Frank Bressington

Memorial: Downend - Christ Church

Regiment: Royal Berkshire Regiment

Medals: British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 25565

Parents: Francis and Elizabeth Bressington

Marital status: Married

Home address: 4 Hayward Road, Staple Hill, Bristol

Pre-war occupation: Boot Maker

Date of birth: 1882

Place of birth: Staple Hill, Bristol

Date of death: 01/05/1917

Buried/Commemorated at: Karasouli Military Cemetery (Ref. F. 1394.), Greece

Age: 34

Further information:

Frank Bressington married Maria Cater in Warmley on 31st March 1902 and by 1911 they had two children Evelyn May born 1902 and Gilbert born 1906.

Enlisting in 1916 he joined the 7th (Service) Battalion, 7th Brigade, that was serving in Salonika fighting the Bulgarians on Macedonia Front. It was in the Battle of Doiran that Private Bressington was Killed in Action on 1st May 1917. An attempt for a breakthrough in the Bulgarian positions began on 22nd April and continued intermittently until 9th May 1917. The assault began with a bitter four-day artillery barrage in which the British fired about 100,000 shells. As a result, the earthworks and some wooden structures in the front positions were destroyed. The Bulgarians also opened fire from the batteries between Vardar and Doiran. Vladimir Vazov ordered fire day and night on the Allied positions. The initial several-hour struggle between the British and Bulgarian batteries was followed by a one-hour Bulgarian counter-barrage in which 10,000 shells were fired. The British infantry began its attack on the night of 24th–25th April when twelve companies attacked the Bulgarian 2nd Brigade and after a bloody fight managed to take the "Nerezov", "Knyaz Boris" and "Pazardzhik" positions. After a Bulgarian counter-attack the British were repulsed with heavy casualties and by 8:00pm had retreated. The British assaults on the right and central fronts were also repulsed with heavy casualties after help from the Bulgarian artillery. The British attacks in the next two days were defeated by constant Bulgarian fire and counter-attacks. Due to this fire the British withdrew to their initial positions on 27th April, the Bulgarians immediately started to reconstruct the destroyed fortifications. Due to criticism by their high command, the British made new attempts at a breakthrough. On 8th May, after a long artillery barrage, they began another attack. The main assault started at 9:00pm with five waves of British troops attacking the Bulgarian positions. After four attacks during the night of 8th / 9th May the British were defeated and suffered enormous casualties.

The Register of Soldiers' Effects shows that Frank Bressington's possessions amounted to just 11s.10d which was sent to his widow on 13th October 1917. A War Gratuity of £3.0s.0d was also sent to her the same day.

Commemorated on the Christ Church Downend and Staple Hill (Page Park) Memorials.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Forces War Records, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Soldiers Died In The Great War, Find A Grave index, England Select Births and Christenings, Free BMD, Register of Soldiers' Effects, Medal Rolls Index Card, UK Censuses, David Blackmore – Mangotsfield Residents Association