Frederick LITTLEWOOD
Rank: Private
Number: 25697
Unit: 15th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 13 October 1918
Age: 22
Cemetery: Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

Regimental records indicate Frederick was born in Stockport and enlisted in the town. The 1901 Census lists a boy, aged 5, who is probably the same person. Other than this information, nothing is known of his life. His service number suggests he enlisted between May and July 1915, probably going overseas in the following February.

The original members of the 15th Cheshires were men previously rejected because they were under the regulation height for the army. These units became known as "Bantam Battalions", because of the soldiers' small stature and determination to fight. Later, men of all heights were assigned to the Bantams but it is probable that Frederick was not a tall man.

He is recorded as having died of wounds received. Whilst it cannot be said with complete certainty when this happened, it is most likely that it was the day before he died.

In the closing weeks of the War, Frederick was ordered into the front line for the last time on 11 October. The Battalion took up positions at Molenhoek, a small hamlet about 5 kilometres east of the Belgian town of Kortrijk (then Courtrai). The next afternoon, orders were received to send out immediate patrols as the units on the Cheshires' right had reported that the enemy had withdrawn. The patrols had scarcely left the trench when the Germans opened up with trench mortars and machine guns. This lasted for about 45 minutes and the patrols returned with only one soldier wounded. However, the men at the position known as Turnbull Farm took direct hits and "Z" Company suffered about 60 casualties.

It is almost certain that Frederick was one of these many wounded soldiers. He would have been evacuated back to a field hospital at Ypres where military surgeons would have done all they could to save his life, but without success.

   
           
   
     
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