Frederick BROWN
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 25402
Date of Death: 9 February 1917
Age: 27
Cemetery: Basra Memorial, Iraq

Frederick was born in the parish of St Paul's Church, Portwood, Stockport. The 1901 Census records that the family was living at 47 Brewery Street, Stockport and that his widowed mother, Margaret, was head of the household. 11 year old Frederick had two sisters at home - 14 year old Florence and Clara who was only 2 months. By 1917, Mrs Brown was living at 37 Church Street, Heaton Norris

In 1907, Frederick joined the army as a regular soldier, serving with the King's Liverpool Regiment. Newspaper reports indicate he was discharged in 1916 (although it seems unusual that this would happen in wartime). They also report that he found work at T & J Leigh Ltd's Meadow Mill. Assuming the newspaper reports are accurate, he cannot have worked there for more than a few weeks before re-enlisting - this time as a volunteer in the King's Own.

The 6th Battalion had seen action at Gallipoli before the evacuation from the ill-fated campaign and then rested in Egypt for several weeks, before going to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq), in early 1916. Frederick probably joined towards the end of 1916. I

In the several days before Frederick was killed, the Battalion prepared for an attack on Turkish positions near the town of Kut-al-Amara (approximately midway between Basra and Baghdad). The task of the 13th Division (of which the King's Own was part) was to attack the Turkish positions occupying Dahra Bend - a strategic bend in the River Tigris.

The men spent quiet days in the trenches on the 6th and 7th and made final preparations for the attack on the 8th.

At 10.05am, Frederick and his mates attacked, under cover of an artillery barrage. They came under enemy artillery fire as soon as they went "over the top" to dash across the 150 yards of No Man's Land. The enemy position was taken with comparative ease but the men then came under grenade fire from both flanks. About noon, the enemy counter-attacked but this was repulsed by Lewis gun and rifle fire. Grenade attacks continued all day as the enemy still occupied the trench line on both sides of the King's Own.

At 8pm, a further frontal attack, supported by determined efforts from both flanks, was repulsed with heavy losses to the Turkish troops. The Battalion's War Diary then records that grenade attack from the right flank continued all night "but our men held on and refused to give ground though suffering somewhat heavy casualties."

The King's Own had suffered 197 casualties of whom 52 were dead or missing, including Frederick and another local man, Thomas Mulville. Over the course of the War, the locations of many graves were lost and both men are now commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Basra.

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