LIEUTENANT FRANCIS WILLIAM BIRD
29TH BTTN CANADIAN INFANTRY
10TH AUGUST 1916 AGE 32
BURIED: RENINGHELST NEW MILITARY CEMETERY, BELGIUM
Frank Bird was born in 1884 in Harbury, Warwickshire where his father was a painter, plumber and glazier. At some unknown date he emigrated to Canada, where he enlisted in the Canadian Infantry on the outbreak of war and returned to Europe to fight. He died on 10 August 1916 at a Field Ambulance Station at Reninghelst, Flanders. Bird's inscription was chosen by his mother, Mrs Ellen Jane Bird, who was still living in Warwickshire. It comes from "To J.S." a poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson for his friend James Spedding following the death of Spedding's brother, Edward. Full of tender comforting words, all of which must have been felt to be appropriate, the poem concludes:
Sleep, holy spirit, blessed soul,
While the stars burn, the moons increase,
And the great ages onward roll.
Sleep till the end, true soul and sweet.
Nothing comes to thee new or strange.
Sleep full of rest from head to feet;
Lie still, dry dust, secure of change.