Fred MEDLICOTT
Rank: Gunner
Number: 159370
Unit: 25th Battery, 35th Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 20 October 1917
Age: 38
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Frederick was the son of the late Thomas Medlicott and Eliza Medlicott. In 1915, he married Jessie Powell in acivil ceremony registered at Stockport. They lived at 23 Bank Street, Cheadle and would have one child together who is believed to have been called Marjorie. He worked at Morris’ Chemical Works, Denton.

Frederick enlisted in Stockport in August 1916 and left for the front in the following January. An artillery battery would normally be equipped with six 18-pounder guns or 4.5 inch howitzers and, as part of a Brigade, was the main front-line artillery formation of the British Army. A battery would be situated just behind the front line trenches and would have about 200 soldiers commanded by a Major. The troops would have been trained to fight as infantry but only a few of the 200 would normally be issued with rifles. Guns were, of course, moved by horses and a battery would have as many drivers as it had gunners.

35th Brigade was equipped with howitzers and, on 1 October 1917, moved into positions at Chateau Wood, Reningelst (some 12 kilometres south west of the town of Ieper – formerly Ypres). The next two days were spent “registering” the guns to get the range of their designated targets. The remainder of the month was spent in routine firing at night but, on two occasions, a creeping barrage was fired to support raids by the infantry. The Brigade’s War Diary for 20 October only records “Routine firing. Work on new positions.”

Most artillerymen were killed by enemy shellfire and it is presumed that this is what happened to Frederick. This often meant that, effectively, there was no body left to bury and this might account for why he is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing.

   
           
   
     
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