1. Memorial:Hollybrook Memorial Southampton

Awards & Titles:


Early Life :

Thomas (of Coggeshall, Essex) and Mary (nee Berry of Dublin, Ireland) were stationed at The Barracks at Little Warley, Brentwood shortly after Edgar was born July 1880. He was baptised at St. James's on East Hill, Colchester in August 1880 after being recorded born in Colchester. Edgar, no doubt, followed in his father's footsteps to engage in a long military career, he having served with the 3rd Battalion, Essex Militia as a Sergeant Major.

Seven siblings are recorded on the 1891 census, two having been born in Ireland and the all the rest in Essex. His long association with Essex is not diminished by his postings abroad and married Elizabeth Alice (nee Hooker) in West Ham and later resided at 24 Salisbury-road, Seven Kings, Ilford.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.:  

Action : HMHS Lanfranc 

HMHS Lanfranc was a Booth Line passenger steamship that was built in Scotland in 1907 and operated scheduled services between Liverpool and Brazil until 1914. In the First World War she was a hospital ship.

Researched and written by Andrew Daw (Marine Archealogy Trust "Forgotten Wrecks" volunteer). "On 17th April 1917, HMHS Lanfranc set out from Le Havre to Southampton carrying 234 wounded British soldiers & 167 wounded German prisoners of war. She carried 52 medical staff & there were 123 ship's crew. At about 19:40, when the Lanfranc was about 1/3 the way through her journey, she was struck by a torpedo on the port side between the engine room and number 3 hold. The engines were immediately stopped as the ship listed to port, settled rapidly by the stern, and then slowly came again into an upright position. The master gave the order to prepare lifeboats and to abandon ship.

"Three of her boats were smashed by the explosion. Both escorts were within about a mile of her at the time, one on either bow, and while P37 closed the LANFRANC, the BADGER searched for the submarine (now known to be SM UB-40 under the command of Oblt. Hans Howaldt (Pour le Merite) which evaded capture.

As the Lanfranc was at the time of the explosion steaming 14 knots, it would have been dangerous to lower her boats at once. As soon, however, as she had lost sufficient way, one boat at a time was lowered on each side, eight boats getting away safely. Unfortunately one boat on the starboard side sank stern first, and nearly all the occupants were thrown into the sea, but were picked up later by lifeboats from the BADGER or sailing trawlers. Both escorts had by this time come alongside, and at very great risk, owing to the condition of the Lanfranc and the high seas running, had been embarking the wounded passengers, both British and German. Of the 576 persons onboard that evening only 34 lost their lives, 14 British wounded, 15 German wounded and 5 crew, the Hospital Ship Lanfranc had sunk in just over 1 hour.

The sinking was vigorously reported in the British press; with much play given to the fact that the attack was without warning and the HMHS Lanfranc was specifically painted in accordance with the Hague Convention (unlike transport ships which had no distinguishing markings)."

Detail :

Lieutenant (Temporary Captain), Edgar John Franklin, Royal Field Artillery. Died (drowned) at sea after hostile action by submarine UB-40 against the Hospital Ship Lanfranc.

By the time of the 1911 census he was back in Colchester serving on the Garrison as a Battery Quarter Master Sergeant (Regimental No.: 6599) of the 80th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. He was commissioned 26th September, 1914 and between 1915-6 he is recorded as Lieutenant. He saw active service in Egypt.

Following the torpedo attack on "Lanfranc," Edgar was "Missing believed Drowned."

Probate FRANKLIN Edgar John of 24 Salisbury-road Seven Kings Essex temporary captain R.F.A. died 17 April 1917 at sea. Probate London 16 October to Elizabeth Alice Franklin widow. Effects £269 10s. 3s.

For his service in the Great War he was awarded with an Officers 1915 Star (as Captain) and also the Victory Medal and the British War Medal (both annotated with the rank of Major. An "emblem" is issued, so it is possible he was, at some stage, mentioned in despatches. According to user "David26" and posted on the Great War Forum, "he had been serving as battery commander of C/58 Bde RFA with the rank of Temp/Major since 25 Feb 1917, but he relinquished that rank on 9 April 1917, just 8 days before his death."

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : A Scottish Lodge No. 0 S.C.Scottish Constitution
Joined : Alexandra No. 1065 E.C. Bombay

3rd January 1910
3rd January 1910
3rd January 1910

Edgar was recorded as a 29 year old Staff Sergeant based at Jubbulpore in 1910 when he was joined to the Alexandra Lodge No. 1065. He came in from an unknown lodge in the Scottish Constitution and was issued and presented with a Grand Lodge Certificate on 25th September, 1911. His service with this lodge was short lived having resigned 31st December, 1911, most likely due to a posting to Colchester, where he is found on the 1911 census. He does not appear to have joined a Colchester Lodge.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2021-08-14 15:01:29