Little is known about Fred Adams. Regimental records, published after the War, note that he had been born in the parish of St Thomas’ C of E Church, Stockport. The War Graves Commission also notes that he was the son of Mrs S E Adams, 201 Shaw Heath, Cale Green.
Fred’s original service number, 1675, suggests that he was a pre-war member of the local Territorial Battalion – the 6th Cheshires. He will have been mobilised with them when War was declared in August 1914 and gone overseas shortly afterwards. An account of their early weeks of service is here. Many of these original members were returned to England because of illness or, simply, that they were not fit enough for the rigours of life in the trenches. This is probably what happened to Fred. However, around mid-1916, he was able to go on active service again and he was issued the above new number and reassigned to the 9th Battalion.
Records show that Fred died as a result of wounds he had received. Soldiers who died on the Western front were always buried close to where they died. This means Fred must have been back in Britain when he died. It cannot be known when he was wounded but the likely casualty evacuation route is known. He would have received immediate attention from the Battalion’s own medical officer before being sent to a Casualty Clearing Station (a field hospital in modern terms), a few miles behind the front line. There, surgeons would have undertaken whatever immediate operation might have been necessary. Once stable, he would have been further evacuated to a military hospital on the Channel coast. If it was likely to be sometime before he was expected to fully recover, he would have been returned to a hospital in the UK – if he was lucky, it might have been one near Stockport.
As Fred died in Britain, it would be possible to obtain a death certificate for him, but that is beyond the scope of this project.