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Frederick Skelton

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1880-1917

Reference: 40345


The Arras Memorial on which Private Frederick Skelton is commemorated

Private Frederick Skelton (40345) of the 4th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment died on 29 May 1917 aged 36. He has no known grave and so is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Frederick was born on 1 April 1879 [possibly 1880?] in Stoke D’Abernon, (Oxshott) Surrey and baptised at the Parish Church of St Mary’s on 23rd May 1880 according to the Church records held at the Surrey Record Centre. The 1891 census reveals that Frederick (then aged 11) came from a large family. His parents, William and Louisa Skelton, had seven children living with them in Stoke Abernon: Davis (19); William J (17); Frederick (11); Henry E (5); twins Annie E and Arthur J (3); and baby Emily (4 months). By the time of the next Census, in 1901, when Frederick was aged 21, the family home had lost Davis (who had presumably moved out) and Annie.

Shortly afterwards Frederick left home, marrying Amy Celia Hammond from Wimbledon on 24 April 1905. By the time of the 1911 Census he was 31, employed as a gardener and living at 1 Stamford Cottages (located off the High Street) at Hampton Wick with his wife and two daughters, Nellie Gertrude Celia (aged 4) and Violet Lilian May (aged 1). By the time of his death, the family, which now included a third child, was living at 1 Hesley Cottages, Hampton Wick, where his widow, Amy, continued to reside until 1935.

According to his obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 14 July 1917, before enlisting he had been employed by Mr Howard of Oldwick Dairy and was a member of the fire brigade, presumably in Hampton Wick.

According to his records in UK Soldiers who Died in the Great War, Frederick enlisted in Staines. His obituary says that he joined the army on June 12 1916 training at Whitfield Camp, near Kearnsley and went to France in October 1916 towards the end of the Battle of the Somme. He must have originally joined the East Kent Regiment, as this is mentioned on his Medal Card, and then subsequently have transferred to the Worcestershire Regiment.

According to his obituary, at the time of Private Skelton’s death his mother was still living in Oxshott at the Clock House. His youngest brother was being treated in a hospital in France and a brother-in-law was seriously wounded in a Stockport hospital. Another brother-in-law was serving as a petty officer in the Royal Navy.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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