Savage, Frederick

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Savage, Frederick

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 9th Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private, 12954

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Loos Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 50 to 52.

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British War Medals & 1915 Star

Date of Death: 25th September 1915

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in Action in France 25th September 1915, on his 18 birthday.

Frederick Savage was the son of Alfred & Elizabeth Savage (nee Lane) who had married in the September quarter of 1895.(W. Bromwich   Vol. 6b, Page 1256 )

Frederick first appeared on a census in 1901  He was living at 44, Hawkins Street, West Bromwich, Staffordshire  with his family. Alfred, the father was 26 and a Labourer at the Sheet Iron Works and his mother Elizabeth was 27. Their children were Frederick 3 and his brother Benjamin 10 months. Frederick’s Uncle, Arthur Lane, his mother’s brother lived with them. He was 18, single and  worked as a ‘Coach Axle’ ?  They had all been born in West Bromwich.   Benjamin* was to drown age 6 years in 1906.

*Hawarden Parish Registers – Burials – Page 288 No 2301 Benjamin s/o Alfred and Elizabeth Savage, Shotton, 21st August 1906 age 6 years.

SAVAGE, Benjamin - Drowning - Flints. Observer 16th August 1906 - 2

Flintshire Observer 16th August 1906

SAVAGE, Benjamin -Drowning - County Herald 17th August 1906 - 3

County Herald 17th August 1906

SAVAGE, Benjamin - Drowning in the Dee - County Herald 24th August 1906 -2

Inquest on Frederick’s brother Benjamin County Herald 24th August 1906

By 1911 they were living at 39, King Edward St Shotton, Flintshire. The father Alfred  36 was a ‘Catcher’ in the Ironworks.   Mother, Elizabeth was 37.  They had been married 15 years  The form records that four children had been born, but two had died. Elizabeth’s handwriting is beautiful and she filled in the census form and signed it.  Frederick, 13 was at school and his sister Bertha Lily was 3. She had been born at Shotton, Flintshire.

UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 -19 accessible on www,ancestry.co.uk confirms all the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton. This source tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’.

Frederick’s medal card also accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk  records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was France and that his date of entry therein:- 19th July 1916 (1916 was written on the card, but I think it was a clerical error as Frederick had been dead 10 months!)

Frederick Savage in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his mother Elizabeth who was paid £1. 14s 8d on the 31st December 1915 and his War Gratuity of £3. 10s 0d on the 17th July 1919

There is an index card for Frederick in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden.  (Flintshire WW1 Index Card  F38 Shotton) It states that he was Killed in Action 25th September 1915. Service:- 1 year. Card signed 20th January 1920 by Mrs. E. Savage.

Flintshire Observer  7th October 1915

Shotton Man killed in France – Fell in Great Charge – Mr & Mrs Savage, of 36, King Edward Street, Shotton, have received news intimation that their son Fred has been killed in action in France.   Private Savage, who was only 18 years of age, joined the R.W.F. some months ago.   He was a most promising youth, and by his straightforward and upright character he made a host of friends.   He was connected with St. Ethelwold’s Church, where he was a regular communicant.   A keen footballer, he played in the schoolboy’s international match between England and Wales for which he received his cap and medal.   Before joining the forces he worked at Marsh Mills, where he was a general favourite.  

Writing to his parents a few days before his death, he said:-

“We are just about to make a charge, so don’t know if I will come out alive or not; but don’t worry, I’m living in good hope, and I am not afraid to die.   If I do we shall meet in the heavenly home, God bless you all.   There is hell upon earth here.   Best love to all.   Look in the papers.   P.S. Please write and let my young lady know.”   

His friend, Private Stanton, writing to the bereaved parents, says:-

“I am well, but broken-hearted.   It is my painful duty to inform you that Fred was killed on Saturday, the 25th, while doing his duty in charging overwhelming odds.   He died the same as he lived, full of spirit to the end, trusting in his Maker to the end.   He was loved and respected by all in the company, and he was the best chum I ever had.   You were always in his thoughts to the very end.   His end came very sudden, as he did not live more than five minutes, and he felt no pain..   We buried him close to where he fell.   He lived and died a soldier.   I myself got within 15 yards of our objective, where I was held up by barbed wire, and I was glad when I got back to our own trench, after lying out on the field from six in the morning until five at night.”

Quartermaster F. Walters of the same company writes:- “I take the privilege of sending you your son’s last letter.   His comrades and myself deeply sympathise with you in your deep sorrow.   He died a soldier’s death.   He was extremely popular in his company and respected by all.   His quiet and gentlemanly manner endeared him to all.   His spirit has gone to where he expected.   May God bless him and all our brave lads.”

COUNTY HERALD 22nd October 1915

Connahs’ Quay & Shotton

Shotton Soldier Killed in Action – The information has been received with feelings of extreme regret that Private Savage, of King Edward Street, Shotton, and who was connected with the local Brotherhood and other movements prior to the War, has been killed in action with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, on the 25th September, in France.   On that day Captain Tom Patten, of Shotton, received a letter from Private Savage enclosing some beautiful poetry, he was killed, and as a strange coincidence the 25th September was Private Savage’s eighteenth birthday.   The deceased soldier was well known in the Shotton locality, and the greatest sympathy is extended to his relatives and friends in the bereavement they have sustained.

In the same edition under the Roll of Honour – SAVAGE, September 25th, killed in action in France, Private Savage of the 9th Batt. R.W.F., of King Edward Street, Shotton.

Frederick Savage is commemorated on a family gravestone in

St. Deniol’s Churchyard, North Extension (West Side)
D2 Private F. SAVAGE Killed in action France 25 September 1915 age 18

Imperial War Museum – Memorial Project – Website – http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/60315
Description – Gravestone with lead lettering. – Inscription
Head of gravestone: IN LOVING MEMORY OF/ BENJAMIN SAVAGE, DROWNED AUG. 13: 1906 AGED 6 YEARS./ Pte F. SAVAGE, KILLED IN FRANCE SEP. 25: 1915, AGED 18 YEARS. R.I.P. (Line breaks not known) South surround: ALSO ALFRED SAVAGE THEIR FATHER WHO DIED MAY 31st 1956 AGED 82 YEARS. North surround: ALSO ELIZABETH SAVAGE THEIR MOTHER WHO DIED MARCH 20 1943. AGED 69 YEARS. (Line breaks not known)

There is a small plaque on one of the columns in St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton, – Pte. F. Savage, 25th September 1915 in France age 18.”

(If this age is correct, then Frederick must have told the powers that be that he was older than he was, as he had 1 year’s service.)

Frederick was named on 2 other memorials – the Hawarden War Memorial and the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church.

*http://www.firstworldwar.com/battles/loos.htm