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Guest lesley

Bride, Wife & Widow in less than 6 weeks

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Guest lesley

Pte Frederick William Thompson joined the Bucks Battalion in 1915 and went to France from his training depot at Chelmsford. He served for the duration of the War without receiving a scratch. He returned home on leave December 1918 when he married Ella Stevens. He told her how much he was looking forward to being demobbed, setting up home with her and returning to his job with a local chair makerand, in Feb 1919 he got the news they were both waiting for - he was going home.

He was waiting for a homeward boat at an infantry depot near Cherbourg when he was mugged by a gang described as being four Portugeuse and an Italian. He refused to give them is money so they shot him. Ella waited at the local station, sure Fred would be on the next train. After four days she returned home to a telegram announcing his death.

Buried at in a cemetery at Cherbourg Fred never fulfilled his wish to come home to his new bride.

I've come across many sad stories in the course of researching OBLI, but this one touched a chord. Soldiers expect to die during a war but who considers the possibility of being murdered on the way home when war is long over?

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Jonathan Saunders

Lesley,

Not sure where you found this incredibly sad story but do you know their ages and whether Ella remarried or whether the felons were caught?

Jon

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BRIAN TALMER

Hi Jon

Lesley found this piece in the local paper called The Bucks Free Press from the 14 th of February 1919.

Lesley says that she will look out for any info. on his wife the next time she visit the Library

Cheers

Brian

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Jonathan Saunders

Thanks Brian. If Ella remarried then I would expect to find it by searching the local parish registers but I was just curious whether Lesley had pursued the story a little more but I expect she had plenty of other researches on the go.

Jon

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PhilB

I don`t know why, but your topic reminded me of a grave I came across in a Lancashire cemetery. The headstone showed that it contained the bodies of a soldier who died in WW1, aged 21 and of his wife, who died at age 92, some 70 odd years later. It just seemed to typify the extreme dislocation of some lives by the war. Phil B

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