The Army Game
While in prison for the Waterloo Hosiery job, Frank was taken to Southend for his army medical and passed with flying colours.
A week after his release from prison in January 1943 he received his army call up papers. He signed for them and promptly threw them on the fire.
A couple of weeks later he was out in a taxi with Johnny Reynolds, Lennie Garrett and Jimmy Davies when they were chased by the Flying Squad. The taxi pulled over and Jimmy Davies and Frankie ran off. The other two stayed because they were not wanted by the police for anything.
Frankie says that "in those days everyone was public spirited, they would join in with the chase, so we didn't get far before we were caught".
He was taken to the barracks in Whitehall and then by escort to Gibraltar Barracks, Norwich.
The C.O. decided that Frank should start with a clean sheet and sent him to the stores to get his uniform and equipment. As soon as he was left alone he was on a train back to London. After about three weeks he was caught in Camberwell with a stolen van that had false number plates.
He was sentenced to three months in prison.
When he finished his sentence he was again escorted back to Norwich. This time he was a deserter. When they reached Norwich station Frank managed to break away from his escort.
He made his way to Newmarket and then down to London.
He was only out of prison three weeks when he was caught for breaking into George Carters, a clothing store in Southwark.
He was arrested with Charlie Williams and George Smith. Frankie and Charlie got fifteen months and George got probation. Frank was sent to Wandsworth prison.
Whilst in prison he got into so much trouble that doctors decided there was something mentally wrong with him.
He was to be sent to Wormwood Scrubs, where he could then go to Banstead twice a week for electric shock treatment.
Frankie had already received head injuries as a child and felt that electric shock treatment would do him no good at all.
While in Wormwood Scrubs he got into more trouble with a prison officer and was sent back to Wandsworth.
The electric shock treatment had been forgotten.
After finishing his sentence in the autumn of 1944, he came out under escort and taken to Bradford Barracks. As he was let out of the van he ran off into a park nearby that was holding a Fair. By chance he bumped into two Londoners that he had been in Borstal with, Johnny Lane and Little George.
That night they did a smash and grab on a ladies dress shop. The boys sorted Frankie out with a few quid and the next day he was back in London.
He remained on the run till January 1945.
He was drinking in the Dorset Arms, Clapham road when a joint raid by the police and army police got him arrested.
This time however, he was certified insane and sent to North Riding Mental Hospital. He knew quite a few people in there including the 'Guvnor' of West Ham who ran off with Jack Spots wife and Bert Rogers, uncle of Ted Rogers the comedian.
After about a month he was sent to Edinburgh where he finally received the dreaded 'Electric Shock Treatment'.
Frankie says "It never did me any harm".
In April 1945 he was court-martialled and given two years hard labour and nine hundred days loss of pay but because of his medical condition he was discharged.