SERJEANT FRANK CARSON
SOUTH WALES BORDERERS
28TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 29
BURIED: POIX-DU-NORD COMMUNAL CEMEMTERY, FRANCE
For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.
[Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883) The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam XXII]
Edward Fitzgerald's translation of quatrains said to have been written in the 11th Century by the Persian poet Omar Khayyam was published in 1859 as the Rubayait of Omar Khayyam. Initially attracting little attention, by the 1880s the poems were extremely popular throughout the English speaking world, and their popularity only grew. Some of the quatrains, such as this one, perfectly capture the fleeting nature of life and the pathos of youthful death.
Frank Carson had been shipping clerk in Liverpool in civilian life and Scoutmaster of the 33rd Liverpool Scout Troop, Mossley Hill, Merseyside. His medal index card does not indicate that he was a volunteer. He served originally with the 6th Battalion The King's Liverpool Regiment before being transferred to the 6th Battalion South Wales Borderers whilst he was still a private.
He was killed in action two weeks before the end of the war. On 28 October the Battalion, in reserve, were being subjected to very heavy enemy shelling at intervals during the day, many of the shells were gas shells. There's no report of Carson's death just this bleak announcement in the Liverpool Daily Post on 21 November, ten days after the end of the war:
CARSON - Mrs and Mrs Carson and Family desire to thank all kind friends for expressions of sympathy in their great sorrow.
29 Faulkner Street, Liverpool