Frederick Newman BROGDEN
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Number:
Unit: 8th TRENCH MORTAR BATTERY
Date of Death: 3 May 1917
Age: 24
Cemetery: Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

The names of Frederick's parents are not known but he was the grandson of William Lowe of Church Street, Wilmslow. There was some unhappiness in his early life as, in 1901, at the age of 7, he found himself with his brothers, William and Edward, in the Workhouse of the Chorlton Union at Didsbury. Nothing else is known of his life until 30 September 1914, when he enlisted into the 2/6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and was given 3009 as his service number

He was quickly commissioned as an officer. It will be reasonable to assume that his fortunes had changed since 1901 as new officers at that early stage of the War were almost exclusively drawn from the middle classes. He went overseas on active service on 4 May 1915 but his service file at the National Archives does not indicate with which Battalion of the East Yorkshires he first served. It cannot have been the 8th as this did not go abroad until the September.

However, by the summer of 1916, he was serving with the 8th when, in fighting during the Battle of the Somme, he led his men into an attack in the middle of July. During hand-to-hand fighting, he was bayoneted in the buttock and admitted to 7th Stationery Hospital at Boulogne, where, on the 20th, his condition was reported to be satisfactory.

It was, no doubt, after recovering from the wounds, he returned to duty and was attached to the Trench Mortar Battery. It has not been possible to find the Battery's War Diary at the National Archives so it is not possible to establish the circumstances in which Frederick was killed on 3 May. Records show, however, that the day saw a major British attack as part of the ongoing Battle of Arras. Trench mortars were feared weapons which could drop their shells directly into enemy trenches with relative ease. As such, they were always targets for the enemy artillery.

   
           
   
     
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