Stanstead Abbotts

Local History Society

Frederick Alfred ELVE


Private G/4579

Queen’s Own Regiment (Royal West Kent)


Killed in Action 3rd July 1916 aged 26

Born in 1890 in Stanstead Abbotts he lived with his parents James and Mary in Roydon Road together with three brothers and two sisters, by 1891 he had another brother, George Lewis, and his father was working as a malt maker.  By 1901 his father had died and his mother was working as a dairymaid.  In the 1911 census we see that Frederick had moved away and was working as a gardener at Pabo Nursery in Conway, North Wales.  At the outbreak of war however he was living a 2 Carew Road, Hampton, Middlesex.


Frederick enlisted at Hounslow and joined the Royal West Kent Regiment on 19th November 1914 and was posted to France on 1st June 1915.  They went into the front line for the first time on 23rd June, at the Battle of Loos.  The battalion was moved to the Somme area and took part in the first Somme campaign from 3rdJuly 1916.  They were scheduled to attack enemy positions Oviller La Boiselle and take the village, which had been one of the objectives of the first day.  The West Kents attack at 03.15 was met by ferocious enemy machine gun fire and even though they managed to reach the second German line the attack had failed by 9.00am and it was during this action that George was killed.


His body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial along with over 72000 other names with no known grave.


Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1915 Star