Local History Society
4th Mounted Battery Royal Garrison Artillery
Died of Cholera on 23rd June 1919 aged 26
Born in 1893 in Stanstead Abbots and in 1911 lived with his parents John and Rosa Jane, together with two elder brothers, Walter and Charles, at Little Rye Farm in Netherfield Lane. He also had another brother Albert and a sister Emily. Like his father he worked as a farm labourer. At the time he joined the army he was employed as an engine cleaner, possibly on the railway.
He joined the Army on 13th September 1912 in the Royal Garrison Artillery, joining his unit at Newhaven on 15th September 1912, he served in the UK until 9th January 1914 when he was posted to India, where he joined the 4th mounted battery. He was stationed at Quetta until he was transferred to Rawalpindi in February 1919. While there he saw active service on the North West Frontier and Khyber area when he fought in the Third Afghan War, which lasted from 3rdMay1919 until 8th August against Pashtun tribes. British and Indian casualties were over 1700 of whom 500 died from cholera including Fred, as he liked to be called, in Ambala.
By digging further we managed to find no less than 37 pages of documents relating to him.Fred is described in his service record as 5ft 81/2 inches tall, fresh complexion, hazel eyes, with brown hair and had a scar above his left eye and a deformed left ear. He was promoted to Lance Bombardier and then to full Corporal on 5th October 1918. Fred had signed up for 8 years and then 4 years in the Army Reserves.
His parents did not know of his death for some months as they had moved from the village and their address wasn’t known. His father had moved to London and was living in Wood Green and his brother Charles was in Tottenham, and Walter lived in Stratford, while his brother Albert also joined the Army and was also posted to India where he served with the Frontier Field Force. His sister Emily married and continued to live in Stanstead Abbotts, in Vicarage Road, as Mrs Emily Castle. Fred had a girl friend or fiancé named Fanny Webb who lived in Eagle Cottage, Great Amwell. They wrote to each other regularly and he requested that upon his death that any medals he was awarded be sent to Fanny, which they were, but not until 1921 and 1922.
He is commemorated on the Delhi Memorial and buried in the Ali Masjid Cemetery.
Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal, Indian Service Medal with Afghan Clasp