Company Serjeant Major Frederick George Stow Lincolnshire Regiment

Written by Karen Day
First Published

Introduction

Lincolnshire Regiment cap badge.
© IWM (INS 5552)

The son of William and Margaret Stow of 56 High Street, Barton upon Humber. His siblings were Edith Anne 1877, Elizabeth Gertrude 1879, Margaret Jane 1882, Ellen 1885, William Charles 1890, Annie 1893 and Alfred 1895 all of whom in 1920 barring Charles, who was sadly killed in action on 28th September 1917, were still residing in the Barton upon Humber and Hull areas.

Before signing up Frederick's previous occupation was groom. The 1901 census finds him working as such in Kingston upon Hull, 1911 finds him at Eversliegh Stables, Bayshill, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. We are not sure of the reason why he was included on the Burton Stather, Thealby and Normanby War Memorial but wonder if he could have been working on the estate prior to enlisting?

War Records Found on Barton upon Humber Tip

Frederick Stow's Letter
Frederick Stow's Letter

We were contacted recently by Mr RW Shane who approximately 40 years ago, whilst scavenging on a tip site with his late Father, found papers and a letter pertaining to Frederick Stow. His father kept them safe for many years and Mr Shane had just happened to come across them once again in his fathers belongings. This is a great story in itself and we are very grateful that he made contact and shared them with us. In particular a letter from Fred to his parents dated 12th September 1918. He enclosed a 20 franc note with instructions to his parents to exchange it at the post office and to use the money to buy a new watch and send it to him. He tells how his watch had got smashed up.

Fred died of gun shot wounds to the neck at 1am on the morning of 6th October 1918 in the 8th Stationary Hospital, Wimeraux. We wonder did he ever receive his new watch? Sadly, a list of his affects makes mention of only a damaged one so it would appear he didn't.

Transcript of the Letter

My Dear Father & Mother

Just a line to let you know that I am Still all right at present. I hope you are all well at home. I have enclosed you a 20 Francs note, you will be able to change it at the Post Office & I should like you to send me a watch back as mine has got smashed up. Hoping you will be able to get one soon. I think this is all this time. Hoping this will find you all in the best of health. I remain your ever loving son
Fred Stow

P.S. Remeber me to all I know in Barton. XXXXX

Outbreak of War

Fred was quick to volunteer and signed up on the 31st of August 1914 in Scunthorpe. His attestation papers describe him as 5'8" with blue eyes and light brown hair, weighing 147lb's (10st 5lbs). His age is recorded as 29 years and 110 days and his records show a steady rise from Private in August 1914 to CSM and Warrant Officer Class II in August 1918. I have been unable to decipher records surrounding his Military Medal or find mention in any publications. If anyone is able to help with this we would be grateful.

Age Discrepancy

There is an age discrepancy between the military records and domestic ones as the Frederick George Stow living with his parents William and Margaret at 56 High Street, Barton upon Humber in the 1881 (aged 2) and 1891 (aged 12) census was born in 1878. This would have made him 36 years 110 days old 31st August 1914. Also again another discrepancy on his record with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission making him 42 at his death in 1918. I have read stories of boys who lied about their age as they were too young but what could be the reason for Fred to say he was younger?

As per Lord Kitchener's instructions in August 1914 a new form of short service was introduced under which a man could serve for three years or the duration of the war, whichever the longer. Men joining on this basis, including all of Kitchener's Army and the Pals units were technically regular army and were serving on this basis. At this time in history the Regular Army had an age range of 18 - 38 which put Fred over the upper limit for the minimum 3 years service. Could that be the explaination?

Fred spent the rest of 1914 and 1915 until May in training camps at Lincoln initially then backwards and forwards between Bovington and Lulworth before finally Winchester before France. He was wounded in action with gun shots to neck and back on 6th Sept 1916 and was returned to England on 13th arriving at Lincoln Hospital on the 18th where he spent 12 days.

He was back to France, disembarking at Bologne on 23rd March 1917, posted to 1st Bn. Lincolns at Calais and finally reposted to his own 7th Bn. Lincolns on 28th April 1917.

Fred is also commemorated on the Barton upon Humber War Memorial along side his brother and is buried in Terlincthun British Cemetary, Wimille, Pas De Calais, France. He was awarded the 1915 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal and Military Medal.

Record Details for Frederick George Stow

First Names:Frederick George
Initials:F. G.
Surname:Stow
DOB:Circa
Age:42
Death Date:
Family Info:Son of William and Margaret Stow, of 56, High St., Barton-on-Humber, Lincs.
Rank:Company Serjeant Major
Service Number:10844
Service:British Army
Regiment:Lincolnshire Regiment
Battalion:"A" Coy. 7th Bn.
Grave:Terlincthun British Cemetary, Wimille Map
Awards:

Map

Use the interactive map to view the location of Frederick George Stow's Grave. You can view all the graves, memorials and benches by downloading our KML file which can be viewed in Google Earth and other mapping software.

Sources

  1. UK Census
  2. British WW1 Service Records

Remembered with Honour.

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