John Franklyn

Medals awarded

  • 1939-45 Star
  • France and Germany Star 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45

Medals are shown left to right, as per the bullet point list above.

John Belfield Edmund Franklyn was the son of General Sir Harold Edmund Franklyn KCB, CB, DSO, MC.

John joined the Green Howards in October 1942, having carried out his preliminary training at Richmond. He was second-in-command of ‘C’ Company, 6th Battalion, landing in Normandy on D-Day. Early in the action he became commanding officer, when his own commander became a casualty.

John Franklyn, holding the Colours on the right of the image at The Depot, Richmond, 1943 with King Haakon VII of Norway to his right, and Harold Franklyn, Colonel of the Regiment (and John’s father) on King Haakon’s right hand side.

About a week later, whilst still commanding his company, he was wounded in the leg and returned to England. He rejoined the 6th Battalion after about a month and was commanding ‘A’ Company in an attack in which he successfully reached his objective. His Company, having pushed on a mile further than the flanking Companies, became almost surrounded and had to be withdrawn.

In 1944, Franklyn was killed by a shell while covering the withdrawal of the two leading platoons. His Commanding Officer commented that it was only by ‘superb leadership’ that his Company got as far as it did. Franklyn’s father was on a tour of the battlefield just a few miles away when John was killed.

Initially buried in a temporary plot by the roadside near Ressen, Franklyn’s remains were removed after the war and he was buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery. The inscription on his grave notes he was a ‘son and grandson of Green Howards’.

The museum collection contains a silver rose or punch bowl originally presented to the regiment by John’s father, Harold in 1898. He later re-presented it to the 4th Battalion of the Green Howards with an additional inscription, dedicating the bowl to the memory of his own father, Lt General Sir We Franklyn, his son John and members of the regiment killed in action in 1944.

Find out more about John’s father, Harold here.