Gault, William Francis Ernest (No. 950326)

Gault, William Francis Ernest (Frank)

Sergeant (Pilot)

No. 950326, 245 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in an aircraft accident on Friday 4 April 1941 (aged 20)

Buried:

Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor (Section 4. V. Grave 39)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s)

Bangor Grammar School

BIOGRAPHY

William Francis Ernest (Frank) Gault was born on 4 November 1920 and he was the elder son of John Ernest Gault who was born in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, and Isabella Gault (nee Johnston), who was born in Howth, Co. Dublin.  John Ernest Gault was a commercial traveller and he and Isabella Johnston were married on 7 April 1920 in Castleblayney Parish Church of Ireland Church, Co. Monaghan.

Later, John Ernest and Isabella Gault (nee Johnston) lived at 1 Farnham Road, Bangor and they had five children:

William Francis Ernest (Frank, born 4 November 1920)

Dorothy

Audrey

John (Jack)

Maureen

During the Second World War Dorothy Gault served with the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS).

Frank Gault was baptised in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s), he was a member of the church choir and he was confirmed in Bangor Parish Church in 1936.  Frank attended Bangor Grammar School from 1933 until 1939 and he was described by the Headmaster as ‘universally beloved and utterly and completely loyal to his duty.’  He played rugby for the school and was prominent in the Debating and Dramatic Societies.  At school he and Norman Edmond Hanna (who died as a result of enemy action on 18 December 1943) were close friends.  Frank was selected to represent the school to speak about What I Think about Life at a Bangor Rotary Club Luncheon in 1939.  He was also described as a clever footballer and in everything he did he ‘showed initiative, dependability and powers of leadership’.  Frank Gault joined up immediately after leaving school.

Sergeant Pilot Frank Gault (No. 950326) served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and he was 20 when he died on 4 April 1941.  Based at RAF Aldergrove, Frank was returning to base after escorting a convoy of ships out of Belfast Lough.  In low cloud, the Hawker Hurricane aircraft (V7678) he was flying crashed into the hills above Carrickfergus.  His funeral to Bangor Cemetery on Monday 7 April 1941 followed ‘an impressive service held in Bangor Parish Church.’  Tributes to Frank Gault included the lines:

Always in our thoughts

Precious memories to cherish in an aching heart, like fadeless flowers

Newspaper notices in later years included the lines:

The world well lost for love

Ever in our thoughts

Freedom – I died for you

Always in our thoughts

Ever remembered

Always loved and remembered

Beloved

Sergeant William Francis Ernest Gault (No. 950326) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial, in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s) and in Bangor Grammar School.

Frank’s parents were buried with him in the same grave in Bangor Cemetery and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

WENT THE DAY WELL?

I DIED AND NEVER KNEW;

WELL OR ILL,

 FREEDOM, I DIED FOR YOU