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  Frederick William Killick 

Private G/3545, 1st Bn The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment
Killed in Action 03/07/1916, aged 22
(1)

 

No Known Grave, but Remembered on :
Ewhurst War Memorial,  Memorial Plaque and Book of Remembrance
The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment Roll of Honour, Holy Trinity Church, Guildford
Loos Memorial, Dud Corner Cemetery, France


 

 

 

FREDERICK WILLIAM KILLICK was born in Ewhurst in 1894 (1), where he lived in Coneyhurst Farm Cottage with his father (also Frederick William) a shoemaker, and mother, Annie. He was the younger brother of Nelly Killick (b1891) and elder brother of Albert and Elizabeth A Killick (b1900).

With the onset of the First World War, following the enlistment of his younger brother, Frederick enlisted in Cranleigh and attested Stoughton Barracks, Guildford on 24th November 1914 for 3 years service. He became Private 3545 of the 1st Bn The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. As he was not awarded the 1915 Star
(2), it is likely that he arrived in France after 31st December 1915.

He was to join the same battalion as his younger brother Albert, who was killed on the Somme on 3rd November 1916.The 1st Battalion Queen’s had arrived in France from its home base of Bordon Camp in August 1914. It remained on the Western Front throughout the First World War.

The Battalion War Diary
(3) of the 1st Queens for June 1916 describes that they were serving in the front line just to the north of the Lens/ La Bassee Canal, in a sector referred to as Cuinchy Left. At this time the battalion was part of 100th Brigade, 33th Division. They had entered the trenches on 14th June and over the next 20 days rotated between the front line and the reserve line. The sector was active with the detonation of subterranean mines, especially in the area of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Craters and the Ducks Bill, and trench mortar, minewerfer and artillery activity. To this, the battalion replied with rifle, machine gun and rifle grenade fire whilst being supported by artillery and trench mortar fire.

The Queen’s took turns in the front and support lines with their partners in 100th Brigade, 16th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Their time in the reserve line was spent repairing the trenches, which were damaged by enemy action and the wet weather at the time, and providing carrying parties for supplies to the front line. On the 27th June and 2nd July elements of 100th Brigade (9th Bn Highland Light Infantry, 2nd Bn Worcestershire Regt and 16th Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps) carried out trench raids against the opposing German lines. The diary for the 2nd July notes:

           “Heavy rifle grenade, trench mortar and artillery bombardment by us. 12.15 to 1.15 am 2/Worcester and 16/KRRC carried out raids on Cuinchy Front, Worcester very successful, killed many and brought in about a dozen prisoners. KRRC got enfiladed by heavy machine gun fire and suffered heavily. Our trench somewhat knocked about by enemy retaliation. Repaired damage all day. Some trench mortar activity. 1 killed and 1 wounded.”

On 3rd July, the diary notes:

              “A quiet morning. “Minnie”(4) very active in right and left company frontages in afternoon and evening. 4 killed and 2 wounded. Relieved at 10.30pm by 1/Middlesex and proceeded to billets at Le Quesnoy.”

One of the 4 men referred to by the diary was Private Frederick William Killick, aged 22, probably killed by minewerfer activity. We can only presume as to whether his younger brother, Albert, also serving with the battalion, was nearby at the time of his death.

The battalion remained in the billets, recovering from their 20 continuous days in the trenches, until 7th July 1916, when they moved south to the Battle of the Somme, which had commenced on 1st July. Here, exactly 4 months to the day after Frederick’s death, his younger brother Albert was killed in action and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. The Killicks of Coneyhurst Farm, Ewhurst had lost both of their sons in France.
 

 


Private Frederick Killick, Remembered on the Loos Memorial
 

Frederick’s grave is unknown, possibly due to the confusion of the battalion’s move out of the line followed by their move south. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial, at Dud Corner Cemetery near Loos-en-Gohele, which commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay (5). His name appears just above those of Privates Victor Lawrence and Joseph Parsons, both Ewhurst men who fell whilst in action with 1st Bn The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment on the first day of the Battle of Loos, 25th September 1915.

Frederick was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal (2). In 2009 a group of 4 medals belonging to the Killick brothers became available for purchase on the internet (Albert's BWM was missing from the collection.) The were purchased with the view that they be retained within the village that the brothers grew up in. The Killick brothers were the first of five sets of brothers from the village to lose their lives in the First World War.

Loos Memorial, Dud Corner Cemetery & Frederick's British War Medal & Victory Medal

90th Anniversary of the Battle of Loos

Follow this Link to details about First World War Medals
 

 

Notes:
(1) Date of birth:

  • from attestation register (22 years old on 24/11/14 implies D.o.B Nov 1892 or earlier)

  • from 1901 census (7 years old on 31/03/01 implies D.o.B Mar 1894 or earlier)

  • from Reg of Births Hambledon Vol 2a page 143 ( D.o.B Jan/Feb/Mar 1894).

    The implication is that Frederick was actually 20 years old when he enlisted and 22 when he died.

(2) Pte Killick Medal Record Card
(3) 1st Bn The Queens (Royal West Surrey) Regt War Diary, Surrey History Center
(4) “Minnie” was Army slang for a Minewerfer (a large calibre trench mortar)
(5) Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Other sources:

  • Book of Remembrance

  • Soldiers Died in the Great War

  • 1901 Census
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Andrew Bailey, Ewhurst, Surrey
andy@ewhurstfallen.co.uk
Copyright©2005