Taken, Not Given
6th Royal West Surrey Regt
April 10 1917
Taken, Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHSThe records of the Queen's (1) give Frederick Bexley an additional initial 'E', and state that he was born in Epsom and enlisted in Guildford. Additionally they state that he was killed in action and confirmed that he belonged to the 6th. Bn, The Queen's (2)
The Battalion War Diary (2) states that at 5.30 a.m. on 9th. April, the Queen's received orders to capture GLASGOW trench and this was "gained with comparatively few losses". 250 men were then sent to support the 7th. Bn The Suffolks in capturing BROWN line. This object was also achieved.
Next day, 10th, the men seconded to help the Suffolks returned in the evening to GLASGOW trench, now in the hands of the Queen's, however everybody was ordered out of the captured German dugouts, as “the enemy reported to have mined some".
However, the Diary states that no casualties were sustained on the 10th so in all probability Frederick Bexley was killed actually on 9 April 1917.
Notes on sources
(1) Regimental Records of the Queens, Clandon Park, Surrey.
(2) File WO95–1863 War Diary, 6th. Bn. The Queens Regiment, Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond.
Service Number 11068
The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Buried at STE. CATHERINE BRITISH CEMETERY
Location: Pas de Calais, France
Cemetery/memorial reference: F. 15.
His birth date was 29th January 1897 so he would have been aged 20.
Saturday 5 May 1917
LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES
Pte. F. Bexley, The Queen's, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Bexley, Brickbat Alley, Leatherhead, was killed in action on April official intimation being received by the parents last Saturday. Twenty years of age, he joined up soon after he was of military age, and had been wounded once before.
Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
Saturday 29 December 1917
The list which present has been compiled from the names that have been recorded in our Columns during the past year....
BEXLEY, Pte. F., of the Queen's, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bexley, the Brick Bat Alley, Leatherhead.
Research on the ancestry website shows a complicated family background for Frederick (or Frederic in his baptism record, All Saints, Carshalton, 20th February 1902. He was born on 29th January 1897). Their address was 2 Rose Cottages, Pound St, Carshalton.
His parents were William James Bexley, a Labourer, born at Epsom, Surrey (1864–1922) and Jane née Ware, born Bat & Ball, near Brasted, Kent (1863-1928). They married in 1901. There were several children, apparently both before (including Frederick) and after this marriage. The family seems to have had a very hard time.
Some of them were admitted to the Epsom Workhouse - in Frederick's case:
1/10/1897 - 20/11/1897
19/06/1899 - 22/07/1899 admission by mother
24/07/1899 - 09/06/1900 sent to Herne Bay
In the 1901 Census, aged 4, he is listed as a patient at Sea St House, Herne Bay, Kent. The Head of the household was William Prouse, a Superannuated Poor House Officer: his wife Jane was described as Proprietress of Convalescent Home. Frederick's sisters Lily (10) and Florence (7) were also there.
Further admissions to the Epsom Workhouse (which was on the site of the present Epsom District Hospital) followed:
26/08/1901 admission by mother
07/01/1907 admission by mother
01/10/1908 - 04/05/1909 "sent to House Boys Brigade".
In a Schedule in the 1911 Census, Frederick aged 15, is one of a number of 'Inmates', occupation 'House Boy', St Georges, Hanover Square, London. The House Boys Brigade was a charity devoted to training boys to be servants. The Head of the Household for the Schedule was Mr Thomas Stone Lavis, Corset & Belt Maker of 35 Elizabeth Street, SW.
It is not known when the charity was established but it appeared to have disappeared about the time of WW1. It should not be confused with the Boys Brigade which was a similar organisation to the Boy Scouts.
the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, his headstone, and of any recollections within his family
last updated 29 May 20: 23 Sep 20