While perusing the enumerators’ transcript books of the 1921 census, we came across many interesting and notable entries. However, we did not expect to find a child that had been born just one hour before the census was taken at midnight on 19th June 1921. In this article we look at the incredible life of the youngest person enumerated in these records.

Edward Robert Lockhart Batchelor is enumerated at 6 Oakwood Terrace, Dundee, with his father, Edward Batchelor, a potato merchant, and his mother Jenny (née Frain). There was also a domestic servant living with the family named Elizabeth Singer, originally from Kincardine. 

Edward Batchelor enumerated in the 1921 census, aged one hour old.

Edward Batchelor enumerated in the 1921 census, aged one hour old.
Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, 1921 census, 282/1 36 2, page 5

Edward’s age is noted as ‘1 hr [hour]’ and if we consult his birth entry, also available on ScotlandsPeople, we can see that he was born at 11:05 pm on 19 June 1921

Register of birth for Edward Batchelor, 1921

Edward Robert Lockhart’s birth entry.
Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, Register of births, 1921, 282/1 593 page 198

Edward was known later in life as Lockhart Frain-Bell, and, in 1938, obtained a scholarship at the High School of Dundee to study medicine at the University of St Andrews. Graduating in 1944, Frain-Bell was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps and treated the injured from the Normandy landings on D-Day at a hospital in Bradford. He then completed an intensive course at the London School of Tropical Medicine and was promoted to Captain.

After his training, Frain-Bell was sent to Burma to act as the Regimental Medical Officer with the Royal West African Frontier Force at a casualty clearing station. During the year stationed in Burma, he was able to successfully treat many of the sick and wounded with the then new ‘miracle drug’ penicillin. At the end of the Second World War, Frain-Bell joined the rest of the West African Division on the ship HMT Derbyshire to Lagos. During this time, he taught the Latin he remembered from high school to many keen students in the local area. His military service also sparked a lifelong passion for travel; whilst on leave from the Army in 1945, he visited a base camp at the then unconquered Mount Everest (the first documented ascent of Everest was in 1953).

By 1947, Frain-Bell had returned to the UK and worked again at the Bradford Royal Infirmary before receiving training in radiology at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. He enjoyed a productive and illustrious career: at the age of 40, he returned to Scotland to take a post as a Consultant Radiologist, in the process becoming the youngest person to hold such a post in South-West Scotland. Frain-Bell’s other contributions to medicine include establishing the General Practitioner Reference Service, which allowed patients to receive specialist treatment by GP referral.;

In 1970, Lockhart Frain-Bell married Anne Helen Cruickshank who was a Nursing Sister from Edinburgh. They had a son, William, born in 1971.

In retirement he remained active: spending his time supporting colleagues at Longmore Hospital in West Cumbria, undertaking a degree in Art at the Open University and indulging in his hobbies of painting and travelling. Having been awarded the Burma Star for his part in that arduous campaign, he joined the Burma Star Association in 1998, The organisation supports veterans and ensures the remembrance of those involved in the campaign.

Dr Lockhart Frain-Bell died aged 99 on 2nd September 2020 in Dumfries, nearly a century after he had first appeared in the 1921 census. In many ways, the quirk of fate that saw him the youngest person enumerated, is a footnote in a long life lived productively. Lockhart Frain-Bell was not only a witness to some of the century’s most significant events but was also an active participant in them. After his service in the Second World War, he worked in the fledgling National Health Service and the attendant revolution in medical science in the years that followed. He leaves behind an admirable legacy of care and learning.