Frederick BARDSLEY
Rank: Private
Number: 12348
Unit: 10th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 9 June 1917
Age: 29 approx (based on 1901 Census information)
Cemetery: Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium

Fred was born in the parish of St Mark’s C of E Church, Berlin Road, Stockport. After the war his father, Joseph, was living at Highfield Street, Bredbury and was presumably responsible for submitting his son’s name for inscription on the local war memorial. This records Fred as serving with the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. There is, however, no information to support the suggestion that he fought with the Regiment’s Regular Army Battalion. His service number is entirely consistent with him volunteering in August or September 1914 and joining the 10th Battalion. Prior to his enlistment, Fred worked at Ward’s hatworks in Bredbury.

During his army service, he was twice wounded. The first time was in the knee. The second time was in the wrist – a common place for soldiers to be shot as they sighted their rifle over the trench parapet. He spent a long time recovering in hospital in Whalley, Blackburn. After a period of home leave, he returned to his Battalion on 24 April 1917.

On 7 June, Fred took part in an attack which later became known officially as the Battle of Messines. The next day was spent consolidating the newly gained positions. On the 9th, the Battalion’s War Diary records "The day was spent in improving our trenches and carrying up stores, etc. A number of rounds of shrapnel were sent over by the enemy but very little damage was done." Sometime during the day, Fred was killed, most probably by the enemy shellfire. If ever his comrades had the opportunity to properly bury him, the location of his grave was lost during the course of the war and he is now commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Ieper.

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