Fred GARNER
Rank: Private
Number: 11704
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 6 March 1915
Age: 43
Cemetery: Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium

Fred was born in Wilmslow. Information from the family history website, FreeBMD, suggests that Fred's marriage to Elizabeth Sophorina Green was registered at Altrincham, between October and December 1895. Elizabeth had been born in Stourport, Worcestershire.

By the time of the 1901 Census, they were living in Reddish and he was working as a dyer. The Census also notes two other young men called Garner who had been born in Wilmslow and were living and working locally. They may have been his brothers. Benjamin, then aged 26, was living in Cheadle and working at a Dye Works. John Garner, then 23 and living in Reddish was a manager at a bleach works.

Fred's service number indicates he enlisted in August or September 1914. He will probably have gone overseas around January 1915 as one of the first drafts of replacement for the regular army soldiers, of the 1st Battalion, who had been killed or wounded in the early months of fighting.

On 3 March, the 1st Cheshires had moved out of Divisional reserve positions at Bailleul and stayed overnight in billets at Oudendom. The next day, they took over a section of the front line at St Eloi, a few miles south of the Belgium town of Ypres (now Ieper). On the 5th, the Diary only refers to them being "in the trenches".

The next day, the 6th, the Diary only records that the "Battalion relieved by Norfolk Regiment. Marched to Kruisstraat in brigade reserve." Seven men, including Fred and Robert Ashton, were killed during the day, probably by shellfire.

Records indicate that two men, from the Stockport area and named John Garner were killed during the war. One is commemorated on the Stockport Memorial. Further research will be needed to establish if this is Fred's brother.

   
           
   
     
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