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Remembered Today:

Littleborough Soldier not on the War Memorial


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We have been researching the men from Littleborough who died in the Great War. I had been trying to find out where Pte Fred Stead (serving with 2 Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)) had been when he was reported 'killed at the front' on 12th February 1917. Tried to find him in SDGW but there was no record. However, Ancestry brought up his MIC below.

Its the first time I have come across this for one of our soldiers and it came as quite shock.

We don't have much more about him as a soldier but know where he used to work and where his relatives lived.

Bernard

post-23884-1259690085.gif

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Hello Bernard.

4th Division are in the Line in the Bouchavesnes Sector at this period.

Rotating 'in and out' of the line to such places as Corbie, 'Camp 17' and Suzanne.

I believe they were posted out of the line on or about 1/2nd February but, hopefully, someone will add some more details.

Kindest regards.

Chris.

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Shot at Dawn.

'No evidence of feeble mindedness or other mental defect.'

I will add entry from 'Shot At Dawn' by Julian Putkowski & Julian Sykes, later this evening.

Chris.

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Let him who is without sin cast the first stone...................

John 8:7

Name: STEAD, FREDERICK

Initials: F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 12/02/1917

Service No: 3/10390

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. C. 1.

Cemetery: SUZANNE MILITARY CEMETERY No.3

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We have been researching the men from Littleborough who died in the Great War. I had been trying to find out where Pte Fred Stead (serving with 2 Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)) had been when he was reported 'killed at the front' on 12th February 1917. Tried to find him in SDGW but there was no record. However, Ancestry brought up his MIC below.

Its the first time I have come across this for one of our soldiers and it came as quite shock.

We don't have much more about him as a soldier but know where he used to work and where his relatives lived.

Bernard

Hi Bernard

Here is the 2nd Bn War Diary for the date Mentioned

12/02/1917

Bn. in the line. Our artillery bombarded but some fell into our left sub-sector. Bosche put down a barrage on our lines at 7pm. Lieut Cheetham wounded. 1. O.R. killed. 8. O.R. Wounded. Capt Officer joined Bn from 1st Bn.

I'm not sure on this but I think Soldiers Died Ommitted soldiers who had been killed by fireing squad perhaps someone else can confirm or deny this

.Kindest Regards DaveC

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Many thanks for all of the information. I went to check on the War Memorial this morning and contrary to earlier notes Pte F Stead is one of many who were not entered thereon (thus the change in the poat heading). He would have been mentioned in the local papers and thus his name was picked up. Don't recall if the local papers identified those soldiers who were shot at dawn. May he rest in peace and next time I am nearby will visit his grave as we are trying to do for all of those from our town who were killed in WW1.

Bernard

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  • 11 years later...
Padre Bill

Pte. Stead's name was added to the Littleborough War Memorial in November 2016 - with the wording '1917  Shot at Dawn'. His name is on a separate tablet below the WW1 names, and to the right of the WW2 names. I'll be revising the IWM's record for the memorial following a visit yesterday.

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Padre Bill

But obviously his history was known by the time the War Memorial was created - and his name was not included among the fallen. He is also not included on the Memorial at his place of work, Shore Mills. 

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Don Regiano

Best I can do I'm afraid but his gravestone is the first in the third group of graves in the line on the right of this photo

 

 

DSC06603.JPG

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Padre Bill

Back in Littleborough again this week - Pte. Stead's memorial tablet was stuck to the memorial wall with some blobs of resin glue - yesterday I saw that it had fallen from the wall to the ground - fortunately not damaged. I reported this to Council-employed private gardeners... but it was in the same position today....

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The Inspector
On 01/12/2009 at 17:55, jainvince said:

We have been researching the men from Littleborough who died in the Great War. I had been trying to find out where Pte Fred Stead (serving with 2 Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)) had been when he was reported 'killed at the front' on 12th February 1917. Tried to find him in SDGW but there was no record. However, Ancestry brought up his MIC below.

Its the first time I have come across this for one of our soldiers and it came as quite shock.

We don't have much more about him as a soldier but know where he used to work and where his relatives lived.

Bernard

post-23884-1259690085.gif

Hi Bernard and all,

Did you find anything else regarding Frederick's relatives? He obviously wasn't a local according to the paper.

Soldiers' effects show his mother as Sarah E. searching on Ancestry for possible candidates. 1901 census Fred Stead b.1897, Leeds. Father Joseph, mother Elizabeth. 1911 father Joseph, mother Sarah Elizabeth. Fred 14 yrs a joiner's assistant and sister Hilda 21 yrs.. 1911 census shows father 51 yrs and mother 56 but married 6 years only? Children 2,2,3 crossed through as not from present marriage.  

Regarding the newspaper article and relatives living in Brook St., Littleborough. Perhaps the article is wrong.....??? Mother in law of Joseph was one Emma Brook(s). (Nee Sitlington)

Frederick Stead  birth reg'd Leeds, 2nd qtr 1898, 9b,536?

Fred Stead's mother Elizabeth Brooks died in 1901 and his father remarried  one Sarah Elizabeth Simpson  1855-1920. Bramley, Yorks, 1st qtr 1906 9b,467.

