Frank Stuart Lloyd was born in Eyton House, Wrexham, Denbighshire, North Wales on 16th January 1893 to Fanny Lloyd [née Fearnall] and Francis Lloyd, an Auctioneer. He was one of twelve siblings; he had five sisters and six brothers.
He first attended school at Plas Madoc in Ruabon, a small boarding establishment primarily for girls run by three sisters. There were sixteen boarding pupils in total; 14 girls and 2 boys, of which Frank was one. From here he attended Wellington College and on leaving became an Auctioneer working with Knight, Frank & Rutley in London for a short period before joining his father’s business in Wrexham.
On 3rd September 1914 Frank joined the 13th (Service) Battalion (1st North Wales), The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, one of the Welsh ‘Pals’ battalions, at their base in Rhyl. One month later another OW, Rodric Mathafarn Williams, joined the same Battalion, and they served alongside each other for a matter of weeks before their paths diverged.
In August 1915 the Battalion moved to Winchester where it remained until it travelled to France later in the year. Whilst he was based here Frank was appointed to the rank of Captain on 13th November and took over the duties of adjutant to the 13th Battalion. The bulk of his time was spent preparing for embarkation and they left for Southampton on 1st December arriving the following morning after a particularly stormy crossing.
Once fully assembled the Battalion travelled to ECQUES by means of omnibus, lorry and a route march. Here they were attached to the highly respected Guards Division where they all received instructions in trench warfare; as it was being fought at that stage of the war. One this had been completed they departed by omnibus for LE SART on 19th December 1915 where they spent Christmas and the New Year in training both for conventional and gas attacks!
On 3rd January 1916 Frank, together with his CO and the Company Commanders took an omnibus tour to LE TOURET to inspect the trenches they were about to take over in a few days. Whilst there they were billeted in the Divisional bath house. On the evening of the 6th January the remainder of the Battalion arrived and they entered the line for their first time where they relieved the 7th (Service) Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. They remained here for several weeks spending their time either in the trenches or as part of the Brigade reserve further back.
On 15th February 1916, following another omnibus tour as its adjutant to reconnoitre a new position for the Battalion, Frank moved them to GIVENCHY where on the 17th of the month they relieved a battalion of The King's Royal Rifle Corps. It was not long before the Germans sent over some arrival presents in the form of artillery shells and rifle grenades which resulted in a number of casualties for the Battalion.
Over the next few months the Battalion was deployed across different parts of the trench system taking casualties along the way until 5th July 1916 when at 7.30pm it entered the line at MAMETZ. The following day it took part, along with its sister Battalions of the 38th (Welsh) Division, in the assault to clear MAMETZ WOOD.
This was the Division’s objective during the first ‘Battle of the Somme’ and focused on the enemy positions in the wood. Heavy German machine gun fire halted the British advance and annoyed by what he saw as ‘lassitude’ on the part of the attackers, Sir Douglas Haig ‘sacked’ the Officer Commanding the 38th (Welsh) Welsh Division, Major-General Ivor Phillips. His replacement took a more aggressive stance and the follow up attack of 10th July was on a much larger scale. Despite heavy casualties and hand-to-hand combat the wood was finally entered but still the enemy refused to give ground until a massive effort on the part of the British forced them out.
As adjutant Frank was not involved in the fighting itself, but all the battalions which took part suffered severe losses which resulted in the Division not seeing any major action again until a year or so later. Frank and the 13th Battalion were relieved on 12th July 1916 and taken out of the line.
The following day Frank was given the temporary rank of Major and assumed the position of 2 i/c of his Battalion, which at the age of 23 made him one of the youngest officers to hold that position within the British Army. He assumed temporary command of the Battalion at 5.00am on 8th September 1916 when his CO went on special leave; a position he held until 16th September. Frank was then granted a period of well-earned leave himself and so left France for Wrexham on 25th of that month. With his CO again on leave in the early part of 1917 Frank once again assumed command for a number of weeks, and again fulfilled the role in July. His signatures on the pages of the official Battalion War Diaries give testament to his duties.
The ‘Battle of Pilkem Ridge’, which began on 31st July and lasted until 2nd August 1917, was the opening phase of the main part of the ‘Third Battle of Ypres’ – Passchendaele. The battle took place in the Ypres Salient area of the Western Front and had mixed results. A substantial amount of ground was captured and a large number of casualties inflicted on the enemy, except on the tactically vital plateau on the right flank. After weeks of changeable weather, heavy rainfall had begun on the first afternoon of the battle, 31st July, which had a knock on effect on future operations the following month. The British objective was an area devastated by artillery fire and which was also partly flooded. Whilst Frank’s Battalion was directly involved in the fighting, he himself was not, being acting CO at the time. However, one of his fellow OW’s, Lieut Robert Nelson Jones, 56th MGC was involved, which led to his loss of life.
Sometime between 2.00am – 4.00am on 4th September 1917 whilst in the trenches with his Battalion, Major Frank Stuart Lloyd, acting Commanding Officer of the 13th (Service) Battalion (1st North Wales), The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, sustained severe leg and hand wounds during heavy enemy shelling and was admitted to No.61 Casualty Clearing Station [CCS]. The following day, Wednesday 5th September 1917 he lost the battle for life and died of his wounds aged 24 years old. He lies buried in the Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen in Belgium along with two other former OW’s, Captains Harry Stanyer Powell, M.C. & Stanley William Dyson, both of whom were to die on the same day one month later.
The Royal Welsh Fusiliers is perpetuated today in 1st Battalion, Royal Welsh Regiment.