Prestatyn grave of Frank Ackerley
Grave of Frank Ackerley (d.1942)
Plasterer Frank Ackerley of 11 Dawson Park, Prestatyn, was too old to fight during the Second World War. He volunteered for Civil Defence duties and became an Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden. One of the wardens’ responsibilities was to enforce the strict blackout regulations, ensuring no artificial light was shown in the hours of darkness from domestic and business premises; this might have aided enemy bombers.
In September 1940, Frank was carrying out his duties on Knowles Road and asked householder Wilfred Weston to put out a light that could be seen externally. Wilfred was unimpressed with the order and told Frank to “go and drown himself”. For this, Wilfred was later fined £2 and had to pay 6s 9d costs.
On 27 April 1942, Frank attended a demonstration by Prestatyn Home Guard at the Fforddisa air raid warden’s post. The space was small and overcrowded. As Captain Arthur Clegg showed the assembled wardens the workings of a Lewis gun, a bullet was discharged and hit Frank in the stomach at near point-blank range. The 45-year-old father of four died almost immediately. At an inquiry it was found that a live bullet had been mixed up with dummy rounds and a verdict of ‘accidental death’ was recorded.