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Teessidewire

Warrington lad buried alone in Soissons.

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I spend a fair bit of time in Northern France, close to the City of Soissons and I've been meaning to do this for a while. Soissons Communal Cemetery is large and contains a single Commonwealth war grave from WW1. I've visited it several times since discovering it's a Warrington lad and wondered if it would be possible to trace his family. He was Gunner 114467 Frederick William Hitchmough, of the Royal Garrison Artillery. He died on 8.4.17 and was the son of William and Susan Hitchmough and the husband of Elizabeth Hitchmough, 65 Liverpool Rd, warrington.

I was wondering if anyone knows any of the Hitchmough family who still live in Warrington. I have some photographs of the grave and would be prepared to visit it again and lay flowers if the family wanted it. To the best of my knowledge he is the only Englishman in the Cemetery.

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I have a suscription with Ancestry.co.uk and have found the 1911 census for this lad. He was 31 at the time of the census and describes his trade as an Electrician;s labourer He had 3 children aged 5, 1 and 4 months in 1911 so aged 11,8 and 6 when he died. I will do some more research.

 

I admire that you are visiting his grave Teessidewire.

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Could make an interesting feature - keep me posted!

It could. I'd love to know why he's the only one there. I first checked out the grave a couple of years ago, checked on the CWGC site and found he was a Warrington lad. I've been several times since. I've also got a couple of photographs taken with my I Phone.

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Just spent a couple of minutes messing about on the Internet and have found out a fair bit about Fred. His family are aware of where he is. will give a full update tomorrow.

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Just spent a couple of minutes messing about on the Internet and have found out a fair bit about Fred. His family are aware of where he is. will give a full update tomorrow.

Can you email details of your research and pictures to garys@warrington-worldwide.co.uk please

I wonder if his name is on the cenotaph?

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Having spent some of my early childhood at 64 Liverpool Road ,i seem to remember Hitchmoughs had a shop come newsagents at that address  & that was in the mid to late fifties ,if it jogs anybody's memory.

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Just spent a couple of minutes messing about on the Internet and have found out a fair bit about Fred. His family are aware of where he is. will give a full update tomorrow.

Well done Teesidewire and I'm glad to hear that his family are aware of where he is buried.

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Having spent some of my early childhood at 64 Liverpool Road ,i seem to remember Hitchmoughs had a shop come newsagents at that address  & that was in the mid to late fifties ,if it jogs anybody's memory.

I've just looked at his Short Service records from when he signed up  they have his address as 65 Liverpool Road, age 37, married and his occupation was 'Newsagent and Confectioner' so that fits with what you say.

 

His service records also show that on 6 April 1917 he was attached to the 2nd Army Artillery School and that 8 April (2 days later) he was died from wounds 'in the field' while returning from 2nd Artillery School.

 

Sad :(

 

Having checked all the names and info from his service records on Ancestry they had 4 children as follows

 

[child] William Leigh Hitchmough born 15 August 1907, Warrington (same birthday as me apart from the 1907 bit)

he died in 1990 in Rhuddlan, Wales

 

[child] Frederick J Hitchmough born 1910

 

[child] Susan Mary Hitchmough born 4 March 1911,Warrington

She married James Arnold Bell on 22 Sept 1933 at St Lukes chapel of Ease, Holy Trinity, Warrington

[child] George Hitchmough born 14 September 1914, he died in 1969, Warrington

 

I'll try and go down from them later for their kids etc as someone may recognise some of these names

 

Other info about Gunner 114467 Frederick William Hitchmough

 

[sister] Edith Alice Hitchmough, born 13 Nov 1880, Warrington

she married Ernest Hayes on 20 Aug 1910 in Latchford

They lived at 16 Miller Street, Latchford.  (I wonder if he is any relation to Harry Hayes who is a member on here...)

 

[brother] Herbert John Hitchmough, born 1884

 

[sister] Lilian Agnes Hitchmough, 10 Oct 1886, Warrington

 

 

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I've just looked at his Short Service records from when he signed up  they have his address as 65 Liverpool Road, age 37, married and his occupation was 'Newsagent and Confectioner' so that fits with what you say.

 

His service records also show that on 6 April 1917 he was attached to the 2nd Army Artillery School and that 8 April (2 days later) he was died from wounds 'in the field' while returning from 2nd Artillery School.

 

Sad :(

 

Having checked all the names and info from his service records on Ancestry they had 4 children as follows

 

[child] William Leigh Hitchmough born 15 August 1907, Warrington (same birthday as me apart from the 1907 bit)

he died in 1990 in Rhuddlan, Wales

 

[child] Frederick J Hitchmough born 1910

 

[child] Susan Mary Hitchmough born 4 March 1911,Warrington

She married James Arnold Bell on 22 Sept 1933 at St Lukes chapel of Ease, Holy Trinity, Warrington

[child] George Hitchmough born 14 September 1914, he died in 1969, Warrington

 

I'll try and go down from them later for their kids etc as someone may recognise some of these names

 

Other info about Gunner 114467 Frederick William Hitchmough

 

[sister] Edith Alice Hitchmough, born 13 Nov 1880, Warrington

she married Ernest Hayes on 20 Aug 1910 in Latchford

They lived at 16 Miller Street, Latchford.  (I wonder if he is any relation to Harry Hayes who is a member on here...)

