Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War
Private Fred ATHERTON. 7551
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Private Fred ATHERTON, 7551.
2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. Killed 30 October 1914.
Born Ecclesall (Sheffield), Enlisted Sheffield, Resided Beighton (Nr. Sheffield).
Buried HARLEBEKE BRITISH CEMETERY.
John Sly (<email@example.com>) has researched the career of Private Atherton in connection with Private Atherton's medals. John has written a short biography of Private Atherton.
Army Medal Office rolls confirm the award of the 1914 Star and Bar, giving his date of disembarkation as 5 October 1914 (clasp). He was recorded as: Dead.
He was born 21 April 1884 at 17 Kelvin Street, Nether Hallam, the son of Charles Atherton, a file grinder, and his wife Jane (nee Johnson).
In 1891 he was living with his family at Cross(?) Gilpen Street, Nether Hallam.
He was aged six, born Sheffield.
In 1901 he was a boarder with Emma Ashall at Stanley Fold, Bradfield, Wortley, Sheffield. He was aged fifteen, a brickyard labourer, born Sheffield.
He attested in Sheffield 18 November 1903, stating that he had been born in Sheffield, and giving his age as nineteen years seven months. He was five feet six inches tall, and weighed 129 pounds. He had a fresh complexion, grey eyes, brown hair. His occupation was striker.
He married Sarah Ellen Reaney, a twenty year old spinster of 13 Cyril Street,
Sheffield, at St Philip’s, Sheffield on 26 April 1908. He was described
as a twenty-three year old labourer of 46 Robert Street, Sheffield.
In 1911 he was living with his wife and son in five rooms at Woodland View, Beeley Road, Oughtybridge, near Sheffield. He was age twenty-seven, a brickworks labourer, born Sheffield.
On 30 October 1914 2/Yorkshire Regiment was occupying trenches on the right of the position which formed a salient. Casualties were heavy owing to sniping and shrapnel. The message for the battalion to retire was delayed by two hours, which meant that ‘the battalion was placed in a very awkward position owing to this delay, and also to our commanding officer …having been killed. As our Second-in-Command had also been killed…the command of the battalion was taken over by Captain B S Moss-Blundell, who had to make up his mind immediately whether to push the retirement in the daylight in a heavy fire, or to push the chance of being able to hold out until dusk.‘ (According to the war diary) the battalion was withdrawn in daylight with the loss of only ten men.
SDGW records that he was born in Eccleshall, Sheffield, and enlisted in Sheffield while living at Beighton, near Sheffield. He was killed in action 30 October 1914. CWGC records state that he was buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, thirty-two kilometres east of Ypres.
(Refs: WO 329/2440 p 4; WO 329/953 p 442
Green Howards Museum
General Register Office)