Second Lieutenant Frank Tarbett Poole


Frank Tarbett Poole was born on 3 December 1886 at Bishop's Castle, Shropshire, son of hotel keeper and farmer John Robert Poole and his wife Ellen (nee Williams). He was educated at Newport (Salop) Grammar School.

On the outbreak of war he was living at Barry Island farm, Llanrhian, Letterston, Pembroke. On 29 January 1916 he enlisted in the 3rd King's Shropshire Light Infantry (No.19930) at Pembroke Dock, and on 16 May that year applied for a commission in the Pembroke Yeomanry.

On 2 August 1916 Poole was sent to No.1 Cavalry Cadet Squadron at Netheravon for training as a cavalry officer. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 20 December and posted to the 1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry, reporting for duty on 28 January 1917.

Soon after, he was attached to the North Irish Horse and on 16 April joined the 2nd Regiment in the field at Boeschepe. Poole was posted to C Squadron.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its officers and men transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. Poole joined the battalion on 8 November 1917, seeing action at the Battle of Cambrai that month and into December. However on 15 December he transferred to the 17th (Armoured Car) Battalion of the Tank Corps, and moved to Bovington Camp in Dorset for training.

At some time during 1918 Poole was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and re-embarked for France. He joined the battalion in the field on 11 August near Hazebrouck in Belgium. Three days later the battalion was subjected to a heavy gas bombardment. Poole was one of the casualties, as the battalion war diary records:

On this date the area which the Battalion was responsible for was heavily Gas shelled and more especially the vicinity of "A" Company's Headquarters. The following casualties occurred:- Captain C.E. Barton, 2nd Lieut. C.H. Lane and 2nd Lts R.A. Gough & F.T. Poole were Gassed. Captain C.E. Barton and 2nd Lt. Lane later succumbed to the effects of the Gas. Approximately 60 Other Ranks were also gassed.

Poole was evacuated to England, where he was sent to the Royal Herbert Hospital at Woolwich. He recovered slowly and remained on sick leave until 29 February 1919, when he relinquished his commission.

Poole returned to farming and died at Barry Island, Llanrhian, Pembrokeshire on 20 January 1940.