 

[brother] Herbert John Hitchmough, born 1884

 

[sister] Lilian Agnes Hitchmough, 10 Oct 1886, Warrington

 

 

Absolutely brilliant. I found some of this last night, but you've found a lot more than what I have. If you google his full name, you'll find it appears on something called 'Rootschat,' and that there's a photo of both Fred and his wife on there from the family.His family have visited the grave in the past few years. He is commemorated at on the family grave at Hill Cliffe Methodist Cemetery, but there is no mention of the cenotaph at Bridge Foot. Fred's wife did not re-marry and she did in 1940. What is still not clear is why he is buried in a communal cemetery in Soissons. The town was under German occupation for most of the war, and certainly was at the time of Fred's death.

One source which may tell us a little more is Warrington Reference Library. They have a book (which runs to several volumes) which contain the Warrington Guardian obituaries of those who died in the great War. If Fred's obituary is in there, it may tell us a little more about him.

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I'll have a look on the rootschat page as it would be nice to see what he looked like, I sort of feel like I know him now.

Do you think he may have been buried the communal  cemetery in Soissons (it says he was buried there on his service records) because that was the area near/where he may have been killed 'in the field' ?  Sorry I don't know too much about how people came to be in certain locations. :oops:

Although he's not on the Bridge Foot Cenotaph he may be on one of the other local parish cenotaphs near to where he lived or on a internal church one as many were recorded in their own parishes instead of at Bridge Foot.  Also because of the way war deaths were sometimes recorded at the time some of the fallen who should have been listed at Bridge Foot weren't and a register was opened at Warrington Library at the time of for family members to go along to the library to add any that had not been included.  It was closed some years later and the ones on the list were eventually added too but sadly in those days many people didn't read the local papers so were not aware and some were probably to distraught to contemplate going along to add their loved ones names onto the wall. 

Very sad all ways round :(

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I forgot to say... do you have a copy of his actual service records Teesidewire ?  If not message me your email address and I'll download and email them to you as there may be things in them about his service and death that make more sense to you than they did to me.

I can't upload them to here as due to photobucket and the forums display file restriction size they will probably be hard to read and Ancestry do have copyrights on their records too so uploading them onto a public forum for all to see may contravene that..... they are fine to download and email to others though :wink:

Let me know if you want them and I'll download them tomorrow morning for you....

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I'll have a look on the rootschat page as it would be nice to see what he looked like, I sort of feel like I know him now.

 

Do you think he may have been buried the communal  cemetery in Soissons (it says he was buried there on his service records) because that was the area near/where he may have been killed 'in the field' ?  Sorry I don't know too much about how people came to be in certain locations. :oops:

 

Although he's not on the Bridge Foot Cenotaph he may be on one of the other local parish cenotaphs near to where he lived or on a internal church one as many were recorded in their own parishes instead of at Bridge Foot.  Also because of the way war deaths were sometimes recorded at the time some of the fallen who should have been listed at Bridge Foot weren't and a register was opened at Warrington Library at the time of for family members to go along to the library to add any that had not been included.  It was closed some years later and the ones on the list were eventually added too but sadly in those days many people didn't read the local papers so were not aware and some were probably to distraught to contemplate going along to add their loved ones names onto the wall. 

 

Very sad all ways round :(

It says that he died of wounds, which could easily have been some time after the injuries happened. There was considerable action on the Aisne river throughout the conflict.

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Yes, I've mentioned that Tracey, intreresting isn't it. Gary, E mailed you last night. Dizzy, sent you a pm.

That's why I looked it up!  :lol: Just thought I'd post the link so people could click through to it.

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That's why I looked it up!  :lol: Just thought I'd post the link so people could click through to it.

Cheers. I'm not great with computers, or I would have done it myself. I find it strange that a Warrington lad should decide to viit a military grave that turns out to be that of another Warrington lad. If nothing else comes of this maybe a few more will take time to visit the grave if in the Soissons area.

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Good evening everybody. Haven’t been on here for ages, but as I’m in France this week at a very momentous time, I thought I would bring this up again. I will be paying my respects to Fred once again on Tuesday, 13.11.18.

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Hiya Teessidewire, good to see you on here again and thanks so much for bringing this old topic 'back to life' for want of better words.

I'm ashamed to say I'd sort of forgotten about this topic and our chats and research re  Fred as 4 years have passed but having just read it all again it brought a lump to my throat especially as his is the only soldiers war grave in there.

It's so lovely that you are going to his graveside to pay your respects again.  If possibly could you lay a little flower or something from me too. 

RIP Gunner 114467 Frederick William Hitchmough  x   

Lest We Forget

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Went up to the French /Belgian border to a place called Noyelles sur Sambre where a relative of my wife is buried. He died on 8.11.18 and is in a communal graveyard with 6 others. Strangely, one man who died in 1914 is by himself, with the other 6 all togethe, they died between the 6th and 12th December.I will certainly be leaving a poppy on Fred’s Grave and it will be from all of us.

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All really sad to hear.  I wonder why he is buried alone but others aren't :( 

Their souls will all be flying all together as one though and 
they are not forgotten by us and never will be.

Made me tearful and yes your poppy in Fred's grave will indeed be from 'all of us' just as every other poppy and wreath laid everywhere will be a mark of respect and remembrance from ALL too.   It's so lovely that you have taken the time to visit the graves and tell us all...gulp x x  

Lest We Forget.....

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Don’t know why he is buried alone, apart from the fact that he died in the first 3 weeks of the conflict, and the other 6 died in the last 7 days.

Anyway, went to Fred’s Grave on Tuesday morning and left a single poppy. Soissons was definitely occupied in 1917, so I’m presuming the he was a POW.

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