Pentelow, Elizabeth Pentelow, William Pentelow, and Helen Pentelow
Military Service:World War I (1914-1918)