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» Francis Algernon Monckton
 
 

Francis Algernon Monckton

Lieutenant Francis Algernon MONCKTON
1st Scots Guards

Date of birth: 6 May 1890
Date of death: 8 November 1914

Killed in action aged 24
No known grave

Francis Algernon was born in Granville Place, London W, the eldest of the six children of Francis Monckton of Stretton Hall, Stafford and his wife, Evelyn Mary Heber-Percy. He was baptised on 5 June 1890 at St Mary‘s, Bryanston Square, but known as Frank to differentiate him from his father. In 1891, the family were at Stretton Hall where they employed fifteen servants.

Frank was educated at Wixenford School [now Ludgrove] Wokingham and Eton. He came up to Christ Church in 1909.

He had an interest in ornithology and “The Field” of 14 November 1908 p.888 had a report from him that he had recorded hearing the corn bunting in November near Eton. The seventh volume of “British Birds” also carried reports from him:

“Birds in Staffordshire
A young drake Gadwall was shot on January 14th at Stretton.
I saw 2 Knots on October 12th 1913 at Bellfields Reservoir. I watched them for some time through powerful glasses and when one flew close past me, I could distinctly see the grey rump. I believe the only previous satisfactory record of the Knot for Staffordshire is one shot at Tittensor near Trentham in December 1892. On the night of November 6-7th 1913, there was a large immigration of many different species and I saw three Ruffs [Machetes Pugnax] at Bellfields on the 7th. These birds seem to have stayed there till the end of the month, as I saw them again on the 9th, 16th 20th and 29th after which date, I did not go there. I believe there are only two previous records of the Ruff for Staffordshire – one which I saw at Bellfields in 1911 or 1912, and one which was shot at Norton Pool near Chasetown. Francis A Monckton.

Late stay of House martin in Staffordshire. Mr. F.A. Monckton reports a single House-martin [Hurundo u. ifrbica] at Stretton Hall near Stafford on November 23rd 1913.”

He also wrote poetry and his nephew, Mr A S Monckton considers The New Hunter (shown at the end) to be his best.

Frank was already serving at the outbreak of War. The following excerpts are from: 1st Battalion Scots Guards - War Diary August 4th, 1914 to November 1914.
Aldershot
August 4th (6 p.m.) Order to ‘mobilise’ received.

November
4th Quiet day. Make point d’appui near wood round burnt farmhouse.

5th Heavy shelling.
4th Reinforcement. Sgt. Howson and 50 R and F.

6th VELTHOEK. Fairly quiet day. 
5th Reinforcement. Lt. B. W. Smith and 60 R and F.

7th – do – Heavy shelling.

8th – do – Fairly heavy shelling. Enemy break through French and N. Lancs. get into communication trench and enfilade battalion trenches. L. N. Lancs. and our supports counter attacked and regained lost trenches. Germans remained in right trenches. Attempts made to turn them out with machine gun fire.
Killed. Lt. R. N. Gipps, Lt. F.A.Monckton
Wounded. Lt. B. W. Smith (died of wounds), J. S. Stuart (died of wounds), Lt. J. S. Dyer Bt.
Missing. Lt. A. W. Douglas-Dick. 

9th VELTHOEK. Fairly quiet day.

10th – do – Heavy shelling.

Frank was killed at Hooge, near Ypres. He is commemorated on Panel 11 at the Menin Gate.

His name is on a memorial in St John’s Church Stretton, together with that of his brother, Geoffrey Valentine Francis Monckton Lt. Scots Guards killed in action at Cuinchy, nr La Bassee 1915, and cousin, Christopher Monckton killed at Mons En Chaussee, France 1916.

Probate was granted to his father on 12 December 1914. He left £400-7s-9d.

 

The New Hunter
Quoth I to my hunter, Good steed, have a care!
The season’s first Meet is to-day.
My boots are all shiny, my red coat is new,
And my personal pride is completed in you;
Now correct be thy manners, I pray,
But he squealed and he bucked, and right over his head
All into the mire like a rocket I sped!

Quoth I to my hunter, Good stead, have a care!
When to cover so slowly we jog.
The pack will press round thee, but heed my appeals!
Restrain thy resentment, nor suffer thy heels
To endanger the life of a dog.
In vain my advice. Right in front of the Master
The pick of the pack at his heels met disaster!

Quoth I to my hunter, Good stead, have a care!
This timber looks lofty and strong.
Now steadily canter right up to it, so.
Take off quite beneath it, and over we’ll go,
And find ourselves clear of the throng.
But he rushed at it madly, then altered his mind,
Let me jump the fence, and himself stopped behind!

Quoth I to my hunter, Good stead, have a care!
This brook is deep, muddy and broad,
Thy pace should be fast and thy spring should be high,
And we’ll cut them all down if across it we fly
While the rest are in search of a ford.
Yes! the water was deep - there was mud there galore,
As I found to my cost when I scrambled ashore!

Quoth I to my hunter, Good stead, have a care!
The hounds, I can see, are at fault.
Now slacken thy pace, or the Master, I fear
Will not cease from rebuke till the whole atmosphere
Turns a delicate shade of cobalt.
But his mouth was as iron, and his neck like a bull,
And he charged right among them - and my cup was full!

Quoth I to my hunter, Good stead, have a care!
Or my crop I shall use with a will.
Though smooth be thy paces and shapely thy form,
They only are handsome that handsome perform,
And thou hast done everything ill.
But I felt for such faults he could ne’er make amend,
So got rid of the brute for ten pounds to a friend.

 

 

 

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