Fredrick Woolley

Driver T4/239711 4th Company 59th Northern Midland Division Royal Army Medical Training Corps. Attached to the 21 North Midland Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps

Born in, 1891 in Whaley Bridge, enlisted at Derby on the 13th of October 1914. Son of Paul and Alice (Nee Street) Woolley, of Whaley Bridge

Fred Died of wounds received in action in France 21st April 1918, aged 27.

Fred appears to be his preferred name, Fred used his preferred name himself on many of his army forms and his mother Alice uses the name Fred on the letter she sent to the army following Fred’s death. Although Fred is spelt Fredrick on his birth registration and on the 1901 and 1911 census returns. The war memorial in Whaley Bridge, says Fredrick (Fred).

Employed as a carter at enlistment, Fred listed his address as 17 George Street. Prior to this in 1911 he was living with his widowed mother Alice, brother Horace and sister Bertha at Bings, Whaley Bridge. Presumably Bings Knowle where the family had been listed at previous census. Alice later moved to 5 Bingswood Cottages and a further move lists her address at 17 George Street, following Fred’s death. Fred’s farther a collier had died of an ulcerated larynx in 1900 and his brother Harry, aged 18, had died in the Walker pit disaster in 1905.

Fred served in Ireland before going to France although Fred’s personal role is not clear, the 59th North Midland under the command of Major General, A E Sandbach CB DSO were part of a battalion at Bollands Bakery, Ballsbridge, Dublin during The 1916 Easter Rising. Fred’s war records show that he was reprimanded in Ballsbridge Dublin on the 21.5.16, listed as being absent from barracks from 9.30pm to 10.30pm Fred received three days confined to base as his punishment for this offence. Fred’s Army record sheet form B122 shows he was of good character, none of his misdemeanour's were for drunkenness. Fred’s misdemeanour's help track where Fred was stationed during the war. On the 11.6.1915 while in Dunstable Fred was absent from camp and duty and he forfeited 1 days’ pay. On the 24.9.1915 while at Watford, Fred was again absent from camp this time till 11.15 pm. For this he received 7 days punishment, but it is not clear what the punishment was. While in France on the 20. 10. 1917 his misdemeanour's is unfortunately not listed by place, just that Fred while in the field was disobedient and broke rule GRO 1930, which constituted of allowing a soldier to ride on a GS wagon. This was witnessed by corporal W Harris, MMP(Military Medical Personal) and Fred was confined to camp for three days.

From Service Records:

Fred’s medical examination on the 13. 10. 1914 showed Fred was of good physical development, good vision, 5 foot 7 inches. Girth 35 inches and expansion of 3 inches. Vaccination marks 3 on left arm, done in infancy, there were no visual marks of congenital disease and no defects.

Fred lists his religion as Wesleyan.

Home service - 13.10.14 to 19.2.17.

Overseas France service - 20.2.17 – 21.4. 18 Embarked from Southampton on the 20/2/17 to Le Harve the journey took 2 days
Embodied RAMC 13th October 1914.

Transferred from 2/1 North Midland Field Ambulance 5th February 1916. Posted under the authority of acs 1677/16 to regular army 1st September 1916.

One form provides a Statement of names and addresses of all relatives of the deceased. The form is signed in front of the Justice of the Piece in Horwich End on 22/10/19 by (the mark of) Alice Woolley stating Fred relatives. “ No wife, no children, Mother Alice( aged 74), Full blood relatives brothers Raymond(aged 47), Paul(aged 45), Horace(aged 43), Arthur (aged 41) Sam (aged 40) Charles (aged 36) and full blood sister Bertha (aged 38), Nephews and nieces 33, with a note to say no room to list them, grandparents none”.

A letter sent from Woolwich Docks 2nd September 1919 with Fred’s personal affects, although previously none were listed at his death. A letter follows from Alice, presumably dated by the administration as it isn’t in line with the letter, dated 8.5.20. Alice (presumably written for her, as she could not sign her own name) “Dear sir, with reference to your kind regards which we received on Thursday which we thank you for it of driver Fred Woolley T4/239711 your obedient servant Mrs Alice Woolley 5, Bingswood cottages”.

Fred served 3 years and 191 days and was awarded posthumously the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Fred is commemorated on the Whaley Bridge War memorial and is buried at:-

HARRINGHE (BANDAGHEM) military cemetery POPERINGE WEST-VLAANDERN Belgium plot V row B grave 2.

The Common Wealth War Graves Commission details for Fredrick Woolley -
Rank – Driver
Service number T4/239711
Death date 21/04/1918
Regiment Army Services Corps
4th Coy. 59th (North Midland) Div. Train attd. 2nd/1st (North Midland) Field Amb.
The Inscription on his headstone reads “Strong as rock through strife through fear, he served his lord, till the end”.

Our thanks to Anthea Rowley for these excellent details.