Frederick (Fred) Keates was born in Cheadle, Staffordshire in 1880. He was the eldest of two sons to William Keates and Mary (Walker).
William was born in Cheadle and Mary in Denstone, Staffordshire and they were married in Cheadle Parish Church on 19th July, 1879. William was a bricklayer and Mary, before the marriage, was a domestic servant.
Frederick married Nellie Nutt in Cheadle in 1903. She was also born in Cheadle but at the time of the marriage was living in Leek, Staffordshire.
They moved to Flint and in the 1911 census they were living at 17, Mount Street. They had no children and Fred was employed as a bricklayer at the artificial silk works.
Fred enlisted in Flint and was posted to Belgium.
He died of a wound received in action in a hospital on 21st May, 1916 and buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium (Plot VII, Row A, Grave 10A).
He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and is remembered on three war memorials – Flint Town, St Mary’s Parish Church, Flint and Cheadle Town.
ANOTHER FLINT SOLDIER DIES OF WOUNDS
(County Herald 2nd June, 1916)
The sad intelligence reached Flint on Friday morning last week to the effect that Corporal Sapper Fred Keates, of the Royal Monmouth Royal Engineers, had died of wounds at the Front. The deceased who was 36 years of age, was a native of Cheadle, Staffordshire, and came to Flint over eight years ago, when he was employed as a bricksetter at the British Glanzstoff Manufacturing Company’s Works, and for years he resided with his wife at 17, Mount Street, Flint. Soon after the commencement of the war he left to join the Regiment, and in the course of time was drafted to the Front, being attached to the Siege Company of the Engineers. A letter written by Major R Forestier Walker, reached Mrs Keates on Friday morning regretting to inform her of the death of her husband, and who was a member of his Company. He was wounded in the abdomen and he died in Hospital. He desired to express his deepest sympathy with her in her sad loss, for his officers and himself felt very deeply for her. Keates certainly did his duty well, and he had the great pleasure of promoting him to the rank of Corporal recently for the good work he had done. He was wounded when out dark at night, and when he was doing his duty to the country as a true soldier. The Rev W L Archer, who is the Chaplain to the Company was forwarded an exceedingly sympathetic and comforting letter to Mrs Keates in which he pays due tribute to him as a soldier, and states that his remains were respectfully interred in the cemetery nearby, where a cross is placed at the head of the grave, bearing his name, etc, on it. We are sure that the residents of Flint will join with us in extending heartfelt regrets to the widow in her sore trial. The deceased soldier was well known and respected amongst a large number of friends in the Borough.
Following Fred’s death Nellie returned to Staffordshire where she resided at 22, Nunn Street, Leek. It is not known what became of her after that.
Fred’s parents resided at 14, Cecilly Street, Cheadle and where Mary died in 1923, aged 67, and William in 1926, aged 70.