Frederick’s death in 1919 was a direct consequence of a wound he received in the opening weeks of the War in 1914.
Little is known about his upbringing or family (except that his mother, Martha, lived at 15 Mount Cottage, Hazel Grove. On 2 December 1902, aged 19, he left his job as a farm labourer and joined the army as a regular soldier. His service papers still exist from that time and they show him to have been just tall enough, at 5’ 4”, to enlist. He weighed 112 pounds and had a fresh complexion with grey eyes and brown hair. Frederick gave his religious denomination as Church of England.
The following year, he committed an unknown offence and spent 22 days in a military prison but this seems to be the only blot on his career. In 1906, he transferred to the reserve and returned to the Stockport area where, in 1908, he married Gertrude Godwin at St Thomas’ Church, Norbury. Gertrude’s address in the early 1920s was 18 Broadhurst Street, Shaw Heath but it is not known if this was the home she shared with Frederick.
When War was declared on 4 August 1914, Frederick was immediately recalled to the colours, rejoining his old unit, the 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, at Aldershot. In just over a week, he was in France. He will have taken part in all the battles of the first few weeks and, 29 October, his Battalion was near the Belgian town of Ypres when he was wounded by shrapnel in the right knee and thigh. After receiving treatment at an army field hospital, he was evacuated back to the UK on 3 November. Over the coming 6 months, he underwent several operations to remove pieces of the shrapnel from his knee joint but it left him with a severe disability and he was finally discharged from the army on 25 November 1915.
His condition never really improved and, by late 1918, he had also developed tuberculosis. The actual cause of his death is not known.