Frederick NEWTON
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Number:
Unit: 1/5th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 15 August 1917
Age: 22
Cemetery: The Huts Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

Frederick was the son of John and Mrs E Newton of "Rosstrevor",Northgate Road, Stockport and was one of five brothers serving in the forces. He had been born on 16 November 1894. He attended Stockport Municipal Secondary School and then received further education at the Central School of Commerce in Manchester. Before he joined the army, he worked as a clerk at Electromotors, Openshaw, Manchester.

He enlisted, in Stockport, into the Royal Army Medical Corps (service number 335) on 1 September 1914. His service papers show him to have been 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a 33.5 inch chest. On 30 April, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. He served in Egypt and, on 1 December 1915, was promoted to Staff Sergeant in the RAMC Investigation Bureau.

On 22 November 1916, he transferred to the Cheshire Regiment and was later recommended for a commission. He was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant with effect from 26 April 1917.

The 1/5th Battalion were Pioneers - soldiers trained to fight but more usually employed digging trenches and constructing strongpoints. They would, however, still take part in attacks, but on the night of the 15/16 August 1917, they were carrying out their normal duties for the other Battalions of 56th Division who were attacking positions known as Glencorse Wood and Polygon Wood. The woods are some 6 kilometres east of the town centre of Ieper (then Ypres). This was Frederick's first and last tour of duty in the front line as an officer.

The Regimental History records "The night was a terrible one, the ground being so cut up by shell fire and the mud so deep and tenacious, that movement was almost impossible. Hostile shelling was so intense that little constructional work was feasible." The Battalion returned in the early morning "quite exhausted". By then four men, including Frederick, had been killed by shellfire. 39 others, including Private Joseph Hague were wounded.

The Battalion's Major wrote to Frederick's father "I had only known your son a very short time and I formed a very high opinion of his abilities. He was clever and handled the men very well and was liked by them and the battalion has sustained a very severe loss.

   
           
   
     
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