FIRST NAMES: Francis William Alfred
UNIT: 4th East Kent Regiment (Buffs)
DOB: 23rd December 1908
MARITAL STATUS: Married
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 1939
STATUS: Missing at Sea
DATE OF DEATH: 24th October 1943
WHERE BURIED: At Sea
MEDALS: 1939-45 Star, Victory Medal
Francis (Frank) Andrews was the son of Robert and Florence Andrews of Portsmouth. Frank moved to Northallerton in his teens and worked as a groom at Otterington Hall. He joined the Green Howards (Territorials) in 1936 and drilled and trained at Northallerton and Richmond. It was while he was in Northallerton that he met Margaret Cameron. On the 27th February 1937 they married and went to live at No 4 market Row off the High Street. They had two children; Margaret/Rose and William Geoffrey.
When war broke out Frank was immediately called up with thousands of other T/A reservists. He reported to the Green Howards Depot at Richmond and began intensive training. Within a few months he had been transferred to the 4th Battalion the Royal East Kent Regiment (Buffs). In 1942 he was posted with his battalion overseas to Malta. In October 1943 his battalion boarded the destroyer HMS Eclipse which was part of a task force heading toward the Greek Islands in the Dodacanese Straits off the coast of Turkey. The aims of the task force was to wrest the islands from the occupying German forces. The attack was initially successful but the Germans launched a counter attack for which they were famed and feared. The result was the British forces were ejected from the islands. During the furious sea action the Eclipse struck a mine ,close to the island of Klimnos, exploded and went down with all hands.
Margaret Andrews brought her children up not knowing until 1945 that her husband had been lost. She now lives in retirement in Romanby. Margaret is the sister of Gunner Samuel Cameron, lost in India, and who is named on the Northallerton War Memorial.
Frank Andrews is remembered on the Athens Commonwealth War Memorial in Greece, Face No 5. He is also remembered on the Northallerton War Memorial and the All Saints Parish Church Memorial. He was killed, aged 35 years.