Frederick George DAY (6th February 1888 – 2nd November 1914)

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Frederick George DAY was born on the 6th February 1888[1] in St Mary Bourne.  His parents were George DAY and Sarah Ann SMITH, they married in Hurstbourne Tarrant in December 1883[2] (unfortunately the actual day is unreadable in the registers).

St Peter's Church, Hurstbourne Tarrant

St Peter’s Church, Hurstbourne Tarrant

The DAY family did not originate in St Mary Bourne, George had been born in Monk Sherborne near Basingstoke and moved with his family to St Mary Bourne via various other villages between 1864 and 1868.

The SMITH family though would have been local, however it is not possible to say whether they were from Andover or Hurstbourne Tarrant, both places are given in census records for Sarah Ann, and on her marriage to George she did not give a father’s name so it is most likely she was born illegitimate.

Frederick was the second child born to George & Sarah Ann, he had an older sister Florence (b. 1885), and two younger siblings William James (b. 1891) and Edward Frank (b. 1895).

Frederick was baptised in the local Primitive Methodist church on the 22nd March 1888, his father at the time was stated as being a labourer.

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Primitive Methodist Chapel, Swampton, St Mary Bourne[3]

On the 5th April 1891[4] at the time of the census the family are found to be in St Mary Bourne and George at that point is described as being a “Farm Servant”, they are living in a property with 4 rooms which is quite good for a family of only 5 people at the time, the WHITE family next door consisting of 2 adults and 4 children only have 3 rooms.

On the 31st March 1901[5] again at the time of the census the family are still found to be in St Mary Bourne, living in a house with 4 rooms.  George is now a “General Labourer”, the oldest child Florence is now a “Domestic Servant” for Henry Kempsford BAKER (a retired Publican) and his wife in St Mary Bourne.

At some point between the census years 1891 and 1901 and possibly after Frederick would have attended St Mary Bourne School, he and his two younger brothers are mentioned in the school census[6], the school census gives the dates of birth for him and his two younger brothers.  It is presumed that he generally went by his middle name George as this is how is referred to in the census his brother William is also called by his middle name James in the census.

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St Mary Bourne School [7]

On the 5th January 1905 Frederick joined the Hampshire Regiment Militia, he was 17 years 11 months old at the time of his attestation and was a Farm Labourer in the employ of Mr W. Watts of Jamaica Farm, St Mary Bourne, he was given Service No. 1031.  His physical description on his attestation papers is below[8].

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He was only with the militia for 49 days before transferring to the Hampshire Regiment properly on the 22nd February 1905.  He was part of the 2nd Battalion and was assigned Service No. 7422.  At the time Frederick joined the Hampshire Regiment the 2nd Battalion had been on a tour abroad since September 1903, they were stationed at Malta, Bermuda, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Cape Town, Mauritius and India (The Hampshire Regiment, Regimental History).

Frederick is known to have been in South Africa on the on the 2nd April 1911[9] when the census was taken, as a private with the 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment.  He was based at Wynberg, South Africa[10].

On the 25th January 1912[11], Frederick returned from South Africa with another man from St Mary Bourne, Sidney Gunnell who also served in the 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment at the same time.  From this date until the start of the First World War Frederick was on the reserve.

At the beginning of First World War Frederick was called back to the Army and joined with 1st Hampshire Regiment at this point, landing in France with the regiment on the 23rd August 1914[12].

Frederick served with the regiment in France and Flanders (now Belgium).  On the 3rd of October he was reported missing[13] this information appears to have taken some time to reach his family as it is not reported in the Andover Advertiser until 4th December 1914.  A later article in the newspaper on the 25th December 1914 stated that Frederick sent a postcard to his family on the 29th October 1914, so either the initial article was incorrect or Frederick went from missing to found and returned to his regiment prior to the 29th October.  Sadly, any joy from the receipt of the postcard if it was received swiftly was short lived as also in the newspaper of the 25th December 1914 it is reported that Frederick was killed in action between the 30th October 1914 and the 2nd November 1914.  The official date for his death is given as the 2nd November on the CWGC website.  He is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.

The newspaper reports that a service was held in the parish church for Frederick on Sunday 20th December 1914 attended by his relatives and friends.  An extract from the newspaper detailing the service is below.

“At the service at the parish church on Sunday his relatives and friends attended as a mark of sorrow, respect and esteem. As a voluntary at the commencement of the service the organist, Mr. A.H. White played “Oh, rest in the lord”.  In the course of his sermon Rev. P.E. Binns said they had not received any details about the young man’s death but they might be sure he fell doing his duty as a brave soldier should. He was a good workman, one such as helped to make the backbone of England.  He was a lover of home, and one in whom his family rightly took pride. He could not have chosen a better death than to die in defence of his country, and in trying to drive the enemy back from the sacred homes of England. The hymn “Let Saints on earth in concert sing” was sung, and at the close of the service a portion of the Burial Office was read. “

For his service to his King and country Frederick was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, his family would have been able to claim these on his behalf.

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Works Cited

1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment – War Diary (1914) – WO 95/1495/1. “http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/.” Aug-Dec 1914. The National Archives. PDF. 10 May 2014.

The Hampshire Regiment, Regimental History. Regimental Arrangement, 1933. ePub (purchased from forces-war-records.co.uk).

 

[1] M72/NMC/R8 Andover Primitive Methodist 2/3 – Baptism registers viewed at Hampshire Archives, Winchester (04/10/2014)

[2] Hurstbourne Tarrant Parish registers viewed at Andover Library (12/09/2014)

[3] Copyright unknown, with thanks to Laura Sykes for permission to use.  For more information see http://stmarybournegoestowar.net/2014/09/28/all-is-safely-gathered-in-by-the-primitive-methodists/

[4] 1891 Census record for the family of George & Sarah Ann DAY (ancestry.co.uk)

[5] 1901 Census records for the families of George & Sarah Ann DAY & Henry Kempsford & Mary BAKER (ancestry.co.uk)

[6] 96M82/PJ1 Census register of children’ under the Elementary Education Act 1876, c. 1891-1905 – viewed at Hampshire Archives, Winchester (04/10/2014).

[7] From St Mary Bourne History group on Facebook, thank to Sarah Barton for permission to use (note: this is a cropped version)

[8] Service Record for Frederick Day, Service No. 1031 Hampshire Militia available on FindMyPast.co.uk

[9] 1911 Census record for Frederick Day (ancestry.co.uk)

[10] http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11339186.  Note: Error location stated as “Lynberg” should say “Wynberg”

[11] Andover Advertiser, St Mary Bourne section newspaper dated 25th December 1914

[12] Medal Card for Frederick Day, Service No. 7422 available on Ancestry.co.uk

[13] Andover Advertiser, St Mary Bourne section newspaper dated 4th December 1914

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