The most likely family I can find.. Tree on Ancestry.....https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/person/tree/107127966/person/280057450606/facts

Regards Barry

 

Edited by The Inspector
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It is a while since I researched the WW1 soldiers having moved onto the WW2 Fallen heroes. whilst Fred was omitted from the original lists associated with the Cenotaph his name was evenutally added on a separate but adjacent plaque which I believe was appropriate because I feel Fred was suffering from a mental collapse, not cowardice. Later additional names were added to the new plaque which on reflection i now regret as even with the additions some fallen heroes remain omitted.

 

Fred is of course remembered at the National Memorial Arboretum Shot at Dawn at Dawn memorial. Unfotunately, my photographs have gone AWOL.

 

The information on Fred that we currently hold is as follows

 

Bernard

 

Private Fred Stead

 

Fred was born in Yorkshire in 1897 and his mother was Sarah Elizabeth Stead (Nee Simpson) and moved to Littleborough at some date. Fred lived in Brook Street (off Halifax Road) and worked at E. Clegg and Son, Shore Mills, before he left Littleborough in December 1914 to join the army as a regular soldier. 34 year old Private Stead, 3/10390 2nd Bn Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regt) was court martialled and was Shot for Desertion on 12th February 1917. Fred was buried in Grave Number II C 1 Suzanne Military Cemetery No 3, Somme, France. Nowadays, Fred would have been treated for a mental illness, not cowardice which previous service showed he did not have.

 

 

“Private Stead left for France at the end of 1914 to help re-enforce the 2nd Batt which had been engaged in the First Battle of Ypres. The young soldier was twice hospitalised including a ‘Not yet diagnosed’ ailment which resulted in his return to the UK. The pending Somme offensive resulted in his return to France in May 1916. Again, he was twice admitted into medical care, firstly for debility and later for a sprained ankle. Leaving No 6 Convalescence Camp at Etaples, he was transferred to No 34 Infantry Base Depot for a week’s training in the ‘Bull Ring’. When he returned to his Batt they had moved to the rear at Ypres but were then moved back to the Somme for the final push towards Bapaume. On 10th October 1916 Private Stead was wounded whilst in the trenches, a ‘gun-shot wound’ to the hand suspected to be self-inflicted. Although he was only absent from the front line for some 2 days, he avoided the costly day of action on 12th October 1916 when the British attacked on four-mile front between Eaucourt and Bapume-Peronne road, line advanced 500 to 1,000 yards. His own company had unsuccessfully attacked Le Transloy and had suffered 342 reported causalities. A week later he went AWOL but a month later he was tried and sentenced to death but 3 weeks later he learnt that his sentence was committed to a suspended sentence of 5 years Penal Servitude. Even so, on the very next day instead of relieving the Essex Regiment with his comrades he again went AWOL subsequently being arrested whilst trying to escape the controlled area behind the battlefield 2 days before Christmas. His 2nd Court Marshall took place on 11th January 1917 where he appeared resigned to his fate neither seeking a defence officer (advocate), to question witnesses or to say a word in his own defence. His commanding officer Lt Col A G Horsfall spoke up for him advising he had always performed his duties in the trenches but expressed the view that he may have been slightly backward. However a subsequent medical examination reported that there was ‘No evidence of feeble mindedness or other mental defect’ and thus the medical opinion was that nothing abnormal was detected. That advice sealed his fate. With Private Stead’s display of indiscipline and non-cooperation the sentence was confirmed and he was executed at 06:50 hours on 12th February 1917.”

 

 

 

The Rochdale Observer for 14th February 1917 reported that news had been received that Private Fred Stead who had lived in Featherstall has been killed at the front. Following a pardon for soldiers ‘shot at Dawn’ in late 2016 it was determined that Fred should be remembered so a special plaque will be placed at Littleborough Cenotaph in his remembrance recognising though that he was ‘Shot at Dawn’.

 

 

 

 

Fred-Stead-Memorial-Littleb.jpg

Edited by jainvince
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The Inspector

Hi Bernard,

Have you got the wrong relations????

Thanks for the update. The age quoted in the earlier post threw me, it says he was 20 years old.??? CWGC is the same, 20 yrs old yet the detail above states he was 34 yrs old?

??? Soldiers' effects show his mother to be the sole legatee  " Sarah E".  I can't find her on the censuses quoted for 2 Back William Street.

Puzzled.

Regards Barry

On 02/12/2009 at 00:00, Peter Bennett said:

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone...................

John 8:7

Name: STEAD, FREDERICK

Initials: F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit Text: 2nd Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 12/02/1917

Service No: 3/10390

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. C. 1.

Cemetery: SUZANNE MILITARY CEMETERY No.3

Regards Barry

Edited by The Inspector
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I have amended my records to show was aged 20 and also edited the post accordingly. 

 

AS I no longer have access to Ancestry or Findmypast I am unable to confirm the ralatives. However, these were found by the History Society's President, Peter Cryer, an inviterate researcher who started off our researches into Littleborough's WW1 Fallen Heroes.

Edited by jainvince
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The Inspector

Hi Bernard and all, 

Peter Cryer was indeed a very knowledgeable man but did not have access to the same records prior to his death as we do today. He assisted me on a number of occasions on different subjects.

The details researched by him would appear  incorrect for Frederick Stead 3/10390. I will keep searching...at least he is not forgotten.

Regards Barry  

EDIT...the full story.

https://www.mertoncourthistory.com/private-frederick-stead

Edited by The Inspector
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