Frederick Charles Andrews

From towers to trenches, we remember Frederick Charles Andrews

Frederick Andrews was the fifth son of farm labourer John and his wife Mary, he was born 13th April 1890 in Newton Blossomville and went to the local village school. In 1891 the family were residing in Patt (?) Yard in a house with four rooms. The property was shared with three other families; it is not clear if they just has a single room each or had four rooms per household. In 1901 John was employed as a farm labourer whilst his wife was a Lace Maker they lived in “The Village”.

Frederick was a Clifton Reynes member of the North Bucks Branch between 1907 and 1909.

Newton Blossomville War Memorial

Fred Andrews Memorial PlaqueHe joined the Volunteer Corps at Olney before enlisting in the Middlesex regiment on the 1st March 1910. From there he served in India, Malta and Guernsey before joining the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France in October 1914.

After months spent defending French territory in miserable sodden trenches, the BEF was preparing for an attack. The light fall of snow on the evening of the 9th of March 2015 was replaced by a damp mist by the next morning. The peace of that misty morning was shattered at 7.30am by the roar of shells exploding on the German front line and in the village of Neuve Chapelle. By 8.05am the bombardment was over, the heaviest that would be fired until 1917, and the troops of the Army Cyclist Corps joined the BEF attack. Among them was 24 year old private Frederick Charles Andrews .

Frederick was wounded during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and died of his wounds the next day, 14 March 1915. Frederick was buried in the Merville Communal Cemetery, Plot II.E.3. His family were either not given the chance or could not afford to pay for a personal inscription to be added on his headstone. Instead just his rank, surname and initials and date of death were recorded. Details about Frederick were included in the UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour and perhaps the family contributed the further information that is included in this record, usually a subscription was paid.

Information sources

Census records for 1911, 1901 1891

UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919

Commonwealth war graves commission