Rank: Gunner
Number: 715896
Unit: D Battery, 15th Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 28 June 1918
Age: 21
Cemetery: Aire Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

Fred was the son of George Arthur Hulme and had been born in Manchester. The family moved to North Reddish some time before the War and lived at 13 Lonsdale Avenue. Nothing is known of his early life but, after he left school, he went to work in the print department of the Stockport Express and Cheshire Daily Echo. Not long before the War, he is believed to have changed jobs and gone to work in Manchester for E Hulton & Co. The Company printed newspapers at its premises at Withy Grove and its War Memorial commemorates a man of this name working in the “Stereo Department”. The Memorial is at the entrance to the “Printworks” complex now in the same premises.

When Frank enlisted, he was assigned to a Territorial unit of the Artillery based in Lancashire and was given the service number of 2250. This dates his enlistment prior to the beginning of 1917 when the Territorial troops were given new six-digit numbers as above.

15th Brigade was part of the pre-war regular army and it will not have been Fred’s first unit overseas – as a Territorial soldier, he will have served with a Territorial brigade. His later transfer may have come about if he had been away from his original unit due to sickness or recovering for wounds and, when ready to return to duty, 15th Brigade will have been in greater need of replacements.

On the night of 25/26 June 1918, Fred and his mates were at their gun positions in France when they came under a heavy bombardment from the enemy using gas shells. Fourteen men, including Fred, were badly affected and were evacuated to hospital. Fred was taken to Aire where a number of hospitals were based but he never recovered.

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