LEATHERHEAD WAR MEMORIALS - WWI
Private Frederick Adams
1st Bn., Bedfordshire Regt.
Town Memorial P7.R1.C3
2nd [sic] Bedford Regt.
Sept 25 1916
Taken Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHS
The regimental records of the Bedfordshires state that Frederick Adams died "in France and Flanders", which is omitted from the War Memorial.
He was serving is the 1st Battalion of the Bedfordshires as a private soldier (no.40017) and had previously served in the Suffolks (no.28773).
He was born in Chichester and enlisted at Guildford, where he was resident at the time.¹
1. Soldiers who died in the Great War (Bedfordshires), IWM
N.B. the War Diary reference for the 1st Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. is WO95/2333 in the PRO
Frederick Adams has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 2C.
Soldiers who died in the Great War says he was killed in action.
The Army Register of Soldiers Effects states that his mother, Eliza, was his sole legatee. On 30th September 1919 she received £3.
As Liam Sumption points out, he was serving not with the 2nd Bn. but with the 1st Bn., Bedfordshire Regt. The War Diary for the 1st Bn Bedfordshire Regt. 1914 Aug - 1917 Nov is according to ancestry.com WO95/1570/1 (Liam Sunption gave WO95/2333). It is possible that Frederick was a victim of what these days is called 'friendly fire':
1st. BATTALION BEDFORSDHIRE REGIMENT
CARNOY 24 [September] 4.30pm Bn left OXFORD Copse at 4.30 p.m. halted at CHIMPANZEE trench T.5.d. for tea & moved forward again at 6.30 p.m. via ARROW Wd. Copse to assembly trenches in T.9.c. Bn H.Q. in QUARRY T.9.d.
25 [September] Appendices attached
REPORT ON OPERATIONS FROM THE 24th to 25th SEPTEMBER. 1916.
The Battalion moved to QUARRY in T.9.d.2/2 and were in assembly trenches by 9.30 p.m. The back trench required deepening. A communication trench from this to the forward trench and thence to the back Norfolk trench was dug during the night. This enabled the men to file under cover into the Norfolk trenches at zero hour. This was done.
1.35 p.m. the Battalion advanced in four waves at 150 yards distance one from another, passing over the trench taken by the 1st Norfolks. The first line reached their objective, the sunken road, by 1.40 p.m.
Lewis guns were
immediately placed in position on the top of the bank and several drums
fired at the retiring enemy. A party of about 100 enemy opposite the
95th Bde. was enfiladed.
The Battalion dug in along the line of the road and also on the top of the bank. Touch was gained with the 16th Bde. at 1.50.p.m. and with the 95th Bde. about 2.0 p.m.
Battalion Headquarters were established in the sunken road at 1.45 p.m.
[italics added] Considerable
casualties were sustained from our own field guns, both during the
advance and while holding the sunken road.
It is suggested that a simple system of signals either by smoke or coloured Very lights direct from the Battalion to the Field Batteries forming the Barrage immediately in front should be instituted and that the heavy artillery barrage should lift a considerable distance back at zero. The artillery liaison officer reported his wire cut very early in the operations and there appeared to be no other means of getting direct touch with the guns.
It would also be better if the creeping barrage were to advance 120 yards a minute instead of 50, that pace can be easily maintained by the Infantry and less time is given for hostile Machine Guns to be placed in position and also the troops are exposed for a shorter time to hostile artillery.
No record of the casualties suffered has been found yet.
Information on his connection with Leatherhead is still sought - sources have been ancestry.com, findmypast, British Newspaper Archive.
As well as being on the Town Memorial, he is on the British Legion Roll of Honour in Leatherhead Parish Church.
He is not on the Church Lads Brigade Tryptich, nor is he mentioned in the WW1 Leatherhead Parish Church magazines.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
Bedfordshire Regiment - see links page on main LWM website
the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, his name on the Thiepval Memorial,
and of any recollections within his family
last updated 25 Jul 2004 CWGC links updated 7 Nov 17: content updated 18 Feb 18