Fred Chadwick, Private 28022, 1st Leeds Pals
and previously Private 978, 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.
Fred was born in the first quarter of 1885, the sixth of the seven sons of William and Leah Chadwick. In the 1891 census the household also included three daughters and William’s widowed 80 year old mother-in-law, Sarah Rawnsley. The siblings were Alice, Sarah, George, Hannah, Thomas, Frank, Charles, William and Ernest. The older ones were employed either in boot and shoe manufacturing or woollen mills. William was a night watchman. (1891 Census Find My Past). By 1901 the family was still living at 110 Birks, Guiseley, as in 1891, but Fred had left home and was working as one of a number of gardeners employed by Frank Atkinson at Cresswell Hall, Bedlington, Northumberland. (1901 Census, Find My Past). By 1911 Fred, who had married Florrie Mallinson in 1908, (Free BMD), had returned to Guiseley where he was working in an iron foundry (Sykes and Shaw Gilroyd, Iron Foundry, Guiseley) and Florrie as a machinist for a boot manufacturer. They were living at 31 Otley Road, Guiseley (Army Service Records, Find My Past). They had a son, Ben, born in 1912, who died in 1914, (Free BMD), and a son Fred, born in 1916, whose name appears with his mother on the In Memoriam for his father published in 1919. However, the mother’s name is Mary, as also given as Next of Kin on the Army Register of Effects. There was a marriage between Fred Chadwick and Mary Griffin in Leeds, in June 1915, but I have found no indication of what became of Florrie.
At some point between 1901 and 1908, when Fred married, William had died, possibly in 1906. In 1910 Ernest married Elsie Wilson, and on the 1911 Census they were living at 118 Otley Road, Guiseley, along with Leah Chadwick, now a widow, but determinedly the head of that household.
Fred joined the 6th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Territorials a few days after his brother Ernest in December 1908. Fred’s service number was 978 and Ernest’s 973. The medical inspection report for Fred says that he was 5 foot 6 inches tall and had a chest measurement of 34 inches. His physical development was “good”. Gardening and working in a foundry probably accounted for that. The officer accepting him was Captain Wilfred Claughton, a member of the Claughton family who owned the boot and shoe factory in Otley Road, Guiseley, and who no doubt employed several members of the Chadwick family.
Fred and Ernest went on annual two-week training camps together – to Marske in 1909, Peel on the Isle of Man in 1910 and Ripon in 1911. Fred missed out on Flamborough in 1912 as he was on leave. He served until January 1914, having signed up for an extra year. The camp in 1913 took him to Aberystwyth. (Find My Past British Army Service Records)
No individual service record of Fred’s time in the Pals survives. The medal roll records that he qualified for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. As he did not qualify for the 1914-15 Star for Services Overseas before 31st December 1915 he could not have gone abroad until after January 1916. His regimental number indicates that he was not amongst the original 15th Battalion -the Leeds Pals- but was part of a draft of reinforcements in 1916 or 1917, but not before September 1916, when all new men were given new five-digit numbers on a regimental basis.
The 15th Battalion was fighting in the Arras offensive on 3rd to 4th of May 1917, and Fred Chadwick was presumed dead on or after 3rd of May (Army Register of Soldiers effects.). He has no marked grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. On 3rd May 1919 two entries appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post In Memoriam columns, one from Fred’s wife and son Fred, the other from the family.
Researcher: Jane Luxton with information from Margaret Dale, Fred’s great-niece.
- All opinions and inferences are the researcher’s own.
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