Frederick William SANDERS
Rank: Private
Number: 28529
Unit: 1/4th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: Between 1 November and 7 November 1918
Age: 18
Cemetery: Ors British Cemetery, Nord, France

Research suggests that Frederick's name might be inscribed twice on the Stockport War Memorial. The name F W Sanders is a late addition to the Memorial, appearing on the addenda panel of names submitted after 1925 and this must be Frederick. There is also an inscription amongst those serving with "Other Regiments" of F Sanders and it has not been possible to identify any other casualty with this name who has a connection with the Stockport area. It is possible, therefore, that friends, or different branches of the family, submitted his name twice.

He had been born in Congleton, the son of William and Rose. The 1901 Census shows the family living at 39 Royle Street in the town. One year old Frederick was the youngest of five children - his older siblings were Joseph (then 10), Margaret (8), James (5) and Frank (3).  Rose died in 1916 and the family had moved to Stockport by that time, living at 10 Bank's Lane.

Frederick will have been conscripted into the army when he became 18. His first taste of army life was as a member of a Training Reserve Battalion and he was given the service number of 52271. He probably undertook the training at Rugeley Camp in Staffordshire. On completion, he will have been reassigned to the Shropshires and given the above new number.

It is unlikely that Frederick had been at the front for many weeks when he was killed in the final two weeks of the War. Most unusually, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has no precise date of death for him. Regimental records published after the War record his death as being on the 7th, but the Battalion War Diary records that two men killed over the night of 6/7th  were the last members of the Battalion to die. The identities of these men have been established.

By the beginning of November, the German Army was retreating on an almost daily basis, but was still fighting every inch of the way. Throughout October, the Shropshires had been away from the front line but, on 3 November, the Battalion's War Diary records that they "advanced to high ground south west of Jenlain. Came under heavy shell fire and had to advance under constant machine gun fire." 8 men had been killed. The German rearguards were holding a line west of the river between Jenlain and Wargnies-le-Grand and, at 6am on the 4th, the Battalion attacked through Jenlain. The War Diary indicates that they incurred many casualties just east of  Jenlain. Nine men are known to have been killed including George Seamark and Thomas Guntripp. And it is probable that Frederick was another casualty sometime over these two days.

The Battalion's War Diary records that the advance continued on the 5th with only slight casualties. The 6th was another quiet day and the battalion was relieved during the night and marched to billets. It's war was over.

   
           
   
     
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