Lennox Holmes - South Staffordshires

Francis Lennox Holmes was a fellow officer of Wilmot Evans in the First South Staffordshires. He was born on 11 Oct 1887 and therefore a few years older than Wilmot. He features on the photographs of the regiment in both Gibraltar and PieterMaritzburg. They must have first got to know each other in Devonport where Wilmot was first stationed in 1910. 

Lennox Holmes's mother remarried in 1895 after his father's death, she became Mrs Clara Bernell Harrison and lived in Evesham House  (picture from album to be added) in Cheltenham and were acquaintances and neighbours of Edward Dimmack Marten and Henrietta Lewis, Wilmot's Uncle and Aunt. 

Lennox Holmes was killed at Zonnebeke in the opening battle of Ypres, on the same day and the same action as Drummer Wheeler. As Wilmot wrote, the regiment was 'badly cut up' on that day. Wilmot was wounded in the thigh, and a high percentage of the South Staffordshire officers in the photographs were killed. The fighting was fairly open warfare before positions had become 'entrenched', with the Germans reportedly coming rapidly out of the woods. Both Drummer Wheeler and Lennox Holmes were shot in the head. This all happened barely ten days after the regiment had first landed in France and clearly gave Wilmot no illusions of what was likely to come. 

In one of his letters Wilmot reports that Vera Holmes, Lennox's younger sister, sent a tie in Sep 1915 as a souvenir of her brother. The Holmes/Harrison household in Cheltenham apparently continued to correspond with Wilmot until his own death in July 1916.

 

See The-Roll-of-Honour-a-Biographical-Record-of-All-Members-of-His-Majestys-Naval-and-Military-Forces-Who-Have-Fallen-in-the-War-Volume-1