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Hospital Records: Frederick Fitzhugh


OpsMajor
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I'm trying to track the military history of 30726 Pte Frederick Fitzhugh of Northamptonshire. STEBIE9173 has helpfully suggested that:

" ... probably joined the Northamptons in late 1916. The official casualty lists show him as wounded in the list of 29-5-1918 - this probably relates to early April 1918".

Whilst serving with the 6th Bn Northamptonshires he was KIA on 04Nov18.

Speaking with his granddaughter she relates that

"...he enlisted early in the war & was wounded & invalided out. He was shot in the head & had a metal plate put in his head.

But he later re-enlisted as he could not stay at home, while all his brothers were at war. He was at home in 1916 when his daughter Freda was born."

I can find no trace of his "1st" enlistment and wondered if there would be any evidence of his wounding and 'metal plate' in hospital records. I presume, he would have had a different service number for the "1st" enlistment.

I'd appreciate any observations or help

Mike

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Hi,

Have you looked at his MIC? It should show the regiment he first served with overseas?

The Medal Rolls are now available on Ancestry so you should consult them - they should list all Units served with overseas.

Good Luck

Steve Y

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Thanks Steve Y

That's where it is different from his Granddaughter's account as his MIC only shows him as 30726 in the Northamptonshires. ...and with no SWB or entitlement to 1915 Star

Mike

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I'm trying to track the military history of 30726 Pte Frederick Fitzhugh of Northamptonshire. STEBIE9173 has helpfully suggested that:

" ... probably joined the Northamptons in late 1916. The official casualty lists show him as wounded in the list of 29-5-1918 - this probably relates to early April 1918".

Whilst serving with the 6th Bn Northamptonshires he was KIA on 04Nov18.

Speaking with his granddaughter she relates that

"...he enlisted early in the war & was wounded & invalided out. He was shot in the head & had a metal plate put in his head.

But he later re-enlisted as he could not stay at home, while all his brothers were at war. He was at home in 1916 when his daughter Freda was born."

.

A medical observation:

After a period of 100 years, the ability to rebuild part of someone's skull (a procedure known as a cranioplasty) remains a major feat of technology. I have come across probably a handful of family stories, often from the children of the person concerned, about their father/relative requiring a metal (usually described as silver) plate in their head as a result of a bullet or shrapnel wound during WW1. In all but one case the serviceman was not discharged due to wounds. In one case I was able to find his file and, while he did suffer serious injury to his arm and leg, his head was not affected. The chance of a WW1 serviceman suffering a wound serious enough to require a cranioplasty (presumably in 1917) effectively precludes the possibility that he might ever be considered fit to serve in the army again, let alone return to the front within less than a year. I suspect that most stories of 'metal-plates-in-heads-during-WW1' are apocryphal.

Edit; sorry, don't mean to sound unduly negative, just reckon it's the sort of thing a dad might tell his kids or a story that 'develops' in the retelling.

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Thanks for the 'observation' - I think everyone on this Forum' or researching family histories' has learned to take these storoes with a pinch of salt

Krs

Mike

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Thanks for the 'observation' - I think everyone on this Forum' or researching family histories' has learned to take these storoes with a pinch of salt

Krs

Mike

True. I just thought I'd 'knock it on the head' once and for all..... :thumbsup:

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There isn't a central register of hospital admissions, and I'm pretty certain that very very few (if any) UK hospital admission books from this period have survived. If any had survived they are unlikely to be indexed by name.

The best bet would be service papers - unfortunately I don't have access to Ancestry atm, but I imagine you've already checked. For this man to have been previously discharged due to wounds he would have had to serve overseas during 1914 or 15, in which case he'd almost certainly have an MIC listing the fact that he did so. I can see that there are about 5 other Frederick Fitzhugh's listed on TNA, but none appear to be likely candidates (they have service numbers which date from about the same period as your man, or later). One is an officer, but his last unit is RASC, indicating service in 1918. There don't appear to be any 'F' Fitzhugh's, although there are a couple with 'F' as a middle initial. Might be worth checking that he didn't have any other names.

Either your man didn't have previous service or, if he did, he must have originally enlisted under another name, or his previous service wasn't done overseas (in which case the story about his previous GSW may be relevant). In that case, if he suffered any injury it wouldn't have been in the face of the enemy. Like you say, family stories should always be taken with a pinch of salt. If you can't find any service papers then I'd say it's best to class this earlier element of his service as being 'unproven'.

Edit: having re-read your initial post, I see that he had been wounded in about April 1918 - maybe that's the origin of the family's belief that he'd previously been wounded? Perhaps the dates and circumstances have become confused over time.

Edited by headgardener
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I agree entirely, thanks. Perhaps I asked the wrong question. Should I have requested 'look-ups' in Casualty Lists rather than hospital records?

Mike

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I will check my hospital lists tomorrow

Gerry

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Hi Mike,

Sorry no record of him on my lists.

Gerry

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  • 5 weeks later...

No problem Mike,

not having internet is a pain.Will keep looking for you

Gerry

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  • 6 years later...

Dear Mike, came across your old posts while following up some family research on my mother’s family. Her grandfather, John Fitzhugh, left Piddington in about 1870 and went to Liverpool. My mother now lives in Bedfordshire and we recently visited Piddington and saw the names John and Frederick Fitzhugh on the memorial at Hackleton. John was the son of Charles Fitzhugh who was my mother’s grandfather’s brother. Not sure where Frederick fits in but would be interested to connect with you and find out more, also about other family members. 
 

Hope to hear from you, John Hammond